So I am wondering if I got the difference right. Both methods use explosives to send waves into the earth's surface. Now reflection seismology tries to get information from the reflected waves; the ones, that do not get into another layer but get reflected from it r get directly through the layer and get reflected by the next. Thereby you would get a much smaller space in which waves would get back to the surface.

In refraction seismology, you want the waves to get into the next layer and as you know that there are different velocities in different layers, that is how you get information out from there (detail here on how that works not of interest right now).

So, you need to use different places for your seismographs in order to get the refracted waves, which are further away from the source than the reflected waves.

I know there is more behind this, but I just want to know if this basically is the difference? Because I am not sure of that...

Then, I would guess, you could always do reflection seismology when you do refraction seismology, just using the reflected waves to determine the structure of the first layer.
Is that somehow correct or Am I missing something?

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    $\begingroup$ If you're addressing the use of seismic petroleum methods, there are many WIKI sites with diagrams that will clarify the topic. Do a little research. $\endgroup$ – Michael Luciuk Nov 12 '12 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ if i would not have tried, i would't ask if it is right what i am assuming. i just wanted to make sure. i think it is perfectly alright to ask someone, if you tried to find out yourself and did get information, but are not sure if you interpreted them right. $\endgroup$ – lisa Nov 12 '12 at 14:49

Refraction and reflection seismics serve different purposes. The refraction seismic method is normally used for localized near-surface investigations (site surveys). The reflection seismic method is typically used to investigate targets that are up to several kilometers deep. That's of course in the context of exploration seismics. You can't easily use reflection seismics for (very) shallow investigations because most reflections will be over-critical (i.e. beyond the critical incidence angle), in particular when you increase the source-receiver distance (offset).


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