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Acquisition and Processing of Wider Bandwidth Seismic Data in Crystalline Crust: Progress with the Metal Earth Project

1
Harquail School of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON P3E2C6, Canada
2
Absolute Imaging Inc., Calgary, AB T2R1J2, Canada
3
SAExploration Ltd., Calgary, AB T2B3M2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(3), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9030145
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Methods in Mineral Exploration)
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Abstract

The Metal Earth project acquired 927 km of deep seismic reflection profiles from August to November of 2017. Seismic data acquired in this early stage of the Metal Earth project benefited greatly from recent advances in the petroleum sector as well as those in mineral exploration. Vibroseis acquisition with receivers having a 5 Hz response (10 dB down) generated records from a sweep signal starting at 2 Hz, sweeping up to 150 Hz or 200 Hz. Not only does this broadband signal enhance reflections from the deepest to the shallowest crust, but it also helps the use of full waveform inversion (e.g., to mitigate cycle-skipping) and related techniques. Metal Earth regional-scale transects using over 5000 active sensors target mineralizing fluid pathways throughout the crust, whereas higher spatial-resolution reflection and full-waveform surveys target structures at mine camp scales. Because Metal Earth was proposed to map and compare entire Archean ore and geologically similar non-ore systems, regional sections cover the entire crust to the Moho in the Abitibi and Wabigoon greenstone belts of the Superior craton in central Canada. Where the new sections overlap with previous Lithoprobe surveys, a clear improvement in reflector detection and definition is observed. Improvements are here attributed to the increased bandwidth of the signal, better estimates of refraction and reflection velocities used in processing, and especially the pre-stack time migration of the data. View Full-Text
Keywords: mineral exploration; seismic reflection methods; hard rock exploration; archean ore systems mineral exploration; seismic reflection methods; hard rock exploration; archean ore systems
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Naghizadeh, M.; Snyder, D.; Cheraghi, S.; Foster, S.; Cilensek, S.; Floreani, E.; Mackie, J. Acquisition and Processing of Wider Bandwidth Seismic Data in Crystalline Crust: Progress with the Metal Earth Project. Minerals 2019, 9, 145.

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