Seismic saviour

A talk by Dr Chris Elders, from Royal Holloway College described how the rocky strata underlying the sedimentary cover under the North Sea have been imaged using data from 3‑dimensional seismic surveys.

Our oil and gas are going fast,
Our North Sea stocks are low;
But don’t despair, there’s still some there –
It’s been surveyed, you know.

They’ve towed some gear behind a boat
That gives out sonic shocks
Which, when reflected and detected,
Identify the rocks

Beneath two miles of sediment,
According to out tutor,
With lots and lots of transverse plots
Combined in a computer.

The images produced are clear:
They show, in full 3D,
The layered strata – useful data –
Submerged beneath the sea.

Two million years ago, or more,
Organic stuff would go
In piles and drifts where faults and rifts
Distorted current flow.

By finding where such sites occur,
A seismic survey guy
Can show where drilling could be thrilling –
Where oil or gas might lie.

Our hydrocarbon stocks are low,
Below the great North Sea;
But don’t despair – there’s folk out there
Prospecting in 3D!

[Image: British Geological Survey]
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