Geophysical Journal | 2001 volume 23 1

Design and field application of a portable weight-drop source for seismic exploration

© Lewis Charles, Yu Ting-To, Wang Chih-Hang

The weight-drop, an active surface seismic source, has been used, though quite minimally, in hydrocarbon exploration for the past 45 years. Such a source is quite expensive and because of its heavy weight is usually restricted to roads or desert areas. In this study we discuss the basic design and field application of a portable weight-drop, which can be used for shallow oil and gas exploration, as well as for academic purposes involving general geologic and geophysical field reconnaissance. This source uses a tripod to hoist weights up to 540 kg and drop them from a maximum height of three meters. The entire weight-drop apparatus can be easily transported by a small truck. Low cost, portability, and depth of penetration make the weight-drop described herein a viable option to expensive explosive charge surveys and to very shallow penetrating sledge hammer energy sources in some areas. Keywords: weight-drop, seismic energy source, seismic exploration.

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