Robert Shanks, Michael Stevens
The exploration of oil and gas in the Monterey Bay/Canyon area has been researched for many years. The canyon itself is likened to the Grand Canyon of Arizona, only submerged by the Pacific Ocean. The following discussion covers a remote sensing study conducted to help manage the long-term development, conservation, ecological, research, and recreational resources of the area.
The project began with the acquisition of two panchromatic and two multispectral SPOT satellite images. The four images were merged to 10 meter resolution and seamlessly transformed into natural color. The output data was edge enhanced and contrast balanced. In the ocean area, satellite image data was replaced by digital elevation data from NOAA. This data was processed into a shaded relief (3D) view, and draped with shades of blue corresponding to depth of elevation. Wave and kelp information was algebraicly extracted from panchromatic satellite information, and added to the 3D color-shaded ocean area. Finally, all the datasets were seamlessly joined to produce a file which contained sharp natural color land information, and simulated canyon and ocean features.
The resultant data was used for a wide variety of analysis by different agencies. The data proved useful for public awareness, land Planning, transportation analysis, and recreation studies. NOAA conducted an Environmental Impact Assessment and prepared a long-term Management Plan for the area. Since project completion, the region has been designated as a National Marine Sanctuary and will not be developed for oil and gas exploration. Remote sensing data and processing techniques helped researchers and engineers alike to efficiently and effectively evaluate the area, and to assign its proper long-term use.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90958©1995 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, San Francisco, California