Vertical Cable Seismic Survey for SMS Exploration in Izena Cauldron, Okinawa-Trough
Abstract:The VCS survey is one of the reflection seismic methods. It uses hydrophone arrays vertically moored from the seafloor to record acoustic waves generated by seismic sources. Because the VCS is an efficient high-resolution 3D seismic survey method for a spatially-bounded area, we proposed it for the SMS survey tool development program started by Japanese government. In 2010, we manufactured the autonomous VCS data acquisition systems. Through several experimental surveys, our VCS is successfully completed.
In 2011 and 2013, we carried out the two VCS surveys using GI gun and high-voltage sparker respectively in the Izena Cauldron, Okinawa Trough, which is one of the most promising SMS areas around Japan. Because seismic survey is not proven to be effective for SMS exploration, no seismic surveys have been conducted there so far.
Our strategy for SMS exploration consists of two stages. In the first stage, we carried out VCS survey with the lower frequency GI gun (but higher compared to the convebtional oil/gas exploration) and explored deeper (up to 1,500m) structure to obtain the fault system of hydrothermal flow. Next, using a high frequency (about 1 kHz higher) and high-voltage sparker, we explored very shallow (up to 200m) part to delineate the very thin SMS deposits. These two VCS dataset have been processed with 3D Prestack Depth Migration. These results are consistent with geological information from the borehole drilled nearby and give useful information to SMS exploration.