A review of seismic-while-drilling technique: from 1986 to 2020

Jinji Li, Kristopher A. Innanen

Seismic-while-drilling (SWD) is a technique that explicitly creates an array of sources together with the progression of drill bit towards deeper layers. It provides great potential in energy industries, and surveying geophone arrays can receive the signals from underground, thus providing additional information. In the past few decades (1986-2020), the industry and researchers systematically realized many advantages of SWD and made it a merging project. SWD is often acknowledged as a promising auxiliary tool in exploration geophysics since the additional ray paths generated from the subsurface can complement current seismic exploration approaches, which need a relatively comprehensive acquisition. For example, Full-Waveform-Inversion and migration. However, this technique still needs to be further exploited before being widely utilized. This paper aims to summarize the basic principles of SWD and review the progress, mainly focusing on its practical applications in exploration seismic from the 1980s to recent for supporting future development directions.