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Geokinetics to perform seismic survey demonstration

Public display set for Wednesday night at Loudy-Simpson Park

If you go …

What: Geokinetics seismic survey demonstration.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Loudy-Simpson Park, 300 feet north of picnic area.

— The purpose of the demonstration is to address concerns of possible structural damage by seismic vibrators.

Geokinetics, a geophysical service company with an interest in the county, will host a seismic survey demonstration from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Loudy-Simpson Park. The display is open to the public.

On Aug. 16, Brent Jacobson, Geokinetics project manager for North America, asked permission from the Moffat County Commission to perform seismic survey demonstrations and host a question-and-answer session to address public concerns about potential structural damage to homes. The commission approved the request.

The demonstration will take place 300 feet north of the Loudy-Simpson Park picnic area.

Representatives from the company will bring a vibrating truck and a peak particle velocity monitor to measure ground disturbance from a variety of distances.

Also on hand will be Mark Burgus, a contractor from Mathe-

son Mining in Golden, who is a geoscientist and an expert in peak particle velocity monitoring.

Burgus said his four-man firm monitors any company in the business of shaking the ground.

"We monitor companies that perform a variety of activities," Burgus said. "Blasting, oil and gas exploration, construction, pile driving … just anything that would shake the ground."

Burgus said his role today is to help people understand what certain peak particle levels mean and what causes structural damage.

"If damage were to ever occur it would follow a natural progression," Burgus said. "Plaster is the most fragile material, so a house with plaster would show cracks first, followed by sheet rock and then way down the list would be mortar damage or concrete damage."

Burgus said he will also have reference materials to compare particle velocity readings caused by seismic vibrators with everyday occurrences such as slamming doors, stomping around the house, cold fronts, temperature, humidity and wind speed changes.

"Those all put forces on a house, also," Burgus said. "We're going to equate those types of things to a vibrator."

Jacobson is confident the Geokinetics demonstration will ease public concerns.

"They're loud and they're noisy," Jacobson said of the vibrators. "But, if you have three trucks and you stand 50 to 100 feet out, you can't feel the vibrations.

"Most people who have come to our presentations leave saying, 'Really? That's it?'"

Jeff Comstock, Moffat County's natural resources director, said the demonstration is a good idea.

"Concerns were originally raised by private land owners in regards to how these seismic vibrators would affect water wells and roads," Comstock said. "I would encourage anyone with concerns to attend and ask questions."

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