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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Aug 2018

Research article | 24 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

3D Seismic Traveltime Tomography Validation of a Detailed Subsurface Model: The case study of the Zancara River Basin (Cuenca, Spain)

David Marti1, Ignacio Marzan1, Jana Sachsenhausen1, Joaquina Alvarez-Marron1, Mario Ruiz1, Montse Torne1, Manuela Mendes2, and Ramon Carbonell1 David Marti et al.
  • 1Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, ICTJA, CSIC, Lluis Solé I Sabaris s/n, 08028, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2Department of Physics, Instituto Superior Técnico, IST, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract. A high-resolution seismic tomography survey was acquired to obtain a full 3D P-wave seismic velocity image in the Zancara River Basin (east of Spain). The study area consists of lutites and gypsum from a Neogene sedimentary sequence. A regular and dense grid of 676 shots and 1200 receivers was used to image a 500x500m area of the shallow subsurface. A 240-channel system and a seismic source consisting of an accelerated weight drop, were used in the acquisition. Half million traveltime picks were inverted to provide the 3D velocity model that allowed to resolve the structure up to 120m depth. The project targeted the geometry of the underground structure with emphasis in defining the lithological contacts but also the presence of cavities and fault/fractures. An extensive drilling campaign provided uniquely tight constraints on the lithology; these included core samples and wireline-log geophysical measurements. The analysis of the well-log data enabled the accurate definition of the lithological boundaries and provided an estimate of the seismic velocity ranges associated to each lithology. The final joint interpreted image reveals a wedge shaped structure consisting of four different lithological units. This study features the necessary key elements to test the traveltime tomographic inversion approach in the high-resolution characterization of the shallow subsurface. In this methodological validation test, traveltime tomography demonstrates to be a powerful tool with a relatively high capacity for imaging in detail the lithological contrasts of evaporitic sequences located at very shallow depths, when integrated with additional geological and geophysical data.

David Marti et al.
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David Marti et al.
David Marti et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A detailed knowledge of the very shallow subsurface has become of crucial interest for the modern society, especially if it hosts critical surface infrastructures such as temporary waste storage sites. The use of indirect methods to characterize the internal structure of the subsurface has been successfully applied providing valuable information about the 3D geometry of the shallow lithological boundaries which are of great interest for the civil engineering companies.
A detailed knowledge of the very shallow subsurface has become of crucial interest for the...