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Seismic Testing in Stow a Hunt For Natural Gas Reserves

'Mysterious' cables and equipment along Norton Road in Stow are part of 500-mile underground mapping process in Ohio.

The odd-looking cables seen snaking alongside Seasons/Norton Road this past week represent just 3.5-miles of a 500-mile exploration mission for natural gas reserves under way in Ohio through at least October.

Mike Martin, project manager for Nicholson Land Services of Tyler, TX, said the cables and related equipment in Stow are part of a seismic testing process that “basically provides us with a road map of the subsurface.”

The testing, Martin said, “is funded by a company that stores this information in a central library. This information is proprietary and is turned over to the funding company at the completion of the testing process.”

Nicholson is the firm responsible for securing permits needed to set up the “Ohio 2D Project.” The 10-year-old company provides permitting, land and seismic quality control services to the oil and gas industry.

The testing itself is being conducted by Tidelands Geophysical Co. of Plano, TX, a "seismic acquisition company that has provided clients with high-quality seismic data since 1967," according to its website.

Martin said the Ohio testing locations were chosen “by geophysicists and we are not privy to that information.” Testing in Stow could be complete as early as today.

Martin said there are several stages to the seismic testing process, starting with getting permits from all entities involved. Next, surveyors create and mark the test route with pin flags, followed by another crew laying miles of fiber-optic cable along the route.

The fiber-optic cables, Martin said, “are completely harmless as they carry no electricity and can be driven or walked over with no damage. (Their purpose is) to relay reflections of vibrations to a central location where they are recorded.”

Also placed at various intervals are Geophones. “Geophones actually pick up the reflections of … vibrations and transmit them through the cables to a central recording station,” Martin explained.

The machines seen along the road are called vibroseis machines, which travel in groups of three or four. 

“At pre-selected intervals the vibroseis machines lower a neoprene-covered plate to the ground and vibrate these plates for about five seconds. This is repeated several times and, at the completion of the test, the machines move to the next point,” Martin said.

The cable and pin flags are typically picked up the day after an area is tested.

The term 2D reflected in the project name refers to the type of seismic activity. “2D means there is only a single line of activity through an area as opposed to a 3D, which is more involved and usually consists of several square miles,” Martin said.

Stow Service Director Mike Miller said .

S Kimball June 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM
I live in Stow and drive over these cables. I am not happy about this. I believe it will lead to fracking in this beautiful community. I've lived long enough to know to not trust anyone "in charge" of anything. Tell the truth.
HousecallsHomeServicesDotCom June 05, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Thanks to the Ohio legislature and John Kasich fracking will create jobs at the expense of poisoned ground water, streams and is a major health hazard. Many areas of the country are experiencing decreased property values and an increase in health-related problems.
Troy McClure June 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Please back-up what you stated with actual substantiated proof from organizations that are not "anti" and/or "pro" fracking.
HousecallsHomeServicesDotCom June 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Troy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNl6sx059bE Much more info out there.
Amanda Harnocz June 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
HousecallsHomeServicesDotCom: please update your account to be a real name. thank you for using Patch. http://stow.patch.com/terms
rachael zanath June 05, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I live on Mac Drive which is off of Norton. These cables are literally in my backyard. I don't have a problem with it. So what if it is for fracking?! I think that'd be great for the City of Stow! JOBS JOBS JOBS! Not to mention ENERGY! Come on people... do some research... fracking has been going on for a long time. There are over 1,000 wells within the city limits of Ft. Worth, Texas, that have been drilled within the last 10 years,and there hasn't been horror stories of health problems. Also, a check on the health indices (Texas Health Dept and CDC) for the city and the county show significant improvement in health for the citizens since horizontal drilling and fracing began about 10 years ago.
Charles Crumbley February 21, 2013 at 06:06 PM
I live in Colorado (Weld County) where this activity has quite frankly gone wild...you can't drive more than a 1/4 mile in any direction and not see a well anymore. Jobs? every worker and truck we see up here all came came up from Texas with the parent companies...so no help there either. If you think they are honest and up front then call them and ask questions...see for yourself if you get answers or get nothing of value and decide for yourself.
Charles Crumbley February 21, 2013 at 06:12 PM
I'm anxious to hear if you saw any jobs or energy where you live, I live now in one of the biggest fracking areas in the country...no jobs and gas (I don't mean petroleum) prices are rising. Not sure what you mean about health indices in Texas as relating to Ohio...there are now many reports of health problems associated, the problem is very few are disclosed as records get sealed by attorney request and all parties have to go to non-disclosure...that's scary.

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