Mikhail A. Abaturov,Yuriy V. Sirotinskiy,



Seismic instrumentation,microseismic monitoring,Peterson model,geological exploration,temperature ratings,cooling test,


This paper is concerned with solving one of the issues of the general problem of designing geophysical equipment for the natural climatic environment of the Arctic. The relevance of the topic has to do with an increased global interest in this region. The paper is aimed at considering the basic principles of developing and the procedure of testing seismic instruments for use at ultralow climatic temperatures. In this paper the indicated issue is considered through the example of a seismic module designed for petroleum and gas exploration by passive seismoacoustic methods. The seismic module is a direct-burial portable unit of around 5 kg in weight, designed to continuously measure and record microseismic triaxial orthogonal (ZNE) noise in a range from 0.1 to 45 Hz during several days in autonomous mode. The functional chart of designing the seismic module was considered, and concrete conclusions were made for choosing the necessary components to meet the ultralow-temperature operational requirements. The conclusions made served for developing appropriate seismic module. In this case, the components and tools used included a SAFT MP 176065 xc low-temperature lithium cell, industrial-spec electronic component parts, a Zhaofeng Geophysical ZF-4.5 Chinese primary electrodynamic seismic sensor, housing seal parts made of frost-resistant silicone materials, and finely dispersed silica gel used as water-retaining sorbent to avoid condensation in the housing. The paper also describes a procedure of low-temperature collation tests at the lab using a New Brunswick Scientific freezing plant. The test results proved the operability of the developed equipment at ultralow temperatures down to -55°C. In addition, tests were conducted at low microseismic noises in the actual Arctic environment. The possibility to detect signals in a range from 1 to 10 Hz at the level close to the NLNM limit (the Peterson model) has been confirmed, which allows monitoring and exploring petroleum and gas deposits by passive methods. As revealed by this study, the suggested approaches are efficient in developing high-precision mobile seismic instruments for use at ultralow climatic temperatures. The solution of the considered instrumentation and methodical issues is of great practical significance as a constituent of the generic problem of Arctic exploration.


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