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Experience from theEcorsprogram in regions of complex geology

Journal of Applied Geophysics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0926-9851(93)90010-v
  • Earth Science
  • Musicology
  • Physics


Abstract The French Ecors program was launched in 1983 by a cooperation agreement between universities and petroleum companies. Crustal surveys have tried to find explanations for the formation of geological features, such as rifts, mountains ranges or subsidence in sedimentary basins. Several seismic surveys were carried out, some across areas with complex geological structures. The seismic techniques and equipment used were those developed by petroleum geophysicists, adapted to the depth aimed at (30–50 km) and to various physical constraints encountered in the field. In France, Ecors has recorded 850 km of deep seismic lines onshore across plains and mountains, on various kinds of geological formations. Different variations of the seismic method (reflection, refraction, long-offset seismic) were used, often simultaneously. Multiple coverage profiling constitutes the essential part of this data acquisition. Vibrators and dynamite shots were employed with a spread generally 15 km long, but sometimes 100 km long. Some typical seismic examples show that obtaining crustal reflections essentialy depends on two factors: (1) the type and structure of shallow formations, and (2) the sources used. Thus, when seismic energy is strongly absorbed across the first kilometers in shallow formations, or when these formations are highly structured, standard multiple-coverage profiling is not able to provide results beyond a few seconds. In this case, it is recommended to simultaneously carry out long-offset seismic in low multiple coverage. Other more methodological examples show: how the impact on the crust of a surface fault may be evaluated according to the seismic method implemented ( vibroseis 96-fold coverage or single dynamite shot); that vibrators make it possible to implement wide-angle seismic surveying with an offset 80 km long; how to implement the seismic reflection method on complex formations in high mountains. All data were processed using industrial seismic software, which was not always appropriate for records at least 20 s long. Therefore, a specific procedure adapted to deep seismic surveys was developed for several processing steps. The long duration of the vibroseis sweeps often makes it impossible to perform correlation and stack in the recording truck in the field. Such field records were first preprocessed, in order to be later correlated and stacked in the processing center. Because of the long duration of the recordings and the great length of the spread, several types of final sections were replayed, such as: (1) detailed surface sections (0–5 s), (2) entire sections (0–20 s) after data compression, (3) near-trace sections and far-trace sections, which often yield complementary information. Standard methods of reflection migration gave unsatisfactory results. Velocities in depth are inaccurate, the many diffractions do not all come from the vertical plane of the line, and the migration software is poorly adapted to deep crustal reflections. Therefore, migration is often performed graphically from arrivals picked in the time section. Some line-drawings of various onshore lines, especially those across the Alps and the Pyrenees, enable to judge the results obtained by Ecors.

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