SEISMIC CREW AHEAD
The first sign of seismic
testing is usually a series of orange spray painted markings or
wooden surveyor stakes along a roadway, often accompanied by small
orange flags. At some in this process, wires (that look like
electric extension cords) are run between the holes where charges
are to be detonated.
At points where wiring needs to cross roadways
the wires are duct-taped to the road surface. When activity is
intense, there may even be an orange road sign
indicating "Seismic Crew Ahead."
There are no regulations to protect
water supplies from seismic testing. If 3D seismic
testing with small explosives is going to occur on your
property, make sure to stipulate that each shot hole is
immediately filled to prevent groundwater contamination
by surface water. If seismic testing is to be done close
to your water supply, you may want to stipulate that
water quantity conditions be documented in your well or
spring by a professional water well contractor or
hydrogeologist before allowing the seismic exploration.
College of Agricultural Sciences • Cooperative Extension
Water Facts #28
Rev. March 2,
While some companies use tracked
vehicles resembling 'snow cats' like you see grooming ski slopes,
other seismic companies use "thumper trucks" for the testing. These
trucks usually travel in groups of three trucks that are spaced 10
All three (or four) trucks will stop at a set location, lower a
large plate onto the highway that puts most of the weight of the
truck on the surface, and then set off a series of vibrations into
the ground. After a few minutes they move forward 60 to 80 feet and
repeat the process. Below are photos of seismic testing activities
around Marcellus Shale.
PENNSYLVANIA BULLETIN - Jan. 7, 2012
on applications under the Explosives Acts of 1937 and
1957 and 25 Pa. Code § 211.124. Blasting activity
performed as part of a coal or noncoal mining activity
will be regulated by the mining permit for that coal or
noncoal mining activity.
Blasting Permits Actions
Greensburg District Mining Office: Armbrust Professional
Center, 8205 Route 819, Greensburg, PA 15601,
63114009. Dawson Geophysical (508 W. Wall Street,
Suite 800, Midland TX 79701). Blasting activity permit
for seismic exploration activity to the Hopewell 3D,
located in Robinson, etc. Townships, Washington County
and North Fayette Township, Allegheny County. The
duration of blasting is expected to last eight months.
Blasting permit issued: December 16, 2011.
26114008. Appalachian Geophysical Services, LLC
(2659 State Route 60, P. O. Box 426, Killbuck, OH
44637). Blasting activity permit for seismic exploration
activity to the M-MAWC-1 and M-MAWC-2R located in
Springfield Township, Fayette County. The duration of
blasting is expected to last one year. Blasting permit
issued: December 16, 2011.