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TitleAssessing the workflow for regional scale 3D geological modelling: an example from the Sullivan time horizon, Purcell Anticlinorium, East Kootenay region, southeastern British Columbia
Authorde Kemp, E AORCID logo; Schetselaar, E M; Hillier, M JORCID logo; Lydon, J W; Ransom, P W
SourceSpecial section: Building complex and realistic geologic models from sparse data; by Caumon, G; Jessell, M; de Kemp, E AORCID
logo; Nemeth, B; Peron, G; Schetselaar, E M; Interpretation vol. 4, issue 3, 2016 p. SM33-SM50,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150472
PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS82F/01; 82F/02; 82F/07; 82F/08; 82F/09; 82F/10; 82F/15; 82F/16; 82G/04; 82G/05; 82G/12; 82G/13; 82J/04; 82K/01; 82K/02
AreaKootenay Land District
Lat/Long WENS-117.0000 -115.5000 50.2500 49.0000
Subjectsmathematical and computational geology; sedimentology; regional geology; structural geology; sedimentary ore deposits; modelling; drillholes; computer simulations; computer mapping; computer applications; Purcell Anticlinorium
Illustrationslocation maps; 3-D models; geological sketch maps; stratigraphic columns; photographs; schematic diagrams
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) Sedimentary Exhalative Ore Systems
Released2016 07 04
AbstractWe have developed a regional-scale 3D geologic model, highlighting the Mesoproterozoic Sullivan time horizon (approximately 1470 Ma) throughout the Purcell Anticlinorium in the East Kootenay region. This 3D geospatial model of the region is constrained with an extensive surface and subsurface database of stratigraphic, structural, and geophysical observations distributed throughout the study area. This modeling exercise was conducted over a four-year period from 2011 to 2015 in which several iterations of the model were produced. The final model includes what is locally referred to as the Lower-Middle Aldridge stratigraphic contact (LMC), a map unit at the very top of the lower Aldridge Formation where the Sullivan world-class Pb-Zn-Ag deposit is located. Local mineral exploration initiatives focus on this key exploration target horizon, which is now modeled in 3D. The regional LMC model provides a much needed geospatial reference used to characterize and understand sedimentary exhalative, a type of ore deposit (SEDEX) ore systems as well as a key 3D exploration target. Developing regional 3D geologic models for orogenic interiors such as the Purcell region, and older shield regions is a challenge. This is largely due to data sparsity at depth, lack of standards for 3D data collection, storage, integration, and interpretation practice. Current algorithms use only a partial set of available observational or knowledge constraints and exist in workflows that do not allow for complicated geologic event histories. We have mitigated some of these challenges with a new implicit algorithm (SURFE), applied in this Purcell case study, to estimate major regional faults and horizons through variably distributed and clustered data. These modeled geologic elements are then fed into the SKUA structural and stratigraphic workflow to produce the volumetric model. Reflection on the general 3D modeling workflow for these regional situations highlights the need for embedding more knowledge constraints into the process.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
A regional 3D geoscience data integration study focusing on the computer reconstruction of a sub-surface sedimentary horizon is presented. The study encompasses mineral exploration data from the East Kootenay region in the Purcell Mountains near Cranbrook, British Columbia. The key horizon is an important target for mineral (Pb, Zn, Ag ) exploration and is the host to the world class Sullivan mine, one of Candada¿s historical best producers, contributing over $50 billion CAN (net present value) to our economy. A summary of the data and methods used in the study is elaborated, along with some recommendations to increase our innovation in mineral exploration using advanced 3D computational methods.

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