About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 290

Last Page: 290

Title: Exploration Applications Through Remote Sensing of Ice-Wedge Polygons: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Joann Mossa

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Petroleum exploration is facilitated through remote-sensing techniques such as Landsat digital data processing and aerial photointerpretation. These techniques were applied to reconstruct past geologic environments and to analyze the present geomorphic setting of the Colville delta on the North Slope of Alaska. By examining differences in the distribution of selected characteristics of ice-wedge polygons, the positions of former fluvial channels and lake beds and the relative age of the surface could be determined.

Characteristics of ice-wedge polygons such as size, shape, central relief, and rim condition were delineated using aerial photography of various scales and dates. Maps of selected characteristics assisted in identifying outcrops of the Pleistocene Gubik Formation, frequently flooded areas, and the locations of former distributary channels and lake beds. Although Landsat digital data were not as effective as aerial photography in geologic mapping, primarily due to pixel resolution being one order of magnitude larger than an individual polygon, major surface features and outcrops could be identified from variations in vegetation and the surface water content of ice-wedge polygons. In addition, tundra surface with ice-wedge polygons could be differentiated from that without.

An understanding of ice-wedge polygon characteristics, which infer geologic environment and evolution, and the application of similar remote-sensing techniques can assist exploration geologist in determining past and present geologic environments in inaccessible periglacial regions.

End_of_Article - Last_Page 290------------

Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists