A network extraction tool for mineral exploration: a case study from the Wopmay Orogen, Northwest Territories, Canada

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1071/EG11045
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TypeArticle
Journal titleExploration Geophysics
ISSN0812-3985
Volume43
Issue2
Pages116124; # of pages: 9
Subjectgeographic information system, lineament analysis, magnetics, mineral exploration, potential field.
AbstractMany 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.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Aerospace Research; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269075
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Record identifierbec7d2f1-4fd1-4799-9e46-69c73c72051e
Record created2013-12-05
Record modified2016-05-09
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