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Abstract

3D lithofacies and physical rock property models were generated to interpret 3D seismic data acquired over the Lalor volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, Manitoba, Canada. The lithofacies model revealed that strong seismic reflectivity is associated with ore–host rock and mafic–felsic lithofacies contacts, including their hydrothermally altered equivalents. Different physical rock property models were subjected to 3D seismic forward modelling using the SOFI3D finite difference code. Seismic synthetics from discrete and interpolated models in which kriging of P-wave velocity and density was conditioned by curvilinear grids conformable to the 3D-modelled geological structure showed a much better match to the seismic data in comparison with those generated by kriging in Cartesian space. Synthetics from these curvilinear grid models corroborate the origin of seismic reflectors, as qualitatively inferred from the lithofacies model. Seismic synthetics generated from physical rock property models in which physical rock properties were augmented by densely sampled secondary variables, such as FeO percentage, enhanced lateral continuity of seismic reflectivity, although these co-kriged petrophysical models were not more accurate than their kriged equivalents. The physical rock property modelling methodology was also useful for testing the utility of passive interferometric seismic surveys, as this highlighted the limitations of the discrete physical rock property model.

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