Needless to say, after the shots went off, there was a large crater left in their spot. The craters located on the Subkahs in the Sand
Mountains area usually had water in the bottom of them. Occasionally we would set off a weathering charge near the recording truck. It
consisted of a 50-pound bag of ammonia nitrate sitting on the ground. We used a special cable and geophones for it. We used the
weathering shots to tell us the depth of the sand and weathering layer. This allowed us to make static corrections to compensate for the
topography. After the shot was recorded, we would get a photographic paper playout of the seismic record. It consisted of 24 wiggle lines
on it that showed the various layers. However, we were only concerned with the first negative wave on each trace for use in mapping the
refractor or geological formation. If I were out on the line with the observer, I would check the records in the field. Otherwise I would
check them back in camp that night after they had been hung out to dry.
At night is when I did most of my work. I would put labels on the records and fill out the information that identified them. I would
"pick" the first breaks (first energy) on each trace or geophone station on each record. I could make a time/distance graph to compute
the velocity of the refractor to insure we were still on the correct geological formation. If not, then I might have to have them shoot a
propagation profile the next day to find the correct offset. It was just a layout starting at zero offset and going out to about 50,000 feet.
Then using the time/distance calculations, I could find the correct offset. I would also go over the survey notes to check for errors. I
would also fill out any reports required. Then maybe I would go out and watch a movie on the side of the office trailer or join in a card
game in the dining trailer. The next morning I would get on the radio to Dhahran and let my party chief know the results of the previous
day. If it had rained the previous day or the wind had been too fast, then the day was spent reading or driving around the desert. The
results of our work would be interpreted by senior geophysicist and coordinated with geologist after being processed on a Texas Instrument
9000 Digital Computer. It used 21 track magnetic tapes that were one inch wide instead of the standard 9 track tapes that were one half inch
wide. The input for the software on the computer was a punched mylar tape. It had no plotter. The sections were created using photographic
paper or film records taped together to form a cross section of the earth under the seismic line. In refraction work, we would compute the
time to the geological formation using what was called the "ABC" method and plot the times on graph paper with time versus distance plots.
Later we would use the Gardner Method to correct for migration and plot the formations in their correct location. This gave us a cross
section of the formation so we could identify any large anticline or dome. The oil would be trapped in the top of the dome.
The final result of our work was the location of an oil well. The one pictured here was near the Bir Hadi area and out in the middle of the
Empty Quarter. Their camp was similar to ours and had the same type of trailers. Most of the drillers were Canadian or American. Around
Dhahran, ARAMCO had trouble drilling water wells. They kept hitting oil. At the time I was there, they said that no producing oil well had
been found using geophysical methods, but only by using geological methods. There was always a friendly rivalry between the geologist and
geophysicist. A geophysicist was sometimes called a doodlebugger. This goes back to when geophysicist first went out with their electronic
equipment and the locals thought they were looking for water using Rube Goldberg type of equipment. The story about the first oil discovery
in Saudi was that some geologist were sitting outside the Gulf Hotel on the island of Bahrain. They looked across the Arabian Gulf and saw
the Damman Dome near the coast of Saudi Arabia. One said that looks like a good place to drill for oil. From there the rest is history.
The rest of the photos on this page are just various scenes around the desert where I worked. Bir Hadi was a famous old water well known by
the Bedouins. We had to make sure none of our shots were near the well. The government was afraid we might affect the water table. As you
can see, many camels had used the well because of all the camel droppings around it. The gazelle is one we saw running during a camp move.
Some of the workers chased it in a truck and jumped out to catch it. We took some photos of it and let it go. They use to hunt them using
cars with machine guns on them. At one time they were becoming extinct, but the government put a stop to the hunting. This one was expecting
a baby. As I said earlier, I would drive around looking for Bedouins in the area. I would always have extra water and oranges with me to
give to the Bedouins. They in turn would offer me a gift of camel's milk, a rabbit their dog had caught, their dog or some other item. Usually
I would stop their offerings and just ask if I could take some photos. They were usually satisfied with that, but at times they insisted I
have some camel's milk straight from the source. I did not like it, but I could not refuse it because I would have insulted them if I did so.
We did see a lot of camels out there and at times a camel herd could cause problems with our recordings. It was an interesting two years and
I will always remember it with fondness.