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Exercises - Environmental and Engineering Geophysics

III -07.10.2010
Amplitudes, Survey Parameters, Refraction Seismics
1. a.) A 20 Hz harmonic seismic wave travels with 5 km/s a distance of 1000m through a
homogeneous medium. The medium has an absorption coefficient 0.25 dB/. What is the
wave attenuation in dB due solely to absorption?
Hints: Calculate and use wavelength of wave.
b.) A wave with =100 m propagates through a homogeneous medium. Between two
detectors at radial distances of 1 km and 2 km the wave amplitude is attenuated by 10 dB.
Calculate the contribution of geometrical spreading to this value of attenuation and the
contribution of absorption by denoting the absorption coefficient of the medium in dB/.
Hints: Make use of the dB formula (script) to express geometrical spreading in dB.
ANSWERS:
a.) The wavelength of the harmonic wave is:

==

Absorption coefficient is = 0.25

5000
20

= 250 .

. To calculate the total attenuation of the energy

in dB the following dB formula has to be used:

. = 10 log

= 20 log =

0
= 8.65 1 = 8,65

20 log() = 8.65

b.) First the contribution of spreading to the total attenuation of 10 dB is determined. We


compare the amplitudes at 1000 m distance and 2000 m distance and make use of the
fact that the amplitude of a spherical wave decreases with 1/r:
1000
1/
10 log
= 10 log
= 10 log(2) = 3
2000
1/2

Assuming that the only attenuation processes are those of spreading and absorption
we determine the attenuation due to absorption in dB by the difference

= = 10 3 = 7

With the dB formula for absorption we determine the absorption coefficient :


= 7 = 8.65

1000
= 8.65
= 0.08

100

2. A geophysical signal is digitzed with a sampling interval of t = 4 ms.


a.) What is the Nyquist frequency?
b.) At what frequency would noise at 200 Hz be aliased back into the Nyquistinterval, if
the recording instrument would not have an antialiasing filter incorporated?
Hints: Use Nyquist as mirror frequency
ANSWERS:

a.) = = . =

b.) There is a linear relationship between input and output frequency with as the limit.
All frequencies higher than will be folded back to frequencies between 0 Hz and
, this is called aliasing. The difference between 200 Hz and 125 Hz is 75 Hz.
This difference subtracted from = 125 Hz is the apparent frequency of the aliased
signal, which is in this case 50 Hz. The formula for the output frequency in
dependence of the input frequency and the Nyquist frequency is:
=

Output frequency (Hz)

The graphical solution is:

125
50

125

200

250
375
Input frequency (Hz)

500

3. You are responsible for the setup and parameter choice of a recording system used during
a seismic survey. You know that the interesting frequencies are between 30 Hz and 400
Hz.
a.) Which sampling interval should be used for this measurement?
b.) What is the Nyquist frequency for the used sampling interval?
c.) The target of the measurements is situated at about 300 m depth.
The maximum offset used is 200 m. You can assume that the seismic
velocities are between 1000 m/s and 2000 m/s (obtained from e.g.
Refraction measurements). How long should the recording time for every shot be?
d.) The measurements, for which you determined the parameters in (a) and (b),
are measured with a 120-channel-System. The system stores the data using 4-bytes per
value. How much space on a hard drive is needed for 600 shots?
e.) The Geophones have a separation of 5m. Every 20m a shot is fired.
What is the fold using a 80 channel system.
ANSWERS:
a.) To successfully record a maximum frequency of 400 Hz the sampling interval has to
be chosen in a way that the Nyquist freqncy is 400 Hz as well. With t = 1 / (2*400) =
0.00125 s = 1.25 ms this is ensured.
b.) 400 Hz.
c.) In order to record reflections from 300 m depth all along the recording line of 200 m
length we have to calculate the maximum distance travelled:
= 2 3002 + 2002 = 632.46

We assume that the velocities in the survey area are somewhere between 1000 and
2000 m/s. Taking the slowest case of 1000 m/s and the maximum travel distance of
632.46 m we can calculate the minimum recording time necessary to be:
=

632.46
=
= 0.63

1000

d.) To determine the necessary space on the hard drive all samples on every of the 120
traces for a recording time of 0.63 s have to be determined for all the 600 shots. With
the information that one sample needs 4 bytes we calculate the total number of bytes:
120 600

0.63
4 = 145717755
0.00125

Converted into MB hard drive space:

145717755
139
1024 1024
e.) Formula for fold: = (Nchannels*chan) / (2*shot) = (80*5) / (2*20) = 10 fold

4. The following dataset was obtained from a reversed seismic refraction line 275 m long.
The survey was carried out in a level area of alluvial cover to determine depths to the
underlying bedrock surface. Carry out a plus-minus interpretation of the data and
comment briefly on the resultant bedrock profile.
Hints: T- term for velocity, T+ term for depth

Offset (m)

12.5

25

37.5

50

75

100

125

150

175

200

225

250

275

Shot (ms)
Countershot
(ms)

12.5

19

25

37 42.5 48.5

53

57

61.5

66

71

76.5

12.5

17

52

59

65.5

71

76.5

19.5 25 30.5 37.5 45.5

ANSWER:
First a traveltime diagram should be plotted to determine offset zones of direct waves and
head waves of shot and countershot respectively. Note that the spacing is denser close to
the shot.

The plus-minus method can only be applied where on both shots the arrival times are
caused by head waves, this is the area between 75 m and 250 m distance away from the
shot. However, using the travel time diagram we estimate the velocity of the alluvial cover
by taking the inverse slope of the direct wave of the shot, which is between 0 m and 75 m.
The regression line and the velocity of the direct wave of the shot is:
=

= 0.496 1 = 2016 /
1

Now the terms can be calculated between 75 m and 250 m by using:


= =

(2 )
+ , + ,
2

Where is the offset, the length of the profile, 2the velocity of the bedrock and ,
and , are the delay times of the shout and countershot respectively. Both delay
times are naturally included in the recorded travel times. From the equation we see,
that 2 can be determined by the slope of :

The plot of versus X looks like:

The regression line is plotted in red. 2 is 2 over the slope of the regression line.
2 =

2
= 4397 /
0.4548

In order to determine the depth to bedrock the + term has to be determined:


1
+ = +
2

where is the travel time from the shot or countershhot to the last geofone,
which is 76.5 ms. The plot of + is:

And the depth to bedrock is (see Keary & Brooks p.107):


=

+ 1 2

22 12

Interpretation:
Even when the surface is flat, we see a distinct slope of the bedrock. We can interpret the
setting as a valley, originated by fluvial or glacial processes, which was later filled by
landslides (alluvial kind) from the surrounding mountain slopes.