What is geophysics

What on Earth is Geophysics?

Geophysics is the application of physical principles to study the Earth’s structure and lithology.  Sercel designs a range of highly sophisticated products both onshore and offshore to deliver highly accurate images of the earth’s subsurface (mainly the sedimentary basins) to our clients.  These images are used to help pinpoint the presence of natural resources, such as oil, gas and other minerals.

Seismic is the main working method but other complementary methods based on gravity, electricity or magnetics may also be used. The seismic method is comparable to CAT-scan or ultrasound techniques.  Specialized seismic equipment is deployed to generate acoustic waves into the ground using different sources such as vibrators or explosive on land or compressed air at sea. These waves are reflected at the boundary between the different geological layers in the subsurface and recorded as seismic reflection shot points by a network of highly sensitive sensors laid out on the  surface. Extremely complex processing sequences are run on very powerful computers to convert this data into seismic images representative of the subsurface in two, three or four dimensions (the fourth being the calendar time to detect variations in the fluid distribution).  Sophisticated software helps the geophysicist to reconstruct the shape and physical properties of the geological layers.

Sercel provides a complete product line for seismic acquisition in any environment:
1.    Emission of  controlled acoustic energy from a seismic source
        • Compressed air guns  (marine)
        Seismic vibrator or explosive source (land)
2.    Seismic energy is transmitted to the earth and reflected from the geological boundaries (layers).
3.    The reflected energy is detected by geophones (land) or hydrophones (marine).
4.    Sercel acquisition systems record and process the data.

Marine Seismic Acquisition


Land Seismic Acquisition