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TitleApplication of seismic methods to mineral exploration
AuthorSalisbury, M; Snyder, DORCID logo
SourceMineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods; by Goodfellow, W D (ed.); Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication no. 5, 2007 p. 971-982
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070220
PublisherGeological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division (St. John's, NL, Canada)
Mediapaper; DVD; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Mineral deposits of Canada: a synthesis of major deposit-types, district metallogeny, the evolution of geological provinces, and exploration methods
File formatpdf
Subjectseconomic geology; geophysics; mineral exploration; exploration; seismic exploration; exploration methods; seismic velocities; densities; reflection studies; seismic reflection surveys; seismic profiles; mineralization; diamond; gold; copper; nickel; platinum; sulphides; Mississippi Valley deposits; porphyry deposits; porphyry copper; uranium; iron oxides
Illustrationsgraphs; profiles
ProgramConsolidating Canada's Geoscience Knowledge
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-3), 2005-2010
Released2007 01 01
AbstractPlots of compressional (Vp) and shear (Vs) wave velocity vs. density for rocks at elevated confining pressures show that velocities tend to increase with density along the well known Nafe-Drake curves for silicate rocks. Because of their high densities, however, many ores fall far to the right of the Nafe-Drake curves and display higher impedances than their common hosts, suggesting that it should be possible to detect and prospect for ores using high-resolution reflection techniques if the deposits meet the size, thickness, and presentation constraints required for reflection or diffraction. Experiments conducted by the Geological Survey of Canada, universities, and industry in hardrock mining camps across Canada over the past decade show that 2-D surveys are well suited to the determination of structure and the detection of orebodies, while 3-D surveys may be used for detection and delineation, and vertical seismic profiling (VSP) for delineation. Due to the small size of most deposits, the structural complexity of hard rock terranes and their low signal-to-noise ratios, the best results are obtained from carefully designed surveys using high frequency sources and customized processing sequences designed to identify both reflections and diffractors.

2-D and 3-D surveys have successfully detected and imaged large massive sulphide deposits such as the magmatic and volcanic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits in Sudbury and Bathurst and should also be useful for the detection of massive sedimentary exhalitive (SEDEX) and iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposits. Other types of deposits are more likely to be detected indirectly: lode gold and porphyry deposits by reflections from alteration haloes, unconformity Uranium deposits by haloes and basement offsets, and Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) deposits by white spots in otherwise reflective carbonates. Similarly, the high impedances between kimberlites and their hosts allow pipes to be delineated using VSP techniques.

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