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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, February 7, 2001

Survey Scientists Complete Data Collection in Hutchinson, Begin Processing Results

LAWRENCE--Scientists from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, have completed collecting seismic data in Hutchinson and Reno County as part of a study of natural gas beneath the city.

The Survey crew completed data collection on February 6. Survey scientists are now processing the data and interpreting the results. The seismic crew is now on its way to Arizona to fulfill a contract for the U.S. Army.

Survey scientists are using seismic reflection data to study possible pathways of natural gas into Hutchinson. Seismic reflection, which involves sending vibrations into the subsurface and then recording those vibrations as they reflect off of underground rocks, is a method of creating an image of underground geology without drilling.

Beginning in late January, the Survey collected seismic data at two locations in the area. One was along a four-mile stretch of Wilson Road, west of Hutchinson. The other was a quarter-mile line in Rice Park in western Hutchinson, where natural gas is being flared from a well.

State and local agencies and businesses have been studying possible locations of natural gas beneath the city since a natural gas explosion in central Hutchinson on January 17.

Survey scientists collected 60 gigabytes of data during their seismic studies. That data, enough to fill about 100 compact disks, is now being computer processed.

"We expect that processing to be complete within the next few days and we will begin interpreting the data as it is processed," said Survey director Lee Allison. "We will share the data, and the results of the interpretation, with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Hutchinson city officials, and the people of Reno County as soon as possible."

Story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-2106

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs