Exploring for natural gas involves prospecting for something that’s buried hundreds of miles under the earth’s surface. Seismology is the study of how energy in the earth’s crust moves in waves and interacts differently with each layer of the earth’s surface. Eventually, these waves get reflected back to the source by underground layers of rock.
The concept of reflecting energy waves back toward the source is what geophysicists use to prospect for natural gas.
During onshore exploration, geophysicists artificially create seismic waves directed into the earth’s surface. These artificial waves travel through the layers of sediments before finally being reflected back to the source.
These reflections are then received by geophones, sensitive equipment embedded deep into the ground. The geophones transmit the data to recording centers where geophysicists and engineers interpret it to determine whether the area possibly holds oil and gas deposits.