Seismic technology has helped unlock the subsurface for oil and gas exploration for decades. However, its potential to do the same in the geothermal sector has remained largely untapped due to cost and complexity. In urban and residential environments, where geothermal energy has the potential to decarbonise not only electricity but heating, seismic crews and their equipment have limited access due to the high concentration of existing infrastructure. Often, project developers must request road closures to allow the operation of vibroseis trucks and transportation of equipment.
These challenges have meant that developers have had to compromise on survey geometry, and ultimately seismic quality, by acquiring sparser and more irregular surveys. This is despite the fact that understanding the structural geology and stratigraphy of the subsurface is critical to the success of geothermal projects.
At 150g, Stryde nodes are light enough for a single person to carry 90 nodes, meaning a two-person crew can deploy and retrieve hundreds of nodes in a single shift. This reduces the need for heavy vehicles in order to transport equipment, allowing seismic contractors to work without necessitating road closures and lowering emissions associated with project development. The small size of Stryde’s nodes also allows for the discrete placement throughout an urban environment, enabling higher-density surveys.
With this innovative technology, Stryde enabled realtimeseismic to successfully conduct a variety of complex geothermal projects in Europe using their nodal system. realtimeseismic was able to shoot a city-based 3D study in just one month, versus the 6-10 months it would have once taken with traditional cabling systems due to the flexibility of the nodal system and speed at which data can be processed once the nodes are harvested.
Stryde’s size and weight also enabled realtimeseismic to complete surveys during Covid-19, when restrictions limited the number of people who could be sent on-site.
realtimeseismic were able to demonstrate that, through the use of high trace density acquisition and modern data analytics, irregularity of data due to restricted access in a city could not only still be used to generate an image of the subsurface, but even help reveal the true geology of the subsurface.
“Our vision is to accelerate seismic acquisition without compromising on quality” said Claudio Strobbia, Founder and Chief Research Scientist, realtimeseismic. “That’s why we decided to partner with Stryde. They are extremely committed, highly qualified scientists and technicians who have helped us do things that simply weren’t possible before. There’s a real sense of co-operation and a shared passion to make every project a success.”
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