Drilling a well is an expensive and highly technical operation, but with water finding
technologies, such as the seismoelectric or electroseismic method, finding water has
never looked so cool.
The Low Down
Finding water is a bit like detective work; in order to find it, surveyors must first find
traces – that is clues – of it. Fortunately, these water detectives have super high-tech
gadgets to help them do their work, such as utilizing the seismoelectric electroseismic
method. But what does that mean? It’s actually quite simply: using seismic waves to
create electromagnetic fields in soils and rocks and otherwise “water-less” landscapes,
surveyors are able to detect what are known as water indicator, such as hydraulic
conductivity and uniform or irregular permeability, and are thus able to search out
favorable conditions for groundwater development.
Like any good detective, the water surveyor or hydrologist has to first lay the ground
work before making assumptions, must find and assess clues and make reasonable
deductions based on the information at hand. As the USGS Water Science School points
out, of all the clues that lead to water, “rocks are the most valuable clues of all. As a first
step, in locating favorable conditions for groundwater development, the hydrologist
prepares geologic maps and cross sections showing the distribution and positions of the
different kinds of rock, both on the surface and underground.” Combining “old school”
strategies with new technologies, water surveyors are able to find groundwater quicker,
easier and faster than they ever were before! This is critically important to the process
of drilling, as drilling is a very expensive operation that requires highly specialized
In other words, the hydrologist finds and surveys the
characteristics of rocks to determine where the water
is. However, different rocks tell different stories.
Sedimentary rocks, for example, may indicate the
favorable conditions for lengthy and extensive
aquifers. Cracked and jagged rocks, on the other
hand, might indicate large and deep openings
favorable to carry large quantities of water. Plants and localized vegetation also work as
“clues” to finding water, as plants that are known to require high levels of moisture and
hydration will, of course, stay close to sources of water.
For the high-tech Sherlocks, however, surveyors may not need to assess the
characteristics of area-specific rocks or plant-life. In fact, with the new seismoelectric
technology, surveyors are now capable of creating 2D models of what’s underground.
It’s kind of like having x-ray vision, and significantly reduces the time spent finding the
best place for wells. As this technology continues to develop, surveyors are able to find
water in more cost efficient and time effective ways.
At times, high voltage power sources can get in the way of accurate readings and the
seismoelectric method is only effective up to depths of 1500 feet. When technology fails
to find water, however, the expert water finders go back to the basics – looking at rocks
If you are interested in learning more about water finding technologies and practices,
please visit our website at https://wefindwater.com and feel free to leave a reply