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Type: Journal article
Title: Evaluation of hydrocarbon seepage in the Great Australian Bight
Author: Struckmeyer, H. L.
Williams, A. K.
Cowley, R.
Totterdell, J.
Lawrence, G.
O'Brien, Geoffrey William
Citation: APPEA Journal, 2002; 42 (2):726
Publisher: Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 1326-4966
Organisation: National Centre for Petroleum Geology and Geophysics
Abstract: The regional assessment of hydrocarbon seepage is built around a combination of Radarsat and ERS Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, acquired during 1998 and 1999, as part of a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, Nigel Press Associates, Radarsat International and AUSLIG (specifically the Australian Centre for Remote Sensing). In total, 55 Radarsat Wide 1 Beam Mode scenes and one ERS scene from the Great Australian Bight (GAB) region were analysed. The data were integrated with regional geological information, and other hydrocarbon migration and seepage indicators such as reprocessed and reinterpreted legacy Airborne Laser Fluorosensor (ALF) data, to provide an assessment of the possible charge characteristics of the region. The results of the study suggest that active, though areally restricted, liquid hydrocarbon seepage is occurring within the Bight Basin. The majority of seepage slicks occur along the outer margin of the major depocentre, the Ceduna Sub-basin, in areas where significant Late Tertiary to Recent faulting extends to the seafloor. Very little evidence of seepage was observed on the SAR data above the main depocentre, which is an area of minimal Late Tertiary to Recent faulting. Reprocessed ALF data reveal three main areas with relatively dense fluors. Although they are not directly coincident with locations of seepage interpreted from SAR data, their distribution support the pattern of preferred leakage along the basin margins. Integration of regional geological models with the results of this study suggests that structural features related to active tectonism have focused laterally migrating hydrocarbons to produce active seepage at specific locations in the basin. Where these features are absent, seepage may be passive andlor be governed by long distance migration to points of seal failure. Together with oil and gas shows in exploration wells, observations from this study provide further evidence that liquid hydrocarbons have been generated in the Great Australian Bight.
Keywords: Oceania ; Australia ; South Australia ; Laser induced fluorescence ; Airborne prospecting ; Synthetic aperture radar ; Hydrocarbon seep ; Petroleum migration ; Seismic profile ; Geological prospecting ; Oil field ; Petroleum geology ;
Appears in Collections:Australian School of Petroleum publications

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