The southwestern region of the Fujian Province is one of the major ore districts in China. The current model states that mineral deposition is highly controlled by thrust structure, which means that there may be concealed deposits located deep within overlapping thrust areas. Reflection seismology, which has great depth penetration and higher resolution than other geophysical methods, has great potential to delineate complex structures and give some clues to mineralization. In 2015, an experimental 2D reflection seismic survey called “Fujian 2D” was conducted in this region. Data were acquired along a 13.8 km length, with a source interval of 60 m, and 691 identical receivers with an equal spacing of 20 m were used to record data for each source. Due to topographical restrictions caused by the source environment, the mass or position of some shots was changed. Despite the restrictions, the average fold number reached 64 for a 10 km distance along the middle of the survey line. During the data processing procedure, conventional technologies involving static correction, noise elimination, deconvolution, and iterative velocity analyses were applied. After the prestack time migration failed to obtain a high-quality imaging result, rugged prestack depth migration (PSDM) was introduced that resulted in a better quality image of the subsurface structure and which included near-surface parts of the thrusts. In addition, P- and S-wave velocities and density data were determined from two borehole cores. Forward modeling and imaging found that the Permian marble hosting the mineral deposits has lower velocity than the surrounding rocks, where contacts give rise to strong reflections. The final rugged PSDM also clearly delineated the thrust bodies and magma intrusion zones. Combining this forward modeling with the known geology of the investigated site, the Fujian 2D reflection seismic experiment demonstrates great potential for unveiling the main elements controlling mineral deposition, such as tectonic structure, stratigraphic contacts, and lithology. Our experimental results demonstrate that reflection seismology has a wide range of applications for future mineral exploration at greater depths.

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