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Geophysics

Geological Science continued to evolve rapidly in the following decades. Once the geologists knew what formations contained oil and gas, seismic surveys allowed geophysicists to map the structures. Thus the rapidly developing science of geophysics began to play a key role after Leduc.

In the 1960s, the processing, presentation and interpretation of seismic data was revolutionized by the introduction of computers, digitally recorded data, and the common depth point method of shooting and recording. The reliability of seismic data improved dramatically, and this greatly improved the chances of drilling success. These sophisticated geophysical techniques then helped explorers to find more elusive targets such as the pinnacle reefs at Rainbow Lake and Zama in northern Alberta. Three-dimensional seismic surveying was one of the new methods introduced in the 1980s.

Early seismic surveys left a trail of shotholes and cutlines across the landscape. These scars were slow to heal in forest and muskeg areas. New technologies have greatly reduced the land disturbance.