The aim of this study is to prove the effectiveness of two electrical geophysical prospecting techniques, namely electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and induced polarization (IP), in locating thin vein structures of metal sulphides embedded in Palaeozoic materials underlying a sedimentary cover. For this purpose, a Quaternary basin known as La Garza was selected, located in the mining district of Linares-La Carolina (Southern Spain). Galena (PbS) veins appear abundantly throughout this area, hosted in the Palaeozoic granitic bedrock. The studied veins show thicknesses from 0.5 to 2.0 m, and most present a vertical planar distribution. The veins lose their continuity below the sedimentary cover due to normal fractures that control the subsidence of the basin. During the 1980s, geophysical research campaigns were carried out in La Garza using vertical electrical sounding and failed in detecting the hidden veins. For this reason, to carry out this study, a closed regular mesh was designed, composed by eight ERT and IP profiles, with variable lengths between 315 and 411 metres. An electrode spacing between 5 and 7 metres was selected, thus allowing the granite bedrock to be reached without significantly reducing the resolution capabilities of the method. Even though ERT and IP are well-known geophysical techniques for mapping ore deposits, this is a case study that shows the advantages of the simultaneous use of both techniques (ERT and IP), over their individual application. ERT allows for reconstructing the morphology of the basin and the fractures that control it due to high-resistivity contrast between the overlying sedimentary cover and the underlaying granitic basement. However, it cannot provide any insights about their degree of mineralization. At this point, it is the IP technique that makes it possible to differentiate which are the mineralized structures. Some of these fractures produce high (above 50 mV/V) and moderate (below 50 mV/V) chargeability values, suggesting the existence of several unexploited metal veins. Furthermore, the derived models enable researchers to analyse the morphology of this sedimentary basin controlled by normal faults.
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