Borehole seismic methods have been widely used for characterizing the shallow subsurface. Accurate analysis of their data is aided by a solid understanding of the borehole sources' characteristics. This study presents a field evaluation of two impulsive borehole seismic sources (Trident's Scorpion sparker and RT Clark's Ballard weight drop) in crosswell and reverse vertical seismic profile (RVSP) geometries at a Gulf of Mexico coastal site with two shallow vertical wells. The acquired data is then utilized to characterize the near-surface coastal sediments. The Scorpion source generated P-wave dominant frequencies that were recorded as 650 Hz and 250 Hz in the crosswell and RVSP geometries, respectively. For the Ballard source in the two geometries, the P-wave dominant frequencies were 1100 Hz and 250 Hz. We were also able to pick direct S-wave arrivals with the Ballard source, and their dominant frequencies were 100 Hz and 40 Hz for in situ and surface recordings, respectively. The average signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) recorded with the Scorpion data for the crosswell geometry and RVSP, respectively, is 13 and 6, and for the Ballard source, 62 and 30. We also investigated the source radiation patterns and signature wavelets. Seismic tomography was performed for the area between the two wells. Low P-wave and S-wave velocities correspond to three fresh water-saturated sand zones identified from drilling cuttings and previous well log data. Also, the plot of velocity of P-wave (Vp) versus S-wave (Vs) fits reasonably to the Mudrock Line. Both sources can excite repeatable energetic seismic signals up to 150 m away and could be useful in many geotechnical settings and even single-well imaging.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.