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January 2018 Survey Notes

Our latest issue of Survey Notes is here!
Find articles on pursuing water and energy solutions and more.

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Utah FORGE Project Completes a Two- and Three-Dimensional Seismic Survey

Last week the Utah FORGE project completed a two- and three-dimensional seismic surveys to further characterize the project area’s buried granite reservoir. Specifically, the survey may help to identify any buried faults that might be zones of fluid flow.

Seismic surveys create subsurface images by generating, recording, and analyzing sound waves that travel through the Earth (such waves are also called seismic waves). Density changes between rock or soil layers reflect the waves back to the surface, and how quickly and strongly the waves are reflected back indicates what lies below.

For the Utah FORGE survey, vehicle-mounted vibrator plates (called vibroseis trucks) generated the source waves and a grid of geophones recorded them. The survey included two 2D surveys that were 2.5 miles long and included approximately 160 source points and geophone receivers each, and a 3D survey that covered 7 square miles and included 1,100 source points and 1,700 geophone receivers. The data is now being processed to generate a three-dimensional map of the subsurface reservoir.

For more a more information on seismic surveys see https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/survey-notes/glad-you-asked/what-are-seismic-surveys/

Vibroseis truck with geophones (black cases) in the foreground.

Vibroseis truck with pickup and workman for scale.

Vibroseis trucks in action, pads down producing seismic waves.

Utah’s fossil record is dino-mite!

Reporters Leia Larsen and Benjamin Zack sat down with James Kirkland to find out what Utah looked like 100 million years ago and learn about the discovery boom happening right now.

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James Kirkland, the state paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey, goes through the bones of a Mierasaurus on Nov. 21, 2017, at his lab in Salt Lake City. The fossils were recently found in Southern Utah and belong to a species of dinosaur that was previously thought to only live in what is now Europe.