Welcome to the University of rizona Dept. of Geosciences
Reflection Seismology Program


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Geophysical Facilities

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Constantly Evolving to Meet New Challenges!

Computational Facilities.

    Our excellent, dedicated, seismological and computational facilities are exceptional for university-based geophysical and tectonic studies, and include a large, integrated network of powerful Sun servers and workstations, high-resolution graphics terminals, several microcomputers (IBM-compatible and Macintosh), and color plotting devices. All computer systems are connected through Ethernet for easy use.

    Complete land and marine reflection (and refraction) data processing and modeling software is installed on a Sun Ultra Enterprise 450 server, which is configured to perform complex seismic data analysis and other computational tasks. Data processing software includes ProMAX advanced interactive software (Landmark Graphics Corporation) and a large number of specialized processes developed at the University of Arizona.

    Interpretation of seismic data is facilitated by Landmark Graphics and GeoQuest 3-D interpretive workstation software. Sophisticated software to perform 2-D and 3-D ray-trace modeling and interactive finite difference wave-equation modeling also is integrated into this first-rate processing facility.

    Our full-time (expert!) systems analyst/manager, Stephen Sorenson, oversees operation and maintenance of the Reflection Seismology hardware and software systems. In 1997, Steve was awarded a University of Arizona Award for Excellence, one of the University's highest honors, for his outstanding contributions to the Geophysics Program, the Department of Geosciences, and the University community! Steve's principal duties include development of new seismic reflection data processing software and user assistance. Ultimately, we use geophysical techniques and data processing software as tools to investigate geological problems. We operate an evolving, innovative processing facility, using the strengths of all the available industry and locally developed software.

Seismic Data Acquisition Facilities.

    Seismic data acquisition equipment includes two 120-channel DFS-V instantaneous-floating-point recording systems, geophysical field cables, geophone strings (including 200 shear-wave geophone strings), radio firing systems, Betsy seismic source, communication radios, CDP roll-along switches, and other appropriate hardware. The main recording systems (DFS-V) are capable of recording up to 99 s of data with a 2-ms sample interval, and are mounted in an air-conditioned recording cab on a 4-wheel-drive truck. Geophones and cables are carried on two specially designed 4-wheel-drive cable trucks; these trucks are in excellent condition each with less than 40 k miles of driving use. Although not the newest technology available, DFS-V systems still are used extensively by commercial seismic companies for petroleum exploration and other geophysical studies both on land and in marine environments. These systems remain as important and proven scientific tools for seismic imaging at all scales. In addition, we use other appropriate equipment, such as high-resolution recording systems, as needed.

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