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Two-dimensional audiomagnetotelluric and magnetotelluric modelling of ore deposits: Improvements in model constraints by inclusion of borehole measurements
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Geophysics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3819-8182
Luossavaara Kiirunavaara AB, Kiruna, Sweden.
Boliden Finnex Oy, Polvijarvi Explorat Off, Polvijarvi, Finland.
2018 (English)In: Surveys in geophysics, ISSN 0169-3298, E-ISSN 1573-0956, Vol. 39, no 3, p. 467-507Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A combination of magnetotelluric (MT) measurements on the surface and in boreholes (without metal casing) can be expected to enhance resolution and reduce the ambiguity in models of electrical resistivity derived from MT surface measurements alone. In order to quantify potential improvement in inversion models and to aid design of electromagnetic (EM) borehole sensors, we considered two synthetic 2D models containing ore bodies down to 3000 m depth (the first with two dipping conductors in resistive crystalline host rock and the second with three mineralisation zones in a sedimentary succession exhibiting only moderate resistivity contrasts). We computed 2D inversion models from the forward responses based on combinations of surface impedance measurements and borehole measurements such as (1) skin-effect transfer functions relating horizontal magnetic fields at depth to those on the surface, (2) vertical magnetic transfer functions relating vertical magnetic fields at depth to horizontal magnetic fields on the surface and (3) vertical electric transfer functions relating vertical electric fields at depth to horizontal magnetic fields on the surface. Whereas skin-effect transfer functions are sensitive to the resistivity of the background medium and 2D anomalies, the vertical magnetic and electric field transfer functions have the disadvantage that they are comparatively insensitive to the resistivity of the layered background medium. This insensitivity introduces convergence problems in the inversion of data from structures with strong 2D resistivity contrasts. Hence, we adjusted the inversion approach to a three-step procedure, where (1) an initial inversion model is computed from surface impedance measurements, (2) this inversion model from surface impedances is used as the initial model for a joint inversion of surface impedances and skin-effect transfer functions and (3) the joint inversion model derived from the surface impedances and skin-effect transfer functions is used as the initial model for the inversion of the surface impedances, skin-effect transfer functions and vertical magnetic and electric transfer functions. For both synthetic examples, the inversion models resulting from surface and borehole measurements have higher similarity to the true models than models computed exclusively from surface measurements. However, the most prominent improvements were obtained for the first example, in which a deep small-sized ore body is more easily distinguished from a shallow main ore body penetrated by a borehole and the extent of the shadow zone (a conductive artefact) underneath the main conductor is strongly reduced. Formal model error and resolution analysis demonstrated that predominantly the skin-effect transfer functions improve model resolution at depth below the sensors and at distance of similar to 300-1000 m laterally off a borehole, whereas the vertical electric and magnetic transfer functions improve resolution along the borehole and in its immediate vicinity. Furthermore, we studied the signal levels at depth and provided specifications of borehole magnetic and electric field sensors to be developed in a future project. Our results suggest that three-component SQUID and fluxgate magnetometers should be developed to facilitate borehole MT measurements at signal frequencies above and below 1 Hz, respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 39, no 3, p. 467-507
National Category
Geophysics
Research subject
Geophysics with specialization in Solid Earth Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353476DOI: 10.1007/s10712-017-9454-yISI: 000429112400006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-353476DiVA, id: diva2:1217482
Projects
Innovative Deep Exploration (INDEX)
Funder
VINNOVA, 2015-01301Swedish Research Council FormasSwedish Energy AgencyAvailable from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Kalscheuer, Thomas

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