Marine Seismic Equipment Ecodesign - Quietsea™

Case Study

SD Quietsea QuietSea™: an example of Sercel’s ecodesign approach

Challenge

Introduce a reliable passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) system to avoid a potential impact of seismic sources on marine mammals.

Background

Marine mammal mitigation and monitoring guidelines are widely adopted by regulators and oil companies and are implemented by geophysical companies during marine seismic surveys.

A growing number of these stakeholders are requiring or encouraging the use of PAM for real-time detection and localization of marine mammals, especially during low visibility conditions and at night.

The potential value of PAM as a real-time mitigation tool has been widely recognized. However, conventional towed PAM cable systems suffer from performance limitations affecting the detection capability (especially for baleen whales and animal localization accuracy. Seismic operators are also concerned by entanglement incidents with seismic equipment at sea that increase the operator’s safety exposure and potentially cause downtime.

Solution

The QuietSea™ system, launched by Sercel in 2014, aims to overcome these limitations.

QuietSea™ is fully integrated in Sercel Sentinel® streamers, deploying an unprecedented number of sensors: 10 high-frequency and 48 low-frequency sensors for a typical 3D survey. Compared with the usual single low-frequency and three high-frequency sensors mounted in conventional towed PAM arrays, this system offers a step change in detection accuracy. Interfaced with onboard seismic vessel navigation systems, the automated detection and localization algorithms help to deliver truly objective, consistent, and reliable information for prompt decision-making.

INTERFACED WITH ONBOARD SEISMIC VESSEL NAVIGATION SYSTEMS, THE AUTOMATED DETECTION AND LOCALIZATION ALGORITHMS HELP TO DELIVER TRULY OBJECTIVE, CONSISTENT, AND RELIABLE INFORMATION FOR PROMPT DECISION-MAKING.

The low noise performance of Sentinel® streamers used in a large 2D array enables the detection down to 10Hz, which is unprecedented. The low-frequency vocalizations emitted by baleen whales, and especially by blue whales, often below human hearing thresholds, can now be much better monitored. Moreover, multiple sensors provide good detection and localization regardless of the listening direction.

Results

The system has been deployed on the Geo Celtic and Oceanic Vega in the Indian Ocean, North Sea, and Atlantic Ocean during commercial seismic surveys. QuietSea™ has proved its ability to overcome limitations of conventional systems by detecting baleen whales and providing precise localization.

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As the worldwide leader in the seismic acquisition industry, Sercel designs, manufactures and supports the most advanced seismic acquisition systems available.
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QuietSea®

QuietSea® is the new passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) system from Sercel designed to detect the presence of marine mammals during seismic operations.
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