Located 800km North of Adelaide in the Cooper Basin in the middle of the dessert Santos is shooting a new seismic survey, the biggest onshore seismic survey in Australia. To get here requires a flight from Adelaide to Moomba and then a 2 hour drive across the border to Queensland. Here is an example of a day working on the acquisition of a seismic survey
The alarm goes off and it is time for breakfast. I head over to the dining room have something quick to eat before the 5.45am toolbox meeting where we will be discussing today's activities and any safety considerations.
Drive out to site, this morning I will be helping the crew lay down geophones. These are small sensors that record movement of the ground and convert it into an electrical current. The measurements that these take can then be converted into a seismic image which is interpreted to determine where there may be some new oil and gas fields.
After stomping in geophones all morning it is time for ‘smoko;. We take a quick break. I am then picked up by the ‘bird dog’ – another name for the head supervisor of the seismic operation. This morning we are checking for any cultural heritage sites in the vicinity of our seismic survey and making sure we have made proper provisions to ensure that the seismic traffic doesn’t disturb any of the sites. These are marked on a map and sent to any operators so they know to avoid the sites. While doing this we get to observe a lot of wildlife and see some cool aboriginal artefacts.
It is now time for lunch. We have something to eat while enjoying the view. It is then off to check on the seismic vibrators. This is a truck that is capable of injecting low-frequency vibrations into the earth. These are then reflected by the different geological layers and measured by the geophones that we were laying down earlier.
Today I get to ride in one of these trucks to observe the sweep (the frequency of the sound that is injected into the earth).
Time for another break. It is then time to head to the observers shack. This is a mobile shack where all the data that is recorded streams into. It can then be checked for quality. They are also able to observe any problems that may be occurring on the survey such as broken geophones.
After observing the data in the shack for the last few hours. It is time to head back to camp and have dinner. I then go for a quick run around the camp site and watch the sun set.
It is then time to relax and get some rest to prepare for the next day!