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Peña, Sherrie A.1, Mohamed G. Abdelsalam1, Kevin Woller2 
(1) University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 
(2) Pioneer Natural Resources, Irving, TX

ABSTRACT: Integrating Landsat ETM+, RADARSAT, and SRTM Data to Aid Oil and Gas Exploration in Southern Tunisia

Efforts in mapping the details of surface geology in southern Tunisia are hindered by the lack of continuous bedrock outcrops. Cretaceous age formations are often buried under the sand of the Sahara Desert. Identifying lithology and structural anomalies using remote sensing studies incorporated with subsurface mapping over southern Tunisia can be beneficial in aiding exploration for new oil and gas fields. We used an approach that integrated optical (Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+)), radar (RADARSAT), and digital elevation models (DEM) extracted from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to trace different lithologies along strike as well as mapping lithologically- and morphologically-defined structures. Landsat ETM+ band and band-ratio, Red-Green-Blue (RGB) color combinations proved effective in identifying lithological units and lithologically-defined structures that are exposed on the surface. On the other hand, RADARSAT grayscale images have been useful in tracing formations and structures that are buried under one meter or less of sand. The fusion of the optical and radar data allowed us to display remote sensing images that are more effective in revealing lithology and structures than when the optical and radar data are displayed separately. Draping of the fused images over SRTM’s DEMs to create three-dimensional (3D) perspective views of the terrain has been beneficial in viewing subtle morphological expression of the lithology and structure.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.