Frequency domain electric dipole-dipole controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM) sounding methods, first developed to study the oceanic lithosphere in the 1980’s, have been successfully applied to the exploration of oil, gas, and gas hydrate. In the case of hydrocarbon exploration, several companies have been offering commercial services for several years. However, considerable research remains to be carried out, and the marine EM group at Scripps is active in the development of software, instrumentation, and field techniques for CSEM studies. New instrumentation includes a continuously towed, three-axis electric field receiver, a highly sensitive long-antenna electric field gradiometer, and a novel long baseline acoustic navigation system for accurately locating the deep-towed transmitter. This equipment was used on two recent field campaigns, one to study gas hydrate in the Gulf of Mexico, and one to study a gas field off the Northwest shelf of Australia.


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