Applying laterally varying density corrections to ground gravity and airborne gravity gradiometry data; a case study from the Bathurst mining camp
Applying laterally varying density corrections to ground gravity and airborne gravity gradiometry data; a case study from the Bathurst mining camp (in Geophysics applied to mineral exploration, Nicolas Pinet (editor), Erwan Gloaguen (editor) and Bernard Giroux (editor))
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences = Revue Canadienne des Sciences de la Terre (May 2019) 56 (5): 493-503
The influence of topography on gravity and gravity gradiometry measurements is profound and should be minimized prior to geological interpretation. The standard way of minimizing these effects is through the computation of a terrain correction. Terrain corrections require two inputs: topography and density. Often, geology and topography are inextricably intertwined: topography is caused by a change in geology. In geologic environments where there is a structural and (or) stratigraphic control on the near-surface mass distribution, using a single density value in the corrections leads to removal of the topographic effect of rocks having the chosen density. Any remaining gravity signal that correlates with topography is providing geological information. If the objective is to produce a gravity map with minimal topographic signal, then a regionally variable density correction is a means of compensating for this effect. In this paper, we demonstrate how to apply a spatially variable density correction using ground gravity and airborne gravity gradiometry data for the geologically complex Bathurst Mining Camp, northern New Brunswick, Canada. Ground gravity and airborne full tensor gravity gradiometry measurements are subdivided into a series of domains on the basis of the underlying tectonostratigraphic group. Terrain and Bouguer corrections are calculated for each domain using representative density values obtained from drill core and surface sampling throughout the Bathurst Mining Camp. The output from the spatially variable density correction is then compared with previous maps. Overall, the differences are subtle, but the spatially variably density allows for isolated anomalies to be better resolved.