Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Evans, BJ, Orosevic, M and Cocker, J, The use of seismic methods for the detection of dykes, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 103-110.


Seismic methods have become common for the detection of low-throw faults ahead of underground coal mining. Surface seismic methods cannot theoretically be used where dykes occur, because seismic waves transmit from the surface down to the seams, and reflect back to the surface. Consequently, where sub-vertical structure such as dykes occurs, the surface seismic method fails. The ability of seismic methods to image dykes depends on the geometry used, the dyke thickness and the seismic wave propagation mode in relation to dyke composition and internal structure. Surface seismic methods find it difficult to distinguish between faults/fractures and very thin dykes (1-2m in thickness) when the dyke's thickness is less than the seismic wavelength. Consequently, borehole seismic methods have to be used to detect the presence of such thin dykes. This paper presents the first results from an ACARP project, which in part is a breakthrough in seismic technology for the detection of dykes. It explains how surface seismic methods were used to detect a thick dyke and associated faulting. An alternative approach, that of going downhole with seismic sources and receivers (borehole seismic profiling), shows that dyke sides can be imaged at depth, and that in future, it should be possible to produce an image of both sides of a dyke, in its correct orientation, using existing boreholes.