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ABSTRACT: The Gulf Offshore Satellite Applications Project

Frederick B. Henderson, Irwin Supernaw

The Joint Industry-Government Gulf Offshore Satellite Applications Project (GOSAP) is being conducted by members of the petroleum and marine communities under the sponsorship of The Geosat Committee, Inc., to determine the best applications of satellite remote sensing to everyday problems encountered in operational offshore engineering and exploration. As an important part of the project, the GOSAP team is evaluating the potential for enhancing offshore exploration using a combination of satellite and sea truth data sets.

To achieve the exploration objectives of the 2 to 5-yr study, the GOSAP team is comparing sea surface spectra and gravity measurements

from satellites (Seasat, Geosat, ERS-1, and Radarsat) with sea surface and sea floor measurements from instrumented fixed and mobile platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to establish repeatable correlations between sea surface measurements and exploration information.

Test sites have been selected over known oil fields at shallow to moderate water depths in the Gulf of Mexico. Extensive measurements are being taken above, at and below the sea surface to determine the best way to image the sea floor and detect oil seeps from orbital altitudes.

The expected correlation of satellite-collected sea-surface signatures, oil seeps, sea floor topography, and gravity measurements will enable explorationists to extend these techniques into frontier areas.

The project involves cooperation among government agencies, industry and universities each of which is contributing to the data collection, image processing, or interpretations phases.

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