3D Seismic Data Acquisition: An Update on Modern Technologies and Usage Methodologies

R. Malcolm Lansley

This course will provide information related to recent advances in data acquisition technology, equipment and the methodologies that are being utilized to improve data quality and, in many cases, reduce the cost of 3D survey acquisition.

The course is appropriate not only for geophysicists involved in survey design and acquisition, but also for those involved in data processing and interpretation who wish to better understand the potential improvements that can be made. Both marine and land applications will be discussed.


Two days

Intended Audience

Intermediate level

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education Required)

It is assumed that attendees will have a basic understanding of the principles of seismic reflection theory and how these have been applied in the past. Although some knowledge of seismic data acquisition will be helpful, it is not essential. Geologists and managers who have little geophysical knowledge will also benefit from an improved understanding of modern seismic acquisition techniques and 3D survey design.

The course will not cover the fundamentals of data acquisition or 3D survey design, although there will be a short section that will discuss some of the problems and errors that are frequently made in some of the surveys being acquired today.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction, including cost-benefit overview
  2. Design issues frequently misunderstood, forgotten or deliberately ignored
  3. High density surveys
  4. Wide azimuth vs. narrow azimuth geometries
  5. Broader bandwidth recording and the search for low frequencies
  6. High productivity recording techniques (marine and land simultaneous sourcing)
  7. Alternative land source technology
  8. Where cable-less recording systems are applicable and where not
  9. Arrays versus point receivers
  10. 3C sensors versus conventional P-wave geophones

Learner Outcomes

  • Discuss the requirements for successful Pre-stack Depth Migration in terms of
    • data acquisition geometry / spatial sampling
    • migration aperture
  • Define the benefits of wide azimuth recording geometries over more traditional narrow azimuth surveys
  • Define the benefits of obtaining more low frequency signal
  • Discuss the primary difficulties in improving marine low frequency data acquisition
  • Discuss the primary difficulties in improving low frequency data acquisition on land
  • Define the primary methods of designing high density, wide azimuth  surveys on land using explosives
  • Define the primary methods of designing high density, wide azimuth surveys on land using vibrators or other surface sources
  • Discuss the need for surface arrays of sensors versus when point receivers may be sufficient

Instructor Biography

R. Malcolm Lansley