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ABSTRACT: Hydrocarbon Exploration through Remote Sensing and Field Work in the Onshore Eastern Papuan Fold Belt, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea

Fons Dekker, Hugh Balkwill, Alan Slater, Robert Herner, Wim Kampschuur

Over the years several types of remote sensing surveys have been acquired of the Eastern Papuan Fold Belt, in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. These include aerial photographs, Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS), and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). Each has been used by Petro-Canada Inc. for interpreting the geologic structure and stratigraphy of onshore hydrocarbon prospects. Analysis of available remotely sensed imagery reveals greater structural complexity than is shown on published geologic maps. Foremost among the images is SAR because of its low, artificial sun angle. Hence, a comprehensive view of the area has been acquired revealing many structural elements previously not appreciated. A distinct difference in structural style is found between the northern a d southern segments of the Eastern Papuan fold belt in the study area. The northern segment shows discontinuous, open folds with widely separated anticlines set in featureless valleys. The southern segment is tightly folded, possessing few anticlines and synclines clearly recognizable on the imagery. However, structural components can be traced easily for tens of miles. Recent field work supports an SAR structural interpretation suggesting most, if not all, anticlines in the

northern segment are overturned. The combination of remote sensing and field work proved invaluable in understanding the fold belt tectonics and has aided considerably in the selection of drilling locations.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990