WP4 Technology for eco-safe exploration in the Arctic

Work package leader: Tor Arne Johansen, University of Bergen

Geoscientific exploration of the Arctic will meet challenges partly different from those we know from exploration of the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. We will develop the best possible geophysical data acquisition strategies to use – both with respect to the environment
and the data quality – during initial exploration, and, subsequent static and dynamic reservoir characterization.

The project has so far gathered a unique data base to use for answering the fundamental questions raised. This data includes seismic experiments on and within floating ice in Van Mijenfjorden at Svalbard, several tests of unmanned remote sensing devices for recording ice drift in the Arctic, and experiments on studying effects of seismic shooting on sea mammals (true seals and whales). Along with industry needs, a study on how burial and uplift will affect the seismic signatures (reflected and refracted waves) of typical Barents Sea prospects has been undertaken. The second phase of WP4 will focus on further analyzing the data acquired during the previous field campaigns and to complete field experiments in accordance with what these results bring forward.


Develop technology for eco-safe exploration in the Arctic.

Key research tasks:

Task 4.1: Constraints (technology and timing) for geophysical exploration in ecological vulnerable areas

  • Understand the mechanisms for unwanted high-frequency excitation of sound from
    marine airguns, and possible ways to reduce such effects
  • Understand how passive seismics can be used to image the subsurface

Task 4.2 Strategies for best possible seismic acquisition within and close to ice

Task 4.3 Acquisition and processing of seismic data from ice, snow and ice-covered land

  • How to remove unwanted vibrations in sea ice (flexural waves) from seismic data
  • Find the best ways to acquire seismic data in the transition from land onto ice-covered
  • How to separate wave modes propagating within and below ice using 4C-data.
  • Understand how temperature (and melting) of frozen sediments affect their seismic

Task 4.4 Remote sensing technology in support of seismic operations within and close to sea ice

  • Automatization of detection of ice-drift in the Arctic using unmanned aircrafts.
  • Combined use of resistivity and acoustic data for enhanced reservoir prediction – rock
    physics models
  • Combined use of CSEM and seismic for enhanced reservoir prediction – case study

Task 4.5 Geophysical imaging of prospects and reservoirs from field analogues on Svalbard and Greenland

  • How seismic signatures of Barents Sea reservoirs can be related to burial and uplift
  • How karst systems can be seen in seismic data

Pictures from Tor Arne Johansens experiment in Svea in 2016, with additional support from Eni. 

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