Seismic reflection profiling, the dominant geophysical method for hydrocarbon exploration, has the potential to provide images of regional structure for mineral exploration in the crystalline crust and direct detection of large, massive sulfide orebodies. Previous tests of traditional seismic methods in hard-rock environments have had mixed success. Based on these earlier results, we have tailored acquisition and processing strategies to conditions in the Canadian Shield. We illustrate these methods using an example from the Sudbury basin, a rich mineral-producing region. Because of structural complexity that complicates interpretation of the seismic images, the seismic data are integrated with detailed three-dimensional forward modeling based on physical properties studies, mine geology, and well logging. Through this integrated approach, we show that massive sulfides can produce a characteristic seismic reflection response, and that surface seismic reflection profiling may be used to detect and delineate deep, large massive sulfide deposits accurately in a complex geologic setting characterized by moderate dips.

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