In This Space
Image credit: Federation of American Scientists
Near Surface Geology
Information on structural geology can be identified from a wide range of EO sensors and tools. DEM analysis is frequently the key method to identify and map structural geological features at the surface/near-surface. DEM analysis complemented by analysis of optical and radar imagery be used to identify and assess these features in greater detail.
Products may include:
Efficient and focused fieldwork can result from prior interpretation of structural geology (by establishing relationships between observed geological contacts such as bedding and unconformities and published mapping). Geological structure can be identified at various scales, and be used as input to subsurface structural geological modelling and tectonic reconstructions (including kinematic modelling).
Interpretations can be made of structural geological history (such as identification of compression tectonics, extension tectonics, wind-gaps, raised terraces, inclined river terraces, drainage capture and other associated structural features) that can provide information on rates of tectonic development.
Multispectral optical images can highlight faults and discontinuities (from spectral variation in surface or near sub-surface, e.g., from mineralisation, soil moisture or weathering variation, and by changes in texture, tone or pattern). Thermal imagery can be particularly beneficial to delineate faults in some geographies; notably arid and semi-arid regions.
The structural geology product delivers geology and structural/tectonic maps (complementing the Faults and discontinuities product) and may include shaded-relief maps and additional detailed additional geological outputs (e.g., stereo-net plots, structural groupings, folds and dip angles).
Known restrictions / limitations
Lifecycle stage and demand
Pre-License: Information on structural geology to support decision-making on a prospect.
Exploration: Information to support geological mapping of surface and sub-surface. Provides input features into near surface modelling and helps understand seismic production and seismic data quality’.
Development: Information for planning and design of infrastructure, to support site selection, pipeline routeing and seismic hazard assessment (including active faulting) to determine hazards and risks in a proposed development area.
Production: Not typically required. May be required associated with monitoring of reservoirs and CCS.
Decommissioning: Not typically required other than as a baseline record or if any ongoing monitoring is required.
Geographic coverage and demand
Coverage is global.
Demand is global.
Demand is in all terrain areas.
OTM:036 Geohazard exposure analysis
Input data sources
Optical: VHR1, VHR2, HR1, HR2
Radar: VHR1, VHR2, HR1, HR2, MR1
Spatial resolution and coverage
Varies depending on input imagery used and client needs.
Low resolution DEM for basin wide exploration studies, higher resolution DEM and optical imagery for development and infrastructure planning and design.
Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU)
Variable, depending on source data resolution and project requirements.
90 m² (SRTM) to 1 m²
Accuracy / constraints
Thematic accuracy: Based on professional judgement by comparison to field and prior published data.
Spatial accuracy: Varies depending on input imagery and user requirements.
Accuracy assessment approach & quality control measures
Professional judgement by comparison with any published geological mapping, published literature and reports. Typically the product increases accuracy and information knowledge compared with previously sources or published materials.
Field mapping and validation.
Frequency / timeliness
Varies depending on user requirements.
Observation frequency: Typically only one date is required and can be archive data, subject to project requirements.
Timeliness of delivery: Usually off-the-shelf data can be utilised. Commissioned data may be required in some cases, e.g., for collection of VHR1 stereo data used for high resolution DEM production.
Availability from commercial suppliers and other agencies.
New acquisitions can be requested globally for higher resolution data.
Archives products available for public search.
Delivery / output format
Hatfield consultants / Arup
OTM / WesternGeco
# of Pages:
Internal – Project consortium and science partners
External – ESA
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