Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Seismic Methods in Mineral Exploration

By
Phillip M. Wright
Phillip M. Wright
University of Utah Research Institute, Earth Science Laboratory Division, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1981

Abstract

Seismic methods utilize the propagation of elastic waves in the earth. These waves are reflected and refracted when they intersect a boundary between rocks of different acoustic impedance in the earth, and the detection of the reflected or refracted components allows the boundaries to be mapped.

Although seismic methods have found broad and sophisticated application in petroleum exploration, they have contributed far less to metals exploration. The reasons are twofold: the geologic environments containing most metals deposits are commonly more complex than the petroleum environments, and whereas the petroleum industry has invested a great deal of money in optimizing the seismic method for the petroleum environment, the mining community has not made a corresponding investment. Thus, seismic exploration has a reputation of being expensive and useful in only a few special cases. Geophysicists generally agree, however, that research and development could substantially improve the method for mining application.

Seismic methods are effective at target depths beyond those appropriate for the electrical methods that now dominate minerals exploration. In addition, seismic methods can often detect smaller targets. Consequently, the cost effectiveness of seismic techniques will increase as targets become smaller and/or deeper and as optimization of these techniques to the mining environment is achieved through research and development.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Economic Geology Publishing Company

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Volume

Brian J. Skinner
Brian J. Skinner
Search for other works by this author on:
Society of Economic Geologists
ISBN electronic:
9781934969533
Publication date:
January 01, 1981

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal