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.
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The first notions of a new journal came to J. E. Spurr during the closing days of 1904. When he shared his thoughts with friends in Washington, D. C., they were so enthusiastic about the suggestion that they formed themselves into an ad-hoc committee to seek ways to implement the idea. The ad-hoc group met informally for several months and by May of the following year was ready to announce the birth of an unusual new publishing company and the journal the company would produce. The first formal meeting of the Economic Geology Publishing Company took place on May 16, 1905. The first issue of the new journal appeared in October of the same year, and the first volume was completed in December 1906. The birthing was not easy, but it was successful because the founders provided much of the financing as well as the first papers. The story of those earliest days and the many struggles of the fledgling journal is engagingly recounted by Alan M. Bateman in an article published in the Fiftieth Anniversary volume.
From inception, management of the journal has differed from the management of most scientific journals. There was no sponsoring society, so the founders raised capital by incorporating and selling shares in the venture. The journal has been owned and published by the Economic Geology Publishing Company ever since. There is no record that the founders experienced difficulties in selling shares in the Company, but they must have had some because the Publishing Company had a goal that other corporations(and presumably many of the investors) would have found difficulty in understanding: the new corporation was committed to keeping the books balanced but not to making a profit.
Initially incorporated in the District of Columbia, the Publishing Company was reincorporated in 1970 as a nonprofit membership corporation in Delaware. The modification in corporate status came in response to a suggestion made by the Internal Revenue Service.
The affairs of the Publishing Company are controlled by a Board of Directors, and the journal is sold to the public by direct subscription. Day-to-day operations of paper selection, review, and printing are in the hands of the Editor, while business matters, such as subscriptions and advertising, are in the hands of the Business Editor.
The one tie the Publishing Company has with a society was instituted many years after the journal. was founded—with the Society of Economic Geologists. When the Society was founded in 1920 it first considered publishing its own bulletin. Because the venture seemed financially questionable, and the coffers of the new society were bare, an arrangement was reached whereby members of the Society first received offPrints of papers written by its members and eventually Economic Geology as