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Abstract: 3-D Seismic Operations in an Environmentally Sensitive Shallow Water Bay

Jean-Louis Frayssinge

During the first half of 1993, Esso REP recorded a 3D shallow water seismic survey covering 110 sq. km over the highly environmentally sensitive Arcachon bay in Southwest France.

The seismic contractor CGG used the patch technique with bay-cables. This proved to be a very efficient operational approach in an area with such strong tidal currents and large tidal amplitudes.

A major issue was to operate smoothly in an area which is not only a popular resort with thousands of pleasure boats but also an active fishing and oyster farming area. To prevent any potential problem with local communities, an intensive public relations campaign was started several months before seismic acquisition. It was oriented primarily towards the people who earn a living from the bay (oyster-farmers and fishermen) and secondarily towards government and local officials (elected or designated), in order to keep them totally informed of our operations.

In addition, oyster-farmers and fishermen were employed in the seismic crew with their own boats (about 50 % of the fleet). This greatly contributed to the success of the operation, which also proved to be harmless to the rich fauna and flora of the Arcachon bay.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France