Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

G. Michael Clark

Committee Members

Don W. Byerly, John B. Rehder


Seasat, an orbital synthetic aperature radar launched in 1978, has produced high-resolution imagery enhancing over 1186 observed linear topographic indentations or lineaments in the Wartburg Basin area of east-central Tennessee. The main objectives of this thesis are to verify these lineaments in the field, to compare them with aerial photographic lineaments in the same area, to statistically analyze lineament trends, and to compare lineaments with oil and gas trends in the Wartburg Basin area.

Lineaments from Seasat imagery were located in the field with a high degree of accuracy. Three distinct lineament systems were derived from lineament orientations, their grouping and continuity. There are two basic types of lineaments on the imagery, long lineaments that extend for distances over 40 km and shorter subparallel lineaments usually no longer than 4 km. 40% of the longer lineaments are parallel to drainage. Of the total 1186 lineaments, 40% are terminated by crosscutting lineaments. 57% of the total lineaments are related to aeromagnetic and gravity contours indicating a possible basement relationship. The longer lineaments possibly represent major bedrock penetrating fracture zones along which hydrocarbons disperse. Oil and gas wells farther from the lineament zones had a slight increase in initial hydrocarbon production, wellhead pressure and subsurface fracturing. This could indicate that future wellsites should be chosen away from major lineament zones.

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