In 2012 the GEMMA project funded by Politecni-co di Milano and the European Space Agency, through the Support To Science Element pro-gramme (Contract No. 4000102372/10/I-AM) demonstrated the possibility to exploit GOCE gravity data to model the main features of the crust both globally and regionally.
The use of satellite data for this activity in fact, offers the main advantage of giving a regional outline of the crustal architecture that cannot be obtained by local seismic profiles or gravity ob-servations.
This dataset can be profitably used in the so called “Assets e Prospects” operation which takes place before the upstream activities.
In the early 2020, the European Space Agency (ESA), through the ESA SPACE SOLUTION program (https://spacesolutions.esa.int/), funded the GIADA (Gravity for lIthosphere Architecture Determination and Analysis) project, endorsed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and by European major oil & gas companies. The main objective of GIADA was to develop a set of services to exploit gravity data, derived mainly from satellite observations, for natural resource explorations activities.
During the project the GIADA Team has developed a set of algorithms to interpret and invert the gravity field. These algorithms have been tested on a real case study in the Central-Eastern Mediterranean Area.
THE CENTRAL-EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN CASE STUDY
The Central-Eastern Mediterranean case study, investigated within the GIADA project, shows how satellite-based gravity models can be proficiently used to obtain valuable information for oil & gas exploration purposes.
Gravity data have been used to improve the definition of homogeneous (from the density point of view) geological crustal regions and to provide information on the nature of the studied crust.
Moreover the 3D inversion of the gravitational field, properly complemented by external information (such as density models, seismic profiles, etc.) allowed to estimate maps of the depths of the main geological horizons (including the Moho and the basement) and to retrieve a complete 3D modelling of the density distribution.
The principal results of the Central Eastern Mediterranean Sea case study, freely available for download, are:
- the 3D density distribution of the entire studied volume;
- the 3D geological model of the entire studied volume;
- the grids expressing the depths of the main geological horizons, namely:
- the depth of the Plio-Quaternary sediments bottom;
- the depth of the Messinian salt bottom;
- the depth of the basement;
- the depth of the Moho;
- The refined map of the main geological crustal regions.
The data can be requested by compiling the following form