What is Seismic Data?

Seismic data is the recorded sound waves off geological boundaries within the earth.  It is gathered by sending an energy pulse into the earth and then recording the sound waves that are reflected off rock layers.  The amount of time it takes for the sound waves to bounce off an obstruction and return to the surface is measured, this allows for geophysicists to determine the position of the different layers.  Seismic data provides information that can be used to map bedrock topography, detect subsurface caverns, faults and fracture zones.  All of which aid in the exploration of oil and gas by assisting in the location and identification of potential reserves.

Why is seismic data important?

The exploration in Alberta is mature and many of the large reserves have been discovered, therefore seismic data is needed to locate the more subtle features in the Alberta Basin.  The seismic is applied to stratigraphic prospects, these are changes in a single geological feature as opposed to changes in an entire structure, all of which aid in finding the elusive reserve.