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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 17, No. 2, October 1974. Pages 4-5.

Abstract: Space-Acquired Imagery: A Versatile Tool in the Development of Energy Sources


Previous HitDavidTop L. Amsbury

Imagery taken from altitudes of 150 to 500 km with high-resolution cameras offers the exploration geologist a reconnaissance tool at a new scale and at very reasonable costs. Most of the United States and much of the land area of the world have been imaged recently by NASA spacecraft. 

A sample of this imagery is comprised of photographs and multispectral scanner data taken from Apollo, ERTS, and Skylab spacecraft over an area west of Houston, Texas. Large circular features and lineaments are readily mapped but do not correspond to published, mapped structures.

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One of the circular features occurs in Fort Bend County, Texas and covers an area about 25 miles in diameter. Another circular feature lies to the north, immediately west of Houston, and is about 15 miles in diameter. The Katy Field occurs on the west side of this drainage, vegetation, and soil-tone anomaly.

A linear feature expressed in drainage and vegetation patterns extends from Matagorda on the Gulf Coast toward the north along the Colorado, Brazos, and Navasota Rivers. This lineament and others seem to be caused by zones of intense jointing and possibly mark surface traces of old, deep-seated fractures that would extend more or less at right angles to the coastline and to known growth faults. Explorationists should look at space-acquired data over well-developed areas as well as frontier areas. It might be fruitful to re-interpret existing subsurface and geophysical data in the context of regional geological features that can be mapped using new synoptic imagery. In addition, this imagery is valuable for planning phases of exploitation, and will be useful in monitoring the environmental effects of man's exploitation of energy sources.

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