By John Huxley (auth.)
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In the case of magnetic and gravimetric surveys, equipment has become more sensitive and the interpretation of results more sophisticated, but together both provide only a very generalised structural picture. It is in the use of the more complicated seismic surveys that the greatest progress has been made in obtaining detailed information about the depth and shape of deeply-buried rock structures. Seismic methods - based on the science of siesmology, or the study of earthquakes - involve the generation of artificial shock waves and the measurement of the time and angle at which they are reflected and refracted back to the surface from boundaries between rock layers.
Fire-fighting equipment, such as heat shields and trolley-mounted steel booms, had to be fabricated and expertise imported from the United States. 23 The Hatfield accident occurred in a fairly remote, moorland, area - the next, the industry's opponents pondered, could happen closer to homes or in a far more ecologically important area. It was, above all, a sharp reminder of the potential environmental impact of onshore oil exploration. 27 4 Beginnings Natural petroleum was being worked on a small scale in Britain for several centuries before oil companies began looking for it in a systematic way.
In the United States he netted an estimated £50 000 from the 60 or so companies using his processes and succeeded in winning an extension of seven years on his patent. 7 His main patent expired in Britain, however, in 1864, and this was the signal for a rapid expansion of the Scottish oil shale industry as competitors moved in, exploiting reserves to the east of those originally mined. For a short period Scotland enjoyed an oil shale boom. Although never on the scale of events in America during the years of oil fever, it generated thousands of jobs, attracting workers from all over Britain and overseas, new towns (like Broxburn, nicknamed 'shaleopolis'), company villages and, in all, some 120 new works.