Workreport 2007-10



Surface 3-D Reflection Seismics - Implementation at the Olkiluoto Site


Saksa, P., Lehtimäki, T., Heikkinen, E.



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Posiva Oy takes care of the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Finland. In year 2001 Olkiluoto was selected for the site of final disposal. Construction of the underground research facility, ONKALO, is going on at the Olkiluoto site. The aim of this work was to study the possibilities for surface 3-D seismics and to review experiences for design before field work. The physical parameters and geometric properties of the site, as well as efficient survey layout and source arrangements, were considered in this work.

Reflection seismics is most used geophysical investigation method in oil exploration and earth studies in sedimentary environment. Recently method has also been applied in crystalline bedrock for ore exploration and nuclear waste disposal site investigations. The advantage of the method is high accuracy combined with large depth of investigation. The principles of seismic 2-D and 3-D soundings are well known and advanced. 3-D sounding is a straightforward expansion of 2-D line based surveying. In investigation of crystalline bedrock, the high frequency wave sources and receivers, their right use in measurements and careful processing procedure (refraction static corrections in particular) are important.

Using the site parameters in 2-D numerical modeling, two cases of faulted thin layer at depths of 200, 400 and 600 meters were studied. The first case was a layer with vertical dislocation (a ramp) and the other a layer having limited width of dislocated part. Central frequencies were 100, 200, 400 and 700 Hz. Results indicate that 10 – 20 m dislocation is recognizable, but for depths greater than 600 m, over 20 meters is required. Width of the dislocated part will affect the detectability of vertical displacement. At depths of 200 m and 400 m 10 – 50 m wide parts appear as point-like scatterers, wider areas have more continuity. Dislocations larger than 20 m can be seen. From depth of 600 m over 100 m wide parts are discernible, narrower are visible as weak scatterers.

Svensk Kärnbränslehantering Ab (SKB) has conducted 2-D seismic surveys at Oskarshamn and Forsmark investigation areas in Sweden and a 3-D seismic test on Ävrö island at Oskarshamn. Both dynamite and mechanical VIBSIST has been used as wave sources. Report describes measurement procedures and some results gained. Promising results correlated to borehole logging were also obtained in Ävrö 3-D test although the fold was low (about 12). A moving source-receiver, Pulled Array Seismic (PAS), system tested at Oskarshamn did not prove useful. Report contains also results from two ore body targeted 3D surveys.

For Olkiluoto the study evaluates a few subareas for 3-D seismic test survey. The objective is to map continuity of gently dipping reflectors, variations in their locations and possible dislocations. One surveying configuration with adequate coverage, accuracy and detectability over more than 500 x 500 m area is discussed. Surveys over discrete subareas should be tied together if carried out separately. Imaging of steeply dipping reflectors require long source-receiver offsets or detection of time delays.


Seismic, reflection, Olkiluoto, processing, interpretation, crystalline, bedrock, fracture zone, spent nuclear fuel, geological disposal


Surface 3-D Reflection Seismics - Implementation at the Olkiluoto Site (pdf) (6.3 MB)


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