Document And Entity Information - shares
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2017
Nov. 01, 2017
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]    
Document Type 10-Q  
Amendment Flag false  
Document Period End Date Sep. 30, 2017  
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2017  
Document Fiscal Period Focus Q3  
Trading Symbol SAEX  
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   9,424,534
Entity Registrant Name SAExploration Holdings, Inc.  
Entity Central Index Key 0001514732  
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31  
Entity Filer Category Smaller Reporting Company