Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


SPUCK, Jacob, Tallahassee, FL 32304,

Natural gas wells are popping up at incredible rates in a number of Northeast states. Traditional methods of mapping and representing natural gas exploration will be replaced by new geospatial technology including high-resolution satellite imagery and advanced GPS technology. In addition, Geospatial techniques can be applied as methods of planning for future exploration by providing a surface representation of successful drilling units and permits of natural gas wells. A spatial review of well permits is needed (Pavlovskaya, 2005) and now is the time to create techniques in which to analyze permits and their variables of their spatial distributions.

The Marcellus shale boom in the Northeast is exploding at a time when satellite imagery is becoming an advanced tool in a variety of fields. Remote sensing and applications of mapping tools can provide representation about known data and ultimately use this data to predict data about surrounding areas. This can be very useful in the field of geology and petroleum exploration. Spatial distributions of gas wells and productivity can be used to model data for surrounding areas. Using Remote Sensing to visualize trends in production can help steer future exploration in the appropriate direction.

Mapping natural gas can follow the basic law of spatial autocorrelation, which states that values in one are will most likely be more similar in many components than values in other areas. The outcomes of these predictions can then be compared with geologic variables Remote sensing modeling can easily assign values of importance as to what should be looked for in land that may be suitable for future exploration. This can include both subsurface variables and quantitative and qualitative variables present on the surface. In Petroleum exploration we can visualize both quantitative and qualitative data (Knigge, Cope, 1998). This presentation seeks to display exactly how visualization techniques can be used to both monitor and direct natural gas exploration in the Northeast.


Knigge, L., Cope, M. (2005). Grounded Visualization: integrating the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data through grounded theory and visualization. Environment and Planning, (38)

Pavlovskaya. (2005). Theorizing with GIS: a tool for critical geographies? Environment and Planning, (38)