Guralp Systems Limited

Chapter 1. Introduction

The CMG-3V and 3ESPV are single-axis seismometers whose components are housed in a sealed borehole sonde.

The two sensors are operated identically, the only differences being in the internal sensor mechanics, which affect the noise profile of the instrument and the available response options.

The seismometer system is self-contained except for its 12 – 30 V power supply, which is provided through the same cable as the analogue data. Sensor functions such as levelling and mass locking are carried out through a surface control box.

The 3V's sensor is sensitive to ground vibrations in the frequency range 0.0027 – 50 Hz, depending on the options you have specified. It outputs analogue voltage representing ground velocity on balanced differential lines. Each seismometer is delivered with a detailed calibration sheet showing its serial number, measured frequency response in both long and short period sections of the seismic spectrum, sensor DC calibration levels, and the transfer function in poles/zeros notation.

1.1 System configuration

The CMG-3 series of seismic instruments share a number of features:

For example, a borehole or pit installation of a CMG-3V or 3ESPV instrument with a three-jaw hole lock has the following layout:

CMG 3-series instruments are also suitable for installing in boreholes with sand backfill. In this case no hole lock unit is necessary.

The CMG-3V sensor is identical to the vertical-component module of the 3TB instrument, allowing you to build mixed arrays of 3V and 3TB sensors with identical response characteristics. Likewise, the CMG-3ESPV and 3ESPB instruments use the same vertical component.

1.2 Digital borehole installations

The Güralp DM24 digitizer is available in a borehole sonde form. Connecting a Güralp borehole instrument to a downhole digitizer allows you to construct a true digital borehole installation. This has several advantages over a traditional borehole setup:

A digital borehole installation can be provided with RS232, RS422 or fibre-optic links to the surface, depending on the depth of the borehole.

When a downhole digitizer is present, it takes the place of the strain relief unit in the borehole. The surface unit also takes a slightly different form, with a serial connector allowing you to attach a modem or other communications link. In this type of installation, instead of using the surface unit to pass control signals to the sensor, all functions can be accessed remotely via the digitizer.

If you prefer to install a stand-alone digitizer at the surface, it should be connected to the 19-pin RECORDER socket of the surface control unit.

1.3 The hole lock system

The hole lock clamp unit in a 3V or 3ESPV instrument provides a stable platform for the sensor modules mounted above and below it. It is designed to maintain a positive pressure on the borehole casing over a prolonged period of time without attention, and to fix the sonde in place whilst avoiding transmitting any stresses to the seismic sensors.

Either single-jaw or three-jaw hole lock units may be provided. Güralp Systems hole locks are constructed to order from accurate measurements of your borehole at the depth you wish to install the instrument.

In installations with sand backfill, or where the instrument rests on the bottom of the borehole, a hole lock may be unnecessary.

The three-jaw hole lock

This is the standard option for uniaxial instruments; it can be installed in boreholes between 3.5” / 89 mm and 7” / 178 mm in diameter.

The three-jaw hole lock consists of a set of three active clamp arms attached to a compression spring, which forces them to swing out from the sonde and wedge themselves against the borehole wall. Serrated steel jaws at the end of each arm provides maximum grip against the borehole casing. This configuration ensures that the sonde body is held parallel to the axis of the borehole and prevented from twisting or slipping under the influence of ground vibrations.

The motor has a power system separate from that of the sensor, and can be controlled from the surface using a hole lock control unit. Once the sonde is installed, the hole lock control unit may be removed. Without power, the hole lock will not be able to retract, and the sensor will be secured.

The single-jaw hole lock

A single-jaw hole lock is available which is smaller and lighter than the three-jaw lock, but does not grip the borehole casing with as much force. The single jaw hole lock is the standard option for triaxial borehole instruments. It consists of an active clamp arm and a number of skids or studs on the sonde body. The arm is attached to a compression spring, which forces it to swing out from the sonde and wedge the body against the borehole wall. A serrated steel jaw at the end of the arm provides maximum grip against the borehole casing. The skids or studs and the locking arm together form a multi-point clamp, which aligns the sonde body parallel to the axis of the borehole and holds it firmly in place so that it cannot twist or slip under the influence of ground vibrations.

The spring inside the lock provides around 60 kg of force at its locking position. A DC actuator retracts the arm into the body of the lock so that the sensor mechanism can be installed and removed. The actuator consists of a 14 W DC motor with a planetary reduction gearhead, which drives the nut of a ball lead screw through the helical drive gears. The thread of the lead screw is prevented from turning, and so moves linearly when the nut turns.

1.4 Vault conversion base

As an alternative to borehole installation, the CMG-3V and 3ESPV can be supplied with a vault conversion base. This metal piece can be attached to the bottom of the sensor module to provide a stable three-point contact with a seismic pier.

The instrument can then be covered with an insulating box or backfilled with dry sand as in the photograph below.

The conversion base can easily be replaced with a hole lock module in the event that the instrument is later installed in a borehole.