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Lee M.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | Lee M.,National Research Council Canada | Morris W.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | Harris J.,Natural Resources Canada | Leblanc G.,National Research Council Canada
Exploration Geophysics | Year: 2012

Many mineral exploration initiatives target regional- and local-scale lineaments (e.g. fault systems and dyke swarms) as they may act as conduits for mineralized fluids. In this work, we apply an automatic lineament 'network extraction' method that draws on similar processes as the Blakely-Simpson peak detection algorithm and a stream network extraction algorithm commonly used in the mapping of drainage patterns from a topographic surface (e.g. DEM, DTM) within a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. We apply the network extraction algorithm to a magnetic surface (grid) rather than a topographic surface. The method uses a simple quadratic surface across a 3×3 window to determine the degree of surface slope and if the centre cell of the window represents a localised low point in the surface. Thus this routine is particularly effective at identifying magnetic lows that may represent faults, which have undergone magnetite depletion (e.g. hematization). These lineament solutions provide insight into mineral exploration vectors through the computation of rose diagrams, fracture density plots and intersection locations. These diagrams, plots, and locations are used in conjunction with other geophysical layers (e.g. radiometrics) to help identify potential mineral exploration targets. We successfully applied this algorithm to an aeromagnetic dataset from the Wopmay Orogen in Northwestern Canada. This area is characterised by extensive regional and localised fault systems and dyke swarms, along with promising polymetallic hydrothermal mineral occurrences. Key areas for follow up exploration are identified through a combined study of geophysical grids and lineament analysis. © 2012 ASEG. Source

Lee M.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | Lee M.,National Research Council Canada | Morris W.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | Leblanc G.,National Research Council Canada | Harris J.,Natural Resources Canada
Geophysical Prospecting | Year: 2013

Curvature of a surface is typically applied in seismic data interpretation; however this work outlines its application to a potential field, specifically aeromagnetic data. The curvature of a magnetic grid (from point data) is calculated by fitting a quadratic surface within a moving window at each grid node. The overall and directional curvatures calculated within this window provide insight into the geometry of the magnetic grid surface and causative sources. Curvature analysis is an in-depth study of both qualitative (graphically) and quantitative (statistically) approaches. This analysis involved the calculation of full, profile and plan curvatures. The magnitude, sign and relative ratios enable the user to define source location and geometry and also discriminate source type; for example, differentiation between a fault and normal polarity dyke. The reliability of the analysis is refined when a priori geological knowledge is available and basic statistics are considered. By allotting a weighting scheme to various statistical populations (e.g., standard deviation), increased detail is extracted on the different lithologies and structures represented by the data set. Furthermore, the curvature's behaviour is analogous to derivative calculation (vertical, horizontal and tilt) by producing a zero value at the source edge and either a local maxima or minima over the source. Application prior to semi-automated methods may help identify correct indices necessary for identification of magnetic sources. Curvature analysis is successfully applied to an aeromagnetic data set over the 2.6-1.85 Ga Paleoproterozoic Wopmay orogen, Northwest Territories, Canada. This area has undergone regional and local-scale faulting and is host to multiple generations of dyke swarms. As the area has been extensively mapped, this data set proved to be an ideal test site. © 2012 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers. Source

Lee M.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | Morris W.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center
Exploration Geophysics | Year: 2013

Lineament analysis is typically applied to geoscientific data to identify lithological contacts, faults, fractures and dyke swarms. We implement lineament analysis as a method for quantifying the adequacy of pre-processing of airborne magnetic datasets. This is accomplished through the identification of noise due to inappropriate levelling. Lineament analysis involves the extraction of linear features from a dataset using visual and/or automatic interpretation techniques and the statistical and directional analyses of these extracted lineaments. We apply lineament analysis to a levelled high resolution aeromagnetic dataset from the Northwest Territories, Canada, to assess the levelling quality. A priori knowledge will include geology defining regional tectonic trends such as fault systems and dyke swarms. Analysis of a lineament's azimuth separates assumed geologic sources and noise associated with data acquisition or processing artefacts. The lineament azimuths are assessed as rose diagrams. This is an alternative method to standard computation of 2D radially averaged power spectrums in the frequency domain and sunshading orthogonal to flight path. The rose diagrams are compared with the 2D power spectrums which both provide quantitative directional information; however, the power spectrum provides spectral frequency content and rose diagrams provide frequency of occurrence. Calculation of the number of lineaments along a particular azimuth before and after pre-processing quantifies the degree to which flight-line variations have been suppressed and geological signal more apparent. © 2013 ASEG. Source

Lee M.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | Lee M.,Natural Resources Canada | Lee M.,National Research Council Canada | Morris W.,ster Applied Geophysical and Geological Imaging Center | And 5 more authors.
Leading Edge (Tulsa, OK) | Year: 2012

Lineament analysis is commonly undertaken by interpreting a wide range of geoscientific data to delineate geologic structures. These structures include faults, fractures, dykes, and lithological contacts, which provide information for geologic mapping and mineral and energy exploration. We offer a simple automatic lineament analysis method that combines the principles of peak-identification algorithms typically used in geophysical data interpretation and a GIS drainage "network-extraction" algorithm commonly applied to a topographic surface. We apply this network-extraction process to a magnetic surface (grid) rather than a topographic one. The GIS approach calculates the curvature of a surface to determine whether a specific coordinate is at a minimum (trough). A simple quadratic surface is computed for a moving 3 × 3 window to determine if the local surface has the form of a dipping plane (or a trough). Continuity of troughs between adjacent kernels defines lineaments that typically correspond to streamflow pathways when analysis is carried out on a topographic surface. On a magnetic anomaly map surface, network extraction identifies magnetic lows that may represent faults that have undergone magnetite (depletion) alteration, or dykes with predominantly reversed polarity remanence. As network extraction is designed to locate troughs, it is possible to isolate normally magnetized dykes by inverting the values of a magnetic data set by to produce ridges. This modified ridge analysis method is successfully applied to three synthetic data sets, showing that network extraction offers the principal benefits of continuity in solutions to produce polylines (over isolated ridge solutions), automation for consistency and reliability, and optional amplitude thresholding. © 2012 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Source

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