Blog & News

Celebrating UK Geophysical Success

Mon 05 February 2018

Category: Community, Geophysics, PETEX

Article by Steve Pickering
(on behalf of the PESGB Geophysics Special Interest Group Mike Golding, Jim Henderson, Norman Hempstead, Nick Bright, Aaron Lockwood and Jason Sutton) 

I will always remember my first experience of onshore UK land seismic acquisition.  As a junior operations geophysicist with Hamilton Brothers Oil and Gas in 1983, I was supervising a 2D Vibroseis seismic acquisition on licence XL213.  The licence lay in beautiful English countryside between the towns of Salisbury and Shaftsbury, the weather was glorious and the survey traversed country roads and bridle paths, idyllic!

The contract included a refraction crew for obtaining near surface velocity profiles of the weathered layer.  The source was a 14lb sledge hammer and a metal plate laid on the ground, I could hardly wield the hammer above my head.  The results were terrible we could not see any direct arrival energy.  Undaunted the Party Chief told me to come back the next day, which I duly did, to be presented with magnificent records with clear refracted energy.  How did you solve this problem I asked?  The Party Chief took me to the latest technology innovation – a 14lb sledged hammer with two 7lb sledge hammers welded on either side! I tried to lift it but failed to raise it more than a few inches!  But I raised my hat to the real-time innovation shown by the crew, congratulations.

This year the PESGB Geophysics Special Interest Group will exhibit at the PETEX conference at Olympia, 27-29 November,  we are looking to tell your stories as part of our exhibit to celebrate the success of the geophysics industry both onshore UK and on the UKCS.  See

Come and join us, and share your anecdotes, photos, models, and equipment from the surface and subsurface.  Unfortunately we do not have room for complete seismic vessel but will do our best to accommodate all other offers.  All equipment will be returned, if you want to participate drop me an email, more important spread the word and tell your friends and colleagues.

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