Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS)

OBS (ocean bottom seismographs) for earthquake and seismic exploration research applications


ESS has been at the forefront of modern portable OBS technology adoption in Australia, and our field experience with the new Guralp OBS systems is unrivalled. ESS has been involved with deploying and recovering OBS units at approximately 50 locations, including installations at depths of over 4km. Unlike some other less sensitive 4.5Hz or 1Hz geophone-based systems, the Guralp portable OBS system is a fully-fledged broadband seismometer, so the commercial and research applications are wide ranging.

The Guralp OBS is rated to 6km deep, with the electronics housed in titanium spheres and cylinders, using syntactic foam as buoyancy. Simple concrete ballast is used to sink the systems to depth, with a mechanical release initiated on command, with a burn-wire release backup system. Using acoustic pings you can track the OBS as it descends and ascends, and an AIS beacon with GPS location and high intensity LED flasher makes the OBS easy to find when surfaced. Guralp also offers cabled OBS systems for permanent installations.