Seismic vessels are ships that are solely used for the purpose of seismic survey in the high seas and oceans. A seismic vessel is used as a survey vessel for the purpose of pinpointing and locating the best possible area for oil drilling in the middle of the oceans.
Companies engaged in the oil drilling process make use of such vessels so that they find the best possible subsea areas to drill oil. Another major reason such seismic vessels are so important is that if oil drillers do not get the best subsea location to drill the oil and gas, then it could lead to dangerous and threatening consequences for the marine eco-system. The usage of the seismologic vessels prevents such inadvertent mistakes.
As the name suggests, seismic surveys use surface-induced seismic pulses to image subsurface formations. Basically, a seismic wave is generated underneath the earth's surface, and then picked up by sensors called "geophones" as the waves bounce off subsurface formations -- that is, layers of rock beneath the surface. This process becomes more complicated when there are hundreds or thousands of feet of water between the earth's surface and the geophones.
The returning pulses are picked up by an array of geophones attached to lines towed by the ship. These arrays are called "streamers," and consist of long net-like bands with geophones spaced evenly along the streamer.
The information gathered by the geophones is collected into an analog signal, before being converted to a digital signal and relayed to computers on the ship. The computers translate the information into digital maps of the subsurface, which geophysicists and geologists can analyze to determine the presence of hydrocarbons, which can save oil companies the gamble of sinking an unprofitable well. While seismic may be expensive, it ultimately pays off, because it allows companies to hedge their bets, minimizing their potential loss and maximizing their potential gains.
Seismic vessels are more in demand in today’s time considering the amount of subsea drilling that is being carried out. They are also known as research vessels because in a completely different way, they do help research the oceans and seas.
In addition to being vessels that survey underwater seismology, seismic vessels are also used to study the geology of the oceans and seas. This aspect includes the formation of rocks, oceanic trenches and many other details that are important and could affect the lives of humans and marine creatures alike.