Seismic Testing Information

I’ve been doing some research on seismic testing for a friend. Here’s are some resources:

Seismic Exploration in Urban Areas

The mechanics of thumper trucks generally require that they not be used on paved surfaces because of the force of the impact which can break or disintegrate concrete or asphalt road surfaces. Crews laying out cables can crush landscape beds, break bushes or trees, or leave fences and gates open allowing pets or livestock to get out.

Shock waves emitted by the trucks can also panic or stress livestock and ribbon flags and trash left behind by seismic crews can harm livestock and native species through ingestion.
Some reports of damages to foundations and buildings have been publicized when thumper trucks are used in close proximity to structures but setback restrictions incorporated in documents should minimize the possibility of such damages.

Survey ok, but seismic testing requires additional study

EOG halts seismic testing for oil

Keen also expressed concern about damage to county roads. He said similar testing in 1994 left some roads impassable.

Vidor residents sue seismic testing company for home damage

Tips on Preventing Concrete Slab Cracking

Causes of a Cracked Foundation

The most common cause of a home’s cracked foundation is dryness in the surrounding soil. This is particularly prevalent during the hot summer months when rainfall is slack. It’s easy to spot when problems are on the way – the soil draws away from the concrete slab at the edges of the home.

Another culprit that eventually leads to cracked foundation repair is seismic testing. This is often used as a geophysical testing method for petroleum exploration. During these tests, the ground is soundly “thumped” using a mechanical device, and the reflected vibrations paint a picture of the subterranean composition.
The Consequences of Seismic Testing

Unfortunately, seismic testing for oil or gas exploration can result in foundation damage in homes that are in the vicinity. Both the initial and the reflective jolts can damage a concrete slab. Too often municipal governments give permission for these tests without alerting residents.

Of course, legal proceedings can mandate that “big oil” pay for the residential foundation damage that they incur, but it’s worth it to them if they hit pay dirt.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Anonymous says

    We are in the process of the gas company wanting to do seismic testing in our community, people have signed their release in fear of a law suit from the oil company. I have not signed the release yet because it is to vague, not they are telling me i have to sign the release or they will file an injunction with the shriff's dept.Does anyone have any advise in what i should so?

  2. TXsharon says

    This is something I received from someone else:

    These seismic companies compete with each other to do surveys of the fault lines underground. When TimeSlice Technology came to us back in 2008, we of course knew that Aruba had leased the minerals. Rob and I both told TmeSlice to produce a letter giving them specific permission from Aruba, to come onto our properties and do the survey. They finally did produce a letter which I have attached for you to see. It has James L Poston's signature. Line item 5 specifically said "Separate surface permit documents will be obtained as this agreement covers only mineral position. This document will NOT be cause to enter without surface owners permission." Evidently Aruba did not want responsibility for any damages they caused to the trees or water wells. After reading the letter, I told them NO!!!

    If you know these neighbors please forward this information to them. Put the responsibility on Devon's back. Do not sign any agreement for compensation until they get a similar letter. Make the seismic company produce a signed letter stating that they have Devon's permission to come onto their property and do the survey."