Hardware for MASW Survey

Any multichannel seismic acquisition system can be used for MASW surveys.  For example, the system for seismic refraction and reflection
surveys can be used often without any modifications, or with different (i.e., lower-frequency like 4.5 Hz) geophones.  Picture and schematic
below illustrate overall configuration of all necessary hardware components.  A table at the bottom lists brief specifications for individual

Contact at
hardware@masw.com to order (or get a quote for) a complete set of hardware components for MASW surveys.
Most Common
24-channel with 24-bit dynamic range
(most of today’s multichannel
One with16-bit dynamic range may be acceptable.  A laptop computer is
usually necessary to control seismograph.  A rugged toughbook is
Power Source
A 12-V small car or motorcycle battery
with relatively low capacity (e.g., 4Ah)
A dry-cell battery can also be used for several hours of acquisition.  
4.5-Hz Geophones
(higher frequency geophones can also
be used; e.g., 10-Hz, 14-Hz, 40-Hz, etc.)
High-frequency geophones (e.g., 40 Hz) may be acceptable for relatively
shallow investigation only (e.g., Zmax ≤ 10 m).  A
land streamer is
strongly recommended for fastest acquisition.
Sledge Hammer (≥ 8-lb) (for maximum
investigation depth, Zmax, ≤ 30 m)
A weight-drop source can further increase investigation depth; e.g.,
Zmax ≥ 30 m.
Strike Plate
Aluminum plate (e.g., 1 ft x 1 ft size with
1/2-in thickness)
Softer plate (e.g., polyethylene) can improve energy at lower
frequencies (therefore, Zmax).
Time Break Sensor
Hammer Switch
A separate geophone planted near the strike plate can also be used.
Triggering Cable
Radio triggering system can also be used at the expense of higher cost.
Seismic Cable
5-ft takeout spacing
Any range in 4-8 ft takeout spacing may be acceptable.
Possible Accessories
Trigger Extension Cable (e.g., 100 ft), Jumper Cable (e.g., 30 ft), Tape Measure (≥ 100 ft), Stake Flags, Black
Tape, Ear Plugs, Gloves,  Spray Paint, GPS, Safety Gears, etc.
Table 1:  Common hardware components used for MASW surveys and corresponding specifications.