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GEOPHYSICS. VOL. 49. NO. 6 (JUNE 1984); P. 732-740, II FIGS.

Seismic vibrator control and the downgoing P-wave

J. J. SaIlas*

ABSTRACT
free surface of a semi-infinite isotropic solid.” In it the relation-
While the need for phase compensation is well es- ship between stress applied to the surface of a half-space and
tablished, the best method to measure the seismic vibra- far-field particle motion was investigated. For an isotropic
tor output is not. Phase control of the force exerted by a homogeneous lossless half-space, downhole particle displace-
seismic vibrator upon the earth’s surface (ground force) ment and surface stress applied uniformly over a disc are in
is shown to be useful in producing consistent downhole phase except for an ideal time delay.
P-wave signatures. Experimental results are presented Castanet et al. (1965) were the first to develop a practical
which compare the downhole correlation wavelets pro- method of measuring the force applied by a seismic vibrator to
duced by phase-locking to ground force; reaction mass the earth’s surface. If some simplifying assumptions are made,
acceleration and baseplate acceleration as changes in Castanet’s weighted sum of reaction mass acceleration and
vibrator type, sweep bandwidth, drive level, and cou- baseplate acceleration can be used to approximate ground
pling medium are made. The empirical results support force over the seismic frequency band. Rickenbacker (1981)
earlier theoretical work which predicts with suitable as- exploited Castanet et al’s result to produce a system useful for
sumptions that ground force and far-field particle dis- controlling the peak force amplitude output of a seismic vibra-
placement are in phase except for a time delay. tor to ensure that decoupling does not occur.
Lerwill (1981) proposed using reaction mass acceleration for
a phase feedback signal. Lerwill compared uphole VibroseisTM
INTRODUCTION wavelets produced by phase-locking to mass acceleration and
baseplate acceleration on different surfaces. For the sweeps
Much work has been invested in improving the vibrator compared, the reaction mass acceleration phase-locked loop
phase controller to assure that a zero phase (or at least a known produced more stable wavelets than the conventional baseplate
phase) wavelet will result from the crosscorrelation of the vibra- acceleration method. Good agreement between empirical
tor output and the reference (pilot) sweep. SEG standards and measurements of earth compliance and a model based upon the
general usage define vibrator output in terms of baseplate radiation impedance theorized by Miller and Pursey (1954)
motion (displacement, velocity, or acceleration). Two other were reported. Also the model and empirical results produced
feedback signals have been recently proposed for phase con- by Lerwill are in good agreement with a much earlier work by
trol : reaction mass acceleration and ground force. The content Sung (1953).
of this paper is limited to (1) an explanation of how ground Sallas and Weber (1982), in a reply to Lerwill, presented an
force may be measured; (2) a review of earlier theoretical re- analytic expression relating ground force and reaction mass
sults; (3) introduction of a means of band-pass filtering first acceleration. For Lerwill’s vibrator and earth model, wavelets
arrivals from downhole data; and (4) comparison of empirical produced by ground force phase lock and reaction mass accel-
data obtained downhole using ground force, reaction mass, and eration phase lock were shown to be in phase at low frequencies
baseplate acceleration phase feedback. The empirical studies with increased phase shift as frequency increased.
were conducted on three GSI vibrator types equipped with TI Many of the practical advantages mentioned for reaction
MOD IIIA electronics. The vibrators used included X2/TR-4 mass acceleration control are also afforded by ground force
(30,000 Ibf), an X-3/TR-4 (45,000 lbf) and the ERV (78,000 Ibf control. The most significant’practical advantage of both meth-
experimental vibrator). The numbers in parentheses are the ods is a cleaner feedback signal on which to phase-lock than
rated actuator forces, and they are the product of the actuator that afforded by baseplate acceleration. Out of the three phase-
piston area and system pressure (3000 psi) for each vibrator. lock control methods, ground force has the potential for pro-
Furthermore, the effect of changes in sweep bandwidth, near- ducing consistent wavelets.
surface conditions, and drive level are included.
In 1954, Miller and Pursey published a paper entitled “The
field:and radiation impedance of mechanical radiators on the T”Registeredtrademarkof Conoco Inc.

Presentedin part at the 52nd Annual International SEC Meeting October 19, 1982, in Dallas. Manuscript received by the Editor October 3, 1983;
revised manuscript received December 12, 1983.
*Geophysical Service Inc., P.O. Box 225621, MS 3904, Dallas, TX 75265.
:(” 1984 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved.

732
Seismic Vibrator Control 733

THE GROUND FORCE MEASUREMENT

Definition of terms

The mechanical vibrator model is represented in Figure la.


Figure 1b is a representation of the earth’s impedance as seen
by the vibrator. The variables are defined as follows:

X, = Reaction mass displacement (m). (al (b)

X, = Baseplate displacement (m).


FIG. I. (a) Mechanical model of the hydraulic vibrator actuator.
F, = Actuator force, the dynamic force exerted by the
(b) Mechanical ground impedance model.
hydraulic fluid upon the actuator piston (N).
F, = Dynamic force exerted by the vehicle frame upon
the baseplate due to vehicle vibration. F, acts upon
the baseplate through airbag acoustic isolators
(N). vibrator may not be in phase. Therefore, even though two
F, = Compressive force exerted by the earth upon the vibrators may be phase-locked perfectly to the pilot and on
baseplate (N). An equal and opposite force is also identical soil, there is a definite possibility that the downgoing
exerted at the same time by the baseplate upon the pressure wave may not completely reinforce (especially at high
earth as shown in Figure 1b. frequencies). This does not present a problem to ground force
M, = Mass of the reaction mass (kg). phase lock since a direct control over the force applied to the
M, = Mass of the baseplate (kg). earth is exerted. A second problem peculiar to both baseplate
K, = Spring constant for the actuator oil column due to and reaction mass phase lock is that when the baseplate loses
oil compressibility (N/m). contact with the earth, it will continue to accelerate and its
D, = Dashpot constant for the actuator which accounts sensor will continue to produce a signal which is no longer
for lossesin the oil column due to leakage (N s/m). representative of the earth’s motion. Similarly with reaction
K, = Ground spring constant (N/m). mass phase lock, actuator force is still required to accelerate the
D, = Ground damping coefficient (N s/m). baseplate mass even when the baseplate is in mid-air. Hence,
the potential exists for the generation of an erroneous feedback
Equations of motion
signal bearing no relation to what is happening at the earth’s
surface during separation.
Assuming the reaction mass and baseplate act as rigid
bodies, the actuator model of Figure la has the equations of
FAR-FIELD PARTICLE MOTION
motion :

-F,=M,X,+D,(Xi,-~i,)+K,(X,-xX,), (1) Definition of the variables

F, + F, - F, = M, ri’, - D, (yi, - 8,) - K, (X, - X,) (2)


Assume that a sinusoidal uniform vertical stress is applied to
Summing equations (1) and (2), one obtains the free surface of a half-space over a small disc region. The
problem is to determine the vertical displacement of a particle
F,-F,=M,X,fMJ,. (3) located at great depth directly beneath the radiator. The vari-
If the vehicle is vibrationally isolated from the baseplate for ables used for this geometry are defined as follows:
frequencies in the range of interest, forces transmitted through
the airbag isolators to the baseplate can be neglected. For most B = Radius of the disc over which stress is ap-
seismic vibrators in use today the vehicle is effectively isolated plied(m).
at frequencies above 3 Hz. Simplifying equation (3), Z = Particle depth(m).
C, = Effective compressional elastic constant
-F, = M,X, + M,X,. (4)
(N/m’).
Therefore, one method of obtaining a signal proportional to the o = Amplitude of the pressure applied to the
dynamic force applied to the earth is to form a weighted sum of half-space (N/m’).
calibrated accelerometers mounted on the reaction mass and p = Density of the half-space material (kg/m3).
baseplate assemblies. An insight into one problem that may be W = Frequency of perturbation (s- ‘).
encountered with reaction mass acceleration phase lock can be X(Z, W) = Particle displacement phasor at depth Z and
found by examining equation (1). As suggested by Lerwill, the frequency W, where positive displacement is
mass accelerometer provides a good approximation to the ac- downward (m).
tuator force when operating below the oil column resonance A(Z, W) = Particle acceleration phasor at depth Z and
and when leakage terms can be ignored. The problem is com- frequency W (m/s’).
plicated when two or more vibrators are to be synchronized. If F4( W) = Ground force phasor applied to the surface
the oil column resonance is different for each vibrator, or one at frequency W(N).
vibrator has a greater leakage due to wear, the actuator force V, = Compressional wave velocity in the half-
and, more importantly, the force applied to the earth by each space (m/s).
734 Sallas

Q = The reciprocal of the specific dissipation con- TLP TLP


stant. For a lossless medium Q will be infi-
nite.

HTLP HTLP

FIG. 3. Block diagram of a tracking filter useful for extracting


0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 first arrival wavelets.
FREQUENCY (HZ)

NOTES: . FG CONSTANT 30,000 LBF WITH FREQUENCY


p=2 g/CC, Z = 153 M (500 FT)
VP = 1829 M/SEC (6000 FT/SEC)

. SCALE : 0 DB (0 .l Gs)

FIG. 2. Effect of Q on downhole acceleration in a homogeneous provides only a first-order approximation and does not explain
material. the minimum phase dispersion observed in real data. Aki and
Richards (1980) recently developed a more elaborate absorp-
tion model which includes dispersion. In this vein, one can
write

C, = C,(l + j/Q). (8)


Fundamental theoretical results
Substitute equation (8) into equation (7). Assume Q is greater
For the case where the applied compressive stress is sinu- than 10 to yield approximation (9),
soidal and of amplitude o, Miller and Pursey (1954) showed A(Z, W)/F,(W) = [ - W2/(2XC,Z)]R(Z, W). (9)
that downhole far-field particle displacement and applied sur-
face stress are in phase except for an ideal time delay as shown exp C-jWZJ12G13
in equation (5), where j is the square root of - 1. Particle where
displacement is also in phase except for a time delay for points
not directly below the source; however, amplitude is affected: R(Z W) = exp C(- WZPQ)~I. (10)
XG, W = CBZa/W,Z)l expC-.WZJblC,)l. (5)
Equation (10) may be rewritten in terms of the P-wave veloc-
Working under the same set of assumptions, and in particu- ity. Use the P-wave velocity
lar the condition that no horizontal components of stress are
present at the interface between baseplate and the earth surface, v, = &Z (11)
an extension of equation (5) can be obtained. Ground force is to rewrite equation (9)
merely the applied vertical compressive stress applied to the
earth integrated over the baseplate area. If the stress is assumed 4‘ ,(-T WIF,Pv = c-w2/(2vv;z)1’
uniform, ground force is the stress times the baseplate contact
area. For this case, equation (5) may be rewritten as a transfer
ew [ - WZIVQ VP)1
function exp [ -jWZ/V,]. (12)

XV, V/F,(W) = C1/(2~C,Z)lew C-jWZJZjl. (6) As can be seen, downhole particle acceleration at a fixed
depth increases with frequency squared if a force of constant
Equation (6) may be rewritten in terms of particle acceler-
amplitude is applied. As depth increases in a lossy medium,
ation by twice differentiating particle displacement with respect
absorption quickly overcomes this boost. Furthermore, particle
to time Since I am concerned with only sinusoidal force inputs,
motion is greater in a low-velocity medium than in a high-
differentiation in time amounts to multiplication by jW. The
velocity material. The amplitude of particle motion is extremely
result is equation (7):
sensitive to the compressional wave velocity of the material.
AK Y/F,(W) = C-W2/(2~C,Z)1 exp C-jWZJiZj1. For a low-velocity material the particle acceleration-versus-
frequency curve is shifted upward, but for the same Q the
(7) high-frequency roll-off will begin sooner than in a high-velocity
The term C, is the effective compressional constant for the medium. Figure 2 depicts the effect of changes of Q on particle
medium. The above results are for a losslessearth. The effect of acceleration when a constant amplitude force is applied.
an earth with finite Q can be approximated in equation (7) by Another very important result which follows from equation
including an imaginary term in the compressional elastic con- (12) is that a zero-phase wavelet should be produced by cross-
stant. This method of accounting for frictional losses and other correlation of the pilot and a downhole accelerometer output
loss mechanisms has been widely used in the literature. This when a P-wave vibrator is phase-locked to -F, Because the
Seismic Vibrator Control 735

1 BEFORE FILTER required. In this case. S is a time advanced version of the


downhole accelerometer and SF must be time delayed on
output to effect no delay through the algorithm. The low-pass
filters are chosen based on the FM sweep parameters such as
sweep rate and minimum frequency in the sweep. Then the filter
cutoff is chosen so that late arrivals will be rejected. Two
low-pass filters were used: 1.O Hz on the l&l 10 Hz, 5 s sweeps
and 1.5 Hz on the 8180 Hz, 6 s sweeps. The resulting tracking
band-pass filters have 2 Hz and 3 Hz bandwidths, respectively.
These provide roughly a +50 ms time window about the first
arrival, so that effects of late arrivals in the computation of the
downhole first arrival power spectrum are minimized. In addi-
AFTER FILTER (3 HZ BW)
T tion, because of the low bandwidth, source-generated harmon-
ics are rejected. Iterative zero-phase low-pass filters were em-
ployed to reduce the effects of windowing (see Papoulis, 1975).
One-way travel time to 300 ft, the shallowest geophone, was
measured to be 80 ms using two methods (cap detonated at the
surface and measurement from the Vibroseis wavelet). Figure 4
displays a typical downhole wavelet at the GSI Sherman, Texas
test site before and after filtering. Note most of the late arrivals
-1 I I I I I 1 have been knocked out and the first arrival wavelet signature is
-200 -100 TLE (M:::) 200 300
preserved. Note also there is some reverberation still present in
the processed wavelet, probably due to near-surface multiples
having arrived inside the time window.
FE. 4. Performance of the tracking filter on a 300-ft downhole
correlated wavelet. (An X2/TR-4 source was used in an 8180
Hz, 6 s FM sweep.)
EMPIRICAl. RESL’LTS

Test site description

phase dispersive nature of absorption has not been incorpor- The initial experiment was conducted in August, 1982 at the
ated into equation (12) some deviation from zero phase can be GSI Sherman test site located one mile northeast of the junc-
expected in a lossy medium. tion of Texas FM902 and US Highway 75. The top soil is black
gumbo over caliche. The subsurface lithology follows the Ciulf
EXTRACTING THE FIRST ARRIVAL series. A IOOO-fthole is located at the site which is steel cased
for 20 ft with the remainder uncased. Wall clamping geophones
are installed at lOO-ft intervals beginning at 100 ft. with the last
The hand-pass tracking filter
at 1000 ft. The vibrators were shaken on a compacted area 20 ft
Thus far the vibrator candidate feedback control signals have from the well head.
been introduced. After some simplifying assumptions a special In June, 1983, a second experiment was conducted at the
relationship between one of these candidates, ground force, and same site. In April, 1983, sandpits were constructed at the site.
downhole particle motion has been presented. In order to test The pit used (10 ft square and 6 ft deep) was filled with Red
the validity of the theory in practice, it is useful to extract the River sand and compacted. The purpose of this second experi-
first P-wave arrival from downhole data. Figure 3 depicts a ment was to examine the effect of changes in the near-surface
tracking filter useful for eliminating sources of late arrivals from on downhole signatures. Unfortunately, valid data could not be
the data; Rayleigh and shear waves, multiple reflections, and obtained from a second sand pit which was thoroughly wa-
also the effects of source generated distortion need to be filtered tered. The surface would not support the vibrator vehicle
out. weight. Also, sweeps were run at different drive levels to find
The block diagram in Figure 3 is useful in understanding the out what effect source amplitude might have on downhole
operation of an off-line tracking band-pass filter that is capable signatures.
of extracting first arrivals. The raw sensor signal S is hetero-
dyned (multiplied) with a taperless (unit amplitude) version of August, 1982 experimental results
the pilot TLP in the upper leg and with the Hilbert transformed
taperless pilot HTLP in the lower leg. The outputs of the Figures 5 and 6 depict the phase and amplitude relationships
multiplier are low-pass filtered LPF to yield signals A and 9. between the candidate phase feedback signals as measured on
Signals A and B are the amplitudes of the components in the the three vibrators, If the earth radiation impedance model of
sensor signal which are coherent with the pilot at its instanta- Figure lb is used at low frequencies, the earth looks like a
neous frequency. By remixing and summing, a filtered sensor spring and therefore - FG and riB should be in phase. At high
signal SF is produced. (A2 + B’)’ ’ is the amplitude of the frequencies the radiation impedance tends to look more like a
fundamental component of the sensor coherent with the pilot. dashpot, and positive ground force and baseplate velocity will
For downhole signals knowledge of the first arrival time is be in phase. Therefore in this frequency region ~~ should lag
9

Sallas

20 ERV

gc~_.~~~.~.~~~
0

-20 1
0
I 20 40
I

60
I
80 100
I I
120
1
140 160 180

FREQUENCY (HZ)

0 20 40 60 BO 100 120 140 160 180 NOTE: FG - 0 DB (8820 LBF), ik AND ib - 0 DB (2.1 Gs)

FREQUENCY (HZ)
FIG. 6. Comparison of the fundamental amplitude of the candi-
date phase feedback signals as measured on three vibrator
FIG. 5. Comparison of the phase of baseplate acceleration (XiB) types.
and reaction mass acceleration (XR) referred to negative
ground force (- FG) as measured on three vibrator types.

-FG, approaching -90 degrees. Applying the same earth


model and equations (I) and (2) it can be shown that ;rid
referred to -FG should be in phase at low frequencies and
approach 90 degrees of lead at high frequency.
The data of Figures 5 and 6 are useful for predicting charac-
teristics of the downhole wavelets as phase feedback methods
are changed. The phase curves were generated from the 8-180
Hz, 6 s and 0.5 s cosine taper sweep. The abrupt phase change

4
below 20 Hz occurs within the taper time where amplitudes
were low. The greatest difference in downhole wavelet shape as
phase feedback signals are changed should occur when phase
differences between the candidates are emphasized by high
ground force amplitude. If the phase difference between the
three feedback signals is small or they disagree when ground
force is small, there will be no perceptible difference in the
unwhitened wavelets.
The greatest difference in downhole wavelets produced by
the X2/TR-4 on this soil should be expected between those
produced by ground force (- FG) and mass acceleration #id)
methods. At high ground force levels, the phase difference
between -FG and 8d is from 45 to 90 degrees, while the

L
difference between - FG and _%iBis from 20 to 50 over the same
interval. The same analysis applies to the X3/TR-4 phase and
amplitude data. For the X3 on a high-bandwidth sweep, if
- FG phase-locking yields a zero phase downhole wavelet, X’B
and kd should produce roughly $90 degree and -90 degree
1 I I I I
downhole accelerometer wavelets, respectively. For the ERV, , 10
downhole wavelets obtained by phase locking to AiB should
-1 -100 0 100 200 300
slightly lead those obtained by phase locking to - FG because time (MSEC)
28 slightly lags - FG. Ftc;. 7. Pilot and phase feedback signal correlagrams obtained
The assumption of rigid baseplate motion was used in the on an X3 vibrator for each of the phase-lock options.
Seismic Vibrator Control 737

X2/TR4 X3/TR4 ERV

--ir -FG

I:- -FG

-h-- -I+---I+---FG -FG -FG

0 100 200 300 0 100 200 300 0 100 200 300


time (MSEC)

FIG. 8. Crosscorrelation of pilot and filtered 500-ft downhole acceleration obtained for three vibrator types. Upper three rows of
wavelets obtained on a l&l 10 Hz, 5 s sweep. Bottom three rows used an 8-180 Hz, 6 s sweep.
Sallas

-FG ii3

0
-II+- 100 200 300 0 100 200 300 0
+

100 200 300


time (MSEC)

FIG. 9. Comparison of first arrival downhole wavelets with depth. (X3,/TR-4 vibrator, 8~ 180 Hz, 6 s.)

-20r x2 development of the relationship used to approximate ground


force. The baseplate motion sensor monitors the acceleration at
the center of the plate. At frequencies above 100 Hz the motion
of the edge of the baseplate is out of phase with the center. In
-60 Figures 5 and 6 the phase and amplitude of the baseplate with
respect to negative ground force varies with vibrator type.
These data were taken on the same clay surface for each vibra-
tor. The ERV and X3 baseplates had 14 percent greater area
4
_ -*Or x3
and were stiffer than the X2 baseplate. The data presented give
the appearance that the vibrators saw different radiation im-
pedances on the same surface. The discrepancy is probably due
more to the inaccuracies of measuring the earth surface motion
with the baseplate accelerometer than with the rigid body
assumption used to formulate - FG. The reason follows. Over
the frequency range of interest, the reaction mass is rigid and its
acceleration provides a large component of the ground force
-20 estimate. For these vibrators the mass ratio of reaction mass to
ERV
[ baseplate assembly is greater than 1.3 : 1. Second, the stilts and
actuator rod are part of the baseplate assembly and their mass
is included in the ground force formula. The stilt and rod mass
-60 is equal to the mass of the plate alone, and vertical resonances
in these assemblies are outside the seismic band. Over the
-80 ’ I I 1 I I 1 I 1 1 seismic band, acceleration measured at the top cross of the
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180
vibrators is essentially in phase with acceleration measured
FREQUENCY (HZ)
down on the baseplate in its center region. Therefore the top
cross acceleration provides a good measure of the acceleration
NOTES: 0 RECORDED ACCELEROMETER OUTPUT
HAS BEEN FILTERED TO YIELD POWER of over half of the mass of the baseplate assembly.
SPECTRUM OF FIRST ARRIVAL Good similarities were obtained on all three vibrators when
. SCALE: 0 DB (0.10 Gs) phase-locked to the various candidate phase feedback signals.
FIG. 10. Output measured downhole for three vibrator types. Figure 7 is a representative example of the zero-phase wavelets
(8-l 80 Hz, 6 s, 0.5 s taper sweep.) obtained when the pilot was crosscorrelated to the phase feed-
Seismic Vibrator Control 739

-FG

0 100 200 0 100 200 0 100 200


time (MSEC)

FIG. 11. Comparison of filtered 700-ft downhole wavelets produced by X3/TR-4 vibrator for different phase control methods. (Top
rowdry clay, high force output; center-dry clay, low force output; bottomdry sand. 8180 Hz, 6 s sweep.)

back signal used for control in that sweep. For all records of very short delay multiples. Note also that Q is generally a
displayed, the phase error between the pilot against which the depth-dependent quantity. O’Doherty and Anstey (1971) dis-
data was correlated and the appropriate phase feedback signal cussed the difficulty in discerning which mechanism is respon-
was less than 2 degrees over the entire central portion of the sible for the high-frequency cut.
sweep, i.e., from the end of taper up to the beginning of the
taper down.
Figure 8 depicts the first arrival 500-ft downhole wavelet June, 1983 experimental results
signature measured for each of the three vehicles on the two
different bandwidth sweeps. As can be seen, the downhole Figure 11 shows the 700-ft downhole first arrival wavelets
wavelet obtained by -FG phase-lock is close to zero phase in obtained on dry clay at high and low ground force output levels
each case. The phases of the wavelets produced by utilizing the with an X3/TR-4 vibrator. The wavelets lack some of the
other candidates appear more variable as frequency parameters high-frequency content evident in the initial test. In the earlier
are changed using the same vehicle. They appear to vary more test, the X2 and ERV data were taken with no linear taper on
also as vehicle type is changed. Their relative character is the vibrator drive signal. The X3 was set up to use ramp drive.
consistent with results predicted by examination of the phase (Ramp drive enhances X3 power output above 80 Hz. The
and amplitude plots measured for each of the candidate feed- ground force curve of Figure 6 shows this boost.) For the June,
back signals. 1983 tests, the X3/TR-4 instrument was operated without ramp
Figure 9 demonstrates how the wavelet shape changes with drive or any linear taper, resulting in a flat ground force ampli-
depth for the high bandwidth sweep on the X3/TR-4. Note that tude between 6&160 Hz.
the zero phase of the wavelet produced by -FG phase lock is For all tests, the pilot used for correlation was of flat ampli-
closely preserved to the lOOO-ftdepth. tude within the central portion of the sweep. The ground force
Figure 10 shows the amplitude of the first arrival wavelets for amplitude for the high output setting (Figure 11) was 7 dB
each of the vibrators on the 8-180 Hz sweep at various depths. (same scale as Figure 6) and 0 dB for the low setting over the
Note the upward trend with frequency as predicted by equation central part of the sweep. As can be seen, there is a slight
(12). These plots have not been normalized by the amplitude of increase in phase lag in all of the wavelets presented as level is
FG, but by referring back to Figure 6, the ground force ampli- increased.
tude is seen to be relatively flat or decreasing out to 80 Hz. The Also in Figure 11 are the wavelets produced by an X3/TR-4
leveling off and downturn of downhole amplitude in the 60 to on sand. The ground force amplitude was measured to be about
160 Hz range may be attributed to absorption and/or the effect 3.0 dB in the central region of the sweep with a significant
740 Sallas

reduction in output below 30 Hz and higher output between Seismic vibrator control based on ground force provides an
4&70 Hz. A comparison of the high drive level on dry clay and alternative to the baseplate acceleration method used in the
sand data shows little change in the ground force wavelets and past. It offers the advantage of producing a more consistent
a significant change in the phase of the wavelets produced by downhole wavelet than the other methods studied. Fur-
the Sd or .,?iBphase lock. A comparison of low drive level and thermore, the theory upon which ground force phase control is
sand data does show some change in the phase of all wavelets. based predicts downhole wavelet characteristics which are con-
sistent with empirical measurements.
CONCLUSION

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Ground force polarity recommendation
Many people in Geophysical Service Inc. participated in this
Baseplate acceleration phase-lock is the most predominant study. I wish to thank them for their help. Special thanks to
method of controlling vibrators in use today. For ground force Eric Amiot for processing the data, Dick Weber for his insights
phase-lock use, I recommend that -FG and the pilot be in into the mechanical problems, Cam Wason for his recommen-
phase. For most sweeps below 100 Hz, raw data collected using dations, Joyce Barker for preparing the artwork, and George
both methods would compare most closely. Wood for securing funding for this project,

Future study REFERENCES


Aki, K., and Richards, P. E., 1980, Quantitative seismology theory and
To quantify the effect of baseplate flexing on the ground force
methods, v. 1: San Francisco, W. H. Freeman and Co.
estimate, another experiment needs to be conducted. Load cells Castanet. A., Ruell-Malmaison, and Lavergne, M.. 1965, Vibrator con-
mounted over the contact surface of the baseplate provide trolling system: U.S. pat. 3,208,550.
Lerwill. W. E., 1981, The amplitude and phase response of a seismic
direct measure of the force applied to the earth. A weighted sum vibrator: Geophys. Prosp., v. 29, p. 5033528.
of these sensor outputs provides an independent measure of the Miller. G. F., and Pursey, H., 1954, The field and radiation pattern of
total force applied to the earth by the vibrator. This direct mechanical radiators on the free surface of a semi-infinite isotropic
solid: Proc. Roy. Sot. (London), Ser A, v. 223, p, 521-541.
measurement may then be compared with the estimated O’Doherty, R. F., and Anstey, N. A., 1971, Reflection on amplitudes:
ground force and the effectiveness of the approximation may be Geophys. Prosp.. v. 19, p. 45&458.
Papoulis, A.. 1975, A new algorithm in spectral analysis and band-
evaluated.
limited extrapolation: Inst. Electr. and Electron. Eng. Trans., Cir-
cuits and Systems, v. 22, p. 735-742.
Rickenbacker, J. E., 1980, Measurement and control of the output force
Closing remarks ofa seismic vibrator: U.S. pat. 4,184,144.
Sallas. J. J.. and Weber. R. M., 1982, Comments on “The amplitude
Vibrators are naturally limited in their output by their hold- and phase of a seismic vibrator” by W. E. Lerwill: Geophys. Prosp.,
v. 30, p. 935-938.
down weight. In order to get the maximum useful output from Sung, T. Y., 1953, Vibrations in semi-infinite solids due to periodic
a seismic vibrator, ground force amplitude control is necessary. loadings: D.Sc. thesis, Harvard.