What lies beneath: offshore data acquisition and how we turn those data into science

Stewart, Heather A.. 2015 What lies beneath: offshore data acquisition and how we turn those data into science. Proceedings of the Open University Geological Society, 1. 23-33.

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Detailed and accurate mapping of the marine environment is important for a number of stakeholder groups, including energy companies (oil and gas, and, increasingly, offshore renewables), policy groups who require environmental data for marine spatial planning, resource and conservation management, and academic researchers who aim to better understand the processes that initially formed, and continue to shape these environments. Since the 1960s both industry and researchers alike have undertaken systematic exploration of the UK offshore territory (e.g. Gatliff et al. 1994; Johnson et al. 1993; Ritchie et al. 2011 and references therein). More than 11,000 industry exploration and production wells, and 580 scientific boreholes have been acquired in UK waters. Other physical sampling techniques such as Shipek Grabs that sample the seabed sediments, vibrocorers, gravity corers, piston corers and rock corers total more than 45,000 samples in the territorial waters of the United Kingdom (UK). Integration of these physical samples with 2D and 3D seismic reflection data, and with multibeam echosounder data facilitate the production of detailed maps and an improved understanding of our offshore area. International programmes such as the International Ocean Discovery Program, are also a means by which researchers can acquire offshore data. This paper briefly summarises both traditional techniques and the development of newer tools for offshore data acquisition. Case studies from the central North Sea and offshore deep-water areas of the UK are presented to illustrate their application.

Item Type: Publication - Article
ISSN: 2058-5209
Date made live: 30 Apr 2015 13:40 +0 (UTC)

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