Geologically driven 3D modelling of physical rock properties in support of interpreting the seismic response of the Lalor volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada
Ernst Schetselaar, Gilles Bellefleur, James Craven, Eric Roots, Saeid Cheraghi, Pejman Shamsipour, Antoine Caté, Patrick Mercier-Langevin, Najib El Goumi, Randolph Enkin, Matthew Salisbury, 2018. "Geologically driven 3D modelling of physical rock properties in support of interpreting the seismic response of the Lalor volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit, Snow Lake, Manitoba, Canada", Characterization of Ore-Forming Systems from Geological, Geochemical and Geophysical Studies, K. Gessner, T.G. Blenkinsop, P. Sorjonen-Ward
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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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Economically viable concentrations of mineral resources are uncommon in Earth’s crust. Most ore deposits that were mined in the past or are currently being extracted were found at or near Earth’s surface, often serendipitously. To meet the future demand for mineral resources, exploration success hinges on identifying targets at depth. Achieving this requires accurate and informed models of the Earth’s crust that are consistent with all available geological, geochemical and geophysical information, paired with an understanding of how ore-forming systems relate to Earth’s evolving structure. Contributions to this volume address the future resources challenge by (i) applying advanced microscale geochemical detection and characterization methods, (ii) introducing more rigorous 3D Earth models, (iii) exploring critical behaviour and coupled processes, (iv) evaluating the role of geodynamic and tectonic setting and (v) applying 3D structural models to characterize specific ore-forming systems.