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Any device that releases acoustic energy could be considered a seismic source, and there are many. Historically, one would think that just about everything imaginable has been used. However, amazingly, folks are still coming up with new ideas, or more often, a new twist on an old idea that had previously created problems – some of which can now be solved. This article takes a look at the past, and then presents new, non-explosive devices.
It was 1921 in south Oklahoma when reflection seismic was first used for subsurface imaging.1 Since then, the source has played an essential role as one of the three basic elements needed for seismic reflection work, the other two being receiver and processing. Explosives were used in the first experiments, and still hold a prominent place on land, mostly because they give a crisp signal at broad frequencies, especially at the high end...
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