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College of Arts & Sciences
Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI-SC)

Facilities and Equipment

ESRI-SC Facilities and Equipment

Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI-SC) at the University of South Carolina (USC) has complete facilities for the acquisition, processing, interpretation, visualization, and modeling of seismic reflection and other geophysical data. ESRI-SC is fully equipped for working with both 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection and refraction data, as well as passive-source seismological data, ground penetrating radar, electrical and potential field methods. The proposed project involving processing, interpretation, modeling, and visualization of seismic data will be easily accommodated with the existing facilities.  We are a member of Schlumberger’s university partnership whereby we operate Schlumberger’s petroleum industry-grade geology and geophysics analysis software suite Petrel®.


 Seismic data analysis:

•      Landmark Graphics’ SeisSpace - processing of 2-D, 3-D and VSP seismic data (25 seats)

•      Vista – Windows based processing of 2-D, 3-D seismic data (Seismic Image Software, Ltd.)

•      Lookout Geophysical high-resolution 2-D seismic processing software

•      Colorado School of Mines Seismic Unix for open-source seismic processing

•      Veritas, Hampson-Russell Software Services, Ltd.) specialized data processing, seismic and well-logging interpretation including seismic attributes, crossplotting, modeling, seismic inversion, AVO.

•      VoxelGeo Volume-based seismic interpretation software

•      FAST, 3-D First Arrival Seismic Tomography, courtesy of Dr. C. Zelt @ Rice for seismic refraction

•      SurfSeis Software for Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves

•      Petrel - Seismic interpretation and 3-D geologic modeling, reservoir engineering, volumetric calculations                   (Schlumberger)

•      Landmark Graphics’ DecisionSpace - Interactive interpretation of 2-D, 3-D seismic data, mapping, well logs, reservoir attribute and visualization, some processing capabilities (25 seats).

•      Kingdom Suite - Interactive interpretation of 2-D, 3-D seismic data, database and mapping capabilities (Seismic Microtechnology, Inc.)

•      SynTool - Synthetic seismograms construction. Correlations between seismic data and borehole information (Landmark Graphics Corporation)

Geologic and borehole data interpretation:

•      Interactive Petrophysics- Well log petrophysical analysis (Schlumberger)

•      PetroWorks - Geophysical log analysis. Log editing, calculation of subsurface properties from geophysical logs.

Reservoir and Geophysical Modeling:

•     GX II and MESA seismic modeling and design software

•     TOUGH2- ECO2N - CO2

•      CMG-GEM - Compositional reservoir simulation


•      Matlab (site license at USC)

•      Adobe Creative Suite CS3, Canvas

•      ArcGISTM, CAD, SurferTM, MODFLOWTM, EVSTM, ImagineTM, and IRASTM.

In addition, USC has full ESRI® Inc. ArcGIS capabilities (ArcMap™ 9.3, ArcInfoTM and ArcViewTM) and has a number of CAD and integrated environmental and restoration software programs such as SurferTM, MODFLOWTM, EVSTM, ImagineTM, Adobe IllustratorTM and IRASTM.


For land seismic acquisition, ESRI-SC owns a 120 channel Geometrics StrataView RX 24 bit seismograph.  The seismograph is mounted in an air conditioned recording truck dedicated for that purpose.  Seismic recording cables have six meter takeouts and standard 40 Hz geophones, wired three in series, are used.  ESRI-SC also owns a quantity of single 40 Hz geophones, 40 Hz shear wave geophones, and single 100 Hz P-wave geophones that can be employed for specialized seismic recording projects.

The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences owns a 48 channel, 2 Geode, Geometrics seismic system for reflection/refraction with 14 Hz geophones that are interchangeable with the ESRI-SC ones.

For borehole seismic acquisition, ESRI-SC owns a Geostuff 3 component slim borehole clamping geophone containing 40 Hz elements.  Borehole seismic recording is done on a twelve channel Seistronix RAS-24 portable seismograph interfaced with a laptop computer. 

Field vehicles include the aforementioned recording truck, two utility pickup trucks and an ATV with attached accelerated weight drop seismic energy source.        

 Other equipment available:           

  • Leica 1230 dual-frequency differential GPS system
  • PulseEKKO Pro tri-frequency (50, 100, and 200 MHz surface and borehole) GPR acquisition system
  • 15 ‘Texan’ standalone seismographs
  • Workstations, Xeon PC computers (2)
  • Dual processor portable laptop PC
  • Pentium field laptops (6)
  • 8 mm tape drive, 4 mm tape drive
  • Linux Monarch Accela Custom Server (14 Tb, 2 Intel Xeon 16 GHz each)
  • 9 high-end dual-booting Linux/Windows XP Dell terminals
  • 3.5 Tb external hard disk storage
  • HP DesignJet 36/42” color plotter (600+ DPI)
  • HP LaserJet 2600 color printer (1200 dpi)
  • HP LaserJet 1320N laser printer
  • HP LaserJet 3050 laser printer
  • HP LaserJet 4050N laser printer
  • 11” x 17” color scanner (w/ slide attachment)