A borehole gravimeter for the diameters of holes typically used in mineral exploration has recently been developed. Investigating how the data from such instruments can contribute to the gravity interpretation procedures used in mineral exploration is therefore appropriate. Here, results are presented from a study in which synthetic data for 3D exploration-relevant earth models were inverted and the impact of borehole data assessed. The inversions were carried out using a minimum-structure procedure that is typical of those commonly used to invert surface gravity data. Examples involving data from a single borehole, from multiple boreholes, and combinations of borehole and surface data, are considered. Also, a range of options for the particulars of the inversion algorithm are investigated, including using a reference model and cell weights to incorporate along-borehole density information, and an l1-type measure of model structure. The selection of examples presented demonstrates what one can and cannot expect to determine about the density variation around and between boreholes when borehole gravity data are inverted using a minimum-structure approach. Specifically, the density variation along a borehole can be accurately determined, even without constraints in the inversion, but this capability decreases dramatically a few tens of meters from a borehole.

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