GeoEel sees beneath the seafloor

GeoEel sees beneath the seafloor

Profile of sedimentary basins in the Gulf of California. Scripps Institute of Technology

Ever wished you had Superman’s X-ray vision? Our new digital seismic streamer is the next best thing.

The ‘GeoEel’ streamer is an array of 768 hydrophones towed behind a ship. The hydrophones pick up sound signals reflected off sedimentary layers and geological structures up to 3 km beneath the seabed. These signals are processed to produce detailed images, like this profile of sedimentary basins in the Gulf of California.

These profiles have many applications, including:

  • examining natural underwater hazards;
  • coastal engineering and mineral resource assessment;
  • studies of sea-level rise and seafloor erosional processes.

The new system records sound digitally, resulting in a stronger signal than our old analogue system. It can be scaled up to a longer streamer equipped with more than 4000 hydrophones for even greater detail.

Research subject: Coasts