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Landsat imagery can be useful in regional exploration including offshore areas, if used in conjunction with specialized field work.
Our study describes the previously unrecognized Mayo-Svalbard phase and its control on the pre-Hercynian plate configuration, and pinpoints the origin of the Pennine phase found in England and its influence on the North Sea area. It also provides confirmation for the Hercynian event being of mantle diapiric origin triggered by the Caledonian orogeny. Several different phases of Atlantic rifting have been recognized and interpreted in terms of crustal stretching.
Landsat and other remote-sensing images reveal unique information about the brittle fracture pattern of the lithosphere, but a scientific method of working with and using these data in exploration has not been readily available previously.
Our presentation describes a technique evolved by Tectosat over the last decade which integrates Landsat and geophysically derived data with specialized field observations. The Tectosat system uses tectonostratigraphic correlation schemes derived from structural overprint relationships observed in the field, to make a geomechanical analysis of the lithospheric brittle fracture pattern for each recognizable phase of deformation. The result is a method of conducting regional structural studies with greater speed and confidence than previously was possible.
The technique will be illustrated with results from a study of the northwest European margin which has been used by many of the companies currently exploring in the North Sea area. The applicability of the technique to extrapolate into offshore or blind areas will be further demonstrated with reference to a current study of the Barents Sea.
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