Don’t bury Western Australia’s geophysical data: Uncovering prospective mineral terrains with regional potential field, seismic and MT transects through cooperative inversion
Total Grant Value
Many of Australia’s prospective mineral terrains extend beneath layers of sedimentary rock, shielding possible ore deposits from discovery. Recognising clues that may point to mineralisation through this cover to better target exploration investment requires the development of new exploration methods.
Cooperative inversion of magnetotelluric and seismic data using the software toolbox developed in this research produces better interpretations of the sub-surface geology than either dataset could independently.
Tested on datasets crossing the Yilgarn Craton–Officer Basin–Musgrave Province of Western Australia, this approach was able to successfully predict rock properties down to depths exceeding those of routine mineral exploration, and reveal previously hidden geological features.
Benefit to WA
The cooperative inversion method developed in this research unlocks additional value in existing geophysical datasets covering Western Australia, without requiring expensive new studies.
This improved constraint of sub-surface geology will reduce the risk in targeting major ore bodies beneath barren cover rocks, encouraging exploration investment in under-explored areas of the state.
Keywords: cooperative inversion, seismic data, magnetotelluric data, mineral exploration
Page was last reviewed 2 December 2020