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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 57 (1973)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 792

Last Page: 792

Title: Imaging Radar--Tool for Petroleum and Mineral Exploration: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Harold C. MacDonald

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Remote sensing methods have great potential application in geologic exploration for fuel and mineral resources. Unfortunately, many of the more exotic remote-sensing techniques are still in research and development stages, and most surveys must be conducted in the framework of experimentation rather than routine operation. Sidelooking radar (SLAR) is one of the exceptions to this overall categorization. SLAR systems, originally developed as all-weather military reconnaissance sensors, are providing extremely encouraging results in geologic exploration. Although the success of SLAR surveys has not been widely publicized, more than 6 million sq km of radar mapping has been completed during the past 3 years. Three commercial radar-mapping contractors have conducted geologic- econnaissance surveys in some of the world's most inaccessible and remote terrain. Radar imagery is providing a first look at many cloud-shrouded regions in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Australia.

The fine resolution of aerial photography is not presently available with imaging radars; however, they do offer the distinct advantage of a large swath of ground coverage (typically at least 20 km). This synoptic presentation allows the interpreter to become quickly familiar with the essential features of structural provinces. Minimal scale distortion allows stereoscopic interpretation on imagery strips that can be enlarged to at least 10 times the acquisition scale. Radar-mosaic construction has provided sufficient base-map information to anticipate and evaluate logistic problems to be encountered during seismic operations or when reconnoitering a territory for favorable drilling sites. Sidelooking radar, like any tool, has limitations as well as capabilities for petroleum and miner l exploration.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists