The US Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Drilling Company of Abu Dhabi, is conducting a 4-year study of the fresh and slightly saline groundwater resources of the eastern Abu Dhabi Emirate. Most of this water occurs in a shallow aquifer, generally less than 150 m deep, in the Al Ain area. A critical part of the Al Ain area coincides with a former petroleum concession area where about 2780 km of vibroseis data were collected along 94 seismic lines during 1981-1983. Field methods, acquistion parameters, and section processing were originally designed to enhance reflections expected at depths ranging from 5000 to 6000 m, and subsurface features directly associated with the shallow aquifer system were deleted from the original seismic sections. The original field tapes from the vibroseis survey were reprocessed in an attempt to extract shallow subsurface information (depths less than 550 m) for investigating the shallow aquifer. A unique sequence of reproccessing parameters was established after reviewing the results from many experimental tests. Many enhancements to the resolution of shallow seismic reflections resulted from: (1) application of a 20-Hz, low-cut filter; (2) recomputation of static corrections to a datum nearer the land surface; (3) intensive velocity analyses; and (4) near-trace muting analyses. The number, resolution, and lateral continuity of shallow reflections were greatly enhanced on the reprocessed sections, as was the delineation of shallow, major faults. Reflections on a synthetic seismogram, created from a borehole drilled to a depth of 786 m on seismic line IQS-11, matcheddprecisely with shallow reflections on the reprocessed section. The 33 reprocessed sections were instrumental in preparing a map showing the major structural features that affect the shallow aquifer system. Analysis of the map provides a better understanding of the effect of these shallow features on the regional occurrence, movement, and quality of groundwater in the concession area. Results from this study demonstrate that original seismic field tapes collected for deep petroleum exploration can be reprocessed to explore for groundwater. ?? 1994.
Additional publication details
Contributions to a shallow aquifer study by reprocessed seismic sections from petroleum exploration surveys, eastern Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates