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Oil Exploration: Geophysical Methods

There are two main ways of approaching oil exploration. The first one is related to geological methods, and the second refers to geophysical methods. This last method is applied when the terrain does not pose the same structure in the surface as in the subsoil. This feature is commonly present in areas such as deserts, forests or marshes. Geophysics, which is the science that studies the characterization of the subsoil regardless of that of the surface, is used when geological methods do not work on that specific field.

Different kinds of apparatus are utilized when dealing with geophysical methods. For instance, the gravimeter, which is the instrument used to measure the specific gravity or the variations in a gravitational field, is very helpful. In particular, they make use of the gravimeter to study the rocks placed in the subsoil. Also, it is used to determine the existing kinds of rocks. Once they get the necessary information, they elaborate a map of the subsoil, which functions as a hint in order for the explorers to know where oil may be found in a more exact way.

Moreover, the magnetometer is another crucial implement they work with. This instrument measures the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field. Thus, it is used in order to detect the intern arrangement of the strata and the available kinds of rocks. Likewise, seismic prospecting techniques are also implemented. These techniques are designed to study sound waves, their reflection and refraction. All this, in conjunction, allow explorers to know the composition of the rocks in the subsoil. Thus, by an explosion, a seismic wave going throughout various terrains is created artificially, deviated for some kinds of rocks, and reflected by others. It is important to say that all this happens at different speeds. In the surface, these waves are measured by seismographs. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that all the processes mentioned above are necessary, oil presence is not assured until an oil well is drilled.

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