STANDING about 15m from a line of three Terrex Seismic seismic survey trucks as they work, you can feel the earth vibrate beneath your feet.

That's the effect of the three trucks pumping 44,000 pounds of pressure each into the earth through pads on their undercarriage.

Those vibrations resonate through soil and rock, bouncing back in different ways as they reach different geological formations.

On the surface the rebounding vibrations are recorded through a line of receivers spaced 1.6m apart over a distance of kilometres.

Seismic surveying is like performing an "ultra-sound of mother Earth", says Terrex Seismic crew manager Tony Boderenko.

It's also akin to using a fish finder, he said, but clearly much more involved and expensive, and also with little room for error.

The raw data collected by the survey is received by a control truck decked out with the latest in high-tech testing equipment.

From there it is sent away for processing and a survey map developed.

This is raw data, you can't screw up here because you can't fix it there, Mr Boderenko said.

The 22-strong crew on site near Casino undertaking a seismic survey over a distance of about 35km for coal seam gas company Metgasco is small by comparison to other similar operations.

Usually 30 or more workers are involved.

They are supported by between 17 and 24 trucks, depending on the size of the job, are self-sufficient and equipped to work in remote areas.

Mr Boderenko said he and his crews hoped to be finished at Casino by Sunday, but that the job had become more difficult than first planned.

Noise and vibration interference from nearby roadways and the Casino Aerodrome had presented unplanned-for problems, he said.

Opponents of the coal seam gas industry who have demonstrated against the seismic survey works since Friday plan another protest outside the Casino office of Metgasco tomorrow.



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