The use of nodal seismic acquisition systems to acquire limited-scale surveys
Numerous new nodal seismic acquisition systems have been recently introduced that are significantly more advanced than those previously available (Dean et al. 2018). These new generation nodes are not only lightweight (the lightest currently commercially available is the Inova Quantum, being only 650 g) but also have significant battery lives, with 50 days not being unusual. Other than the Geometrics Atom, they have mostly been developed for large channel count surveys — thousands to tens of thousands. Often, however, surveys are acquired on a reduced scale, i.e. employing relatively small channel counts (from 24 to several hundred) and/or having a limited duration (four weeks or less). Examples of such ‘limited-scale’ surveys involve geotechnical work (refraction, Multi-Channel Analysis of Surface Wave (MASW), etc.), passive monitoring, and reflection surveys over small areas, such as mine sites. In this paper, we will look at the suitability of these recently introduced nodal systems for use in such limited-scale surveys. We begin by describing the acquisition systems that are currently used for such surveys before addressing positioning, an essential part of any survey. We then look at the influence of geophone selection, including 3-component recording and other recording parameters. We will then address the operational use of nodal systems and seismic sources. We finish with a brief data example followed by a discussion.