3D Seismic Exploration for Hard Rock Environments

“Seismic is the only geophysical technique that can provide high-resolution images of complex geological structures. It could aid drilling programs and in some cases remotely detect deep-seated ore deposits.”  Milovan Urosevic, Curtin University


The objective of this project is to overcome the technical and cost barriers and to maximise the value of seismic data such that seismic methods are a viable tool for mineral exploration and the characterisation of complex mineral deposits.

Background & Aims

This project relies on the high resolution and penetration power of the seismic reflection method that is as yet not fully tested nor utilised in hard rock mineral exploration. In the past the method has performed with a variable success mainly because of a straightforward transfer of seismic methodology from the oil sector to the mineral sector. Researchers in Project 3.1 are constantly improving hard rock seismic exploration practices by adapting existing methods and introducing new methods, algorithms and approaches.

These developments are intended to make seismic methods more efficient and inexpensive so as to be a viable tool for mineral exploration. One of the key objectives of this project is to further progress all aspects of three dimensional (3D) reflection seismic to delineate an excessively complex hard rock environment.

The key to success of this methodology is to combine it with borehole seismology and calibrate with logs and cores.