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Conference Proceeding

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An electrically detonated downhole seismic gun (EDG) that will fire blank 8-guage shells underwater has been constructed and tested to 80m depth (hydrostatic pressures of 130 psi or 8.9 x 105 Pa). Although other engineering seismic guns which fire blank or projectile sources are available, they are for near-surface shots and are not meant to be used for downhold seismic surveys in water-filled boreholes. The EDG was designed primarily for checkshot surveys (well travel-time surveys) and high-quality reflection/refraction tests, but potential applications include shallow vertical seismic profiling and borehole to borehole or borehole to surface tomography, as well as optimum offset and common midpoint seismic reflection surveys. The EDG consists off four steel subassemblies: (1) chamber; (2) breech; (3) pipe; and (4) hanger. A blank 8-gauge electrical shell is held by the chamber and is detonated by an electrode located inside the breech. O-ring seals prevent water from entering the breech and causing short circuits. The breech is screwed into a pipe which is also fitted with o-ring seals to keep the internal wiring dry. A hanger subassembly provides a convenient attaching point for the hoist cable. Arming of the EDG with an explosives blaster occurs only after lowering to operating depth. The EDG has been tested with various size black powder loads up to 750 grains. Frequency bandwidth and repeatability tests were carried out under saturated conditions in a fluvial and lacustrine sedimentary section. These preliminary tests show significant frequency content in the 25-200 Hz band (peak near 100 Hz) for reflections from depths of 150-300 m, and acceptable waveform repeatability for different shot records obtained with identical geometry and acquisition parameters.


This article was originally published by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.