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Hyperspectral remote sensing detection of methane plumes in the VNIR-SWIR range: field experiment and case study

Grant number: 18/12969-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): September 17, 2018
Effective date (End): May 21, 2019
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Geosciences
Principal Investigator:Carlos Roberto de Souza Filho
Grantee:Rebecca Del Papa Moreira Scafutto
Supervisor abroad: Freek Van Der Meer
Home Institution: Instituto de Geociências (IG). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Twente (UT), Netherlands  
Associated to the scholarship:15/19842-7 - Evaluation of hyperspectral images in the thermal infrared for detection and characterization of thermogenic gas Seepages in continental areas, BP.PD


The development of techniques able to assist the oil industry on the evaluation of the exploration potential of greenfield basins in Brazil is essential to attract investors. Remote sensing tools have been proven its efficacy as a prospecting method, especially publications demonstrating applications through the infrared range (1 - 15 µm). At onshore areas, the occurrence of natural gas (CH4) seeps is a strong indicative of the presence of hydrocarbons undersurface. In this research project, we propose the processing of near and shortwave infrared (NIR-SWIR) airborne hyperspectral data for the detection of CH4 plumes in continental areas. First, the data acquired with the ProSpecTIR-VS sensor from a field experiment of controlled CH4 releases performed in Casper (USA) will be processed. Then, the developed methodology will be applied to a case study, through the processing of an image acquired from Remanso do Fogo, region famous for large gas seeps that occur along the Paracatu River. The aim of this research proposal consisting of evaluating the detection limits of ProSpecTIR-VS to map emission sources of CH4, and the applicability of the methodology in tropical areas, analyzing the interference from vegetation and thicker atmosphere in the data processing. The work to be developed on this research have the potential to be used as an operating tool in the oil industry, since the ProSpecTIR-VS is the only hyperspectral airborne sensor operating in Brazil. Moreover, future orbital sensors planned to be launched shortly opens the possibility to extrapolate the methodology to orbital scale, allowing the periodic monitoring of target areas. (AU)