Radio tomography and borehole radar delineation of the McConnell nickel sulfide deposit, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Fullagar, Peter K., Livelybrooks, Dean W., Zhang, Ping, Calvert, Andrew J. and Wu, Yiren (2000) Radio tomography and borehole radar delineation of the McConnell nickel sulfide deposit, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Geophysics, 65 6: 1920-1930. doi:10.1190/1.1444876

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Author Fullagar, Peter K.
Livelybrooks, Dean W.
Zhang, Ping
Calvert, Andrew J.
Wu, Yiren
Title Radio tomography and borehole radar delineation of the McConnell nickel sulfide deposit, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Journal name Geophysics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0016-8033
Publication date 2000
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1190/1.1444876
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 65
Issue 6
Start page 1920
End page 1930
Total pages 11
Place of publication Tulsa, OK, United States
Publisher Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Collection year 2000
Language eng
Abstract In an effort to reduce costs and increase revenues at mines, there is a strong incentive to develop high-resolution techniques both for near-mine exploration and for delineation of known orebodies To investigate the potential of high-frequency EM techniques for exploration and delineation of massive sulfide orebodies, radio frequency electromagnetic (RFEM) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were conducted in boreholes through the McConnell massive nickel-copper sulfide body near Sudbury, Ontario, from 1993-1996. Crosshole RFEM data were acquired with a JW-4 electric dipole system between two boreholes on section 2720W. Ten frequencies between 0.5 and 5.0 MHz were recorded. Radio signals propagated through the Sudbury Breccia over ranges of at least 150 m at all frequencies. The resulting radio absorption tomogram clearly imaged the McConnell deposit over 110 m downdip. Signal was extinguished when either antenna entered the sulfide body. However, the expected radio shadow did not eventuate when transmitter and receiver were on opposite sides of the deposit. Two-dimensional modeling suggested that diffraction around the edges of the sulfide body could not account for the observed held amplitudes. It was concluded at the time that the sulfide body is discontinuous; according to modeling, a gap as small as 5 m could have explained the observations. Subsequent investigations by INCO established that pick-up in the metal-cored downhole cables was actually responsible for the elevated signal levels. Both single-hole reflection profiles and crosshole measurements were acquired using RAMAC borehole radar systems, operating at 60 MHz. Detection of radar reflections from the sulfide contact was problematic. One coherent reflection was observed from the hanging-wall contact in single-hole reflection mode. This reflection could be traced about 25 m uphole from the contact. In addition to unfavorable survey geometry, factors which may have suppressed reflections included host rock heterogeneity, disseminated sulfides, and contact irregularity. Velocity and absorption tomograms were generated in the Sudbury Breccia host rock from the crosshole radar. Radar velocity was variable, averaging 125 m/mus, while absorption was typically 0.8 dB/m at 60 MHz. Kirchhoff-style 2-D migration of later arrivals in the crosshole radargrams defined reflective zones that roughly parallel the inferred edge of the sulfide body. The McConnell high-frequency EM surveys established that radio tomography and simple radio shadowing are potentially valuable for near- and in-mine exploration and orebody delineation in the Sudbury Breccia. The effectiveness of borehole radar in this particular environment is less certain.
Keyword Geochemistry & Geophysics
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 11:44:38 EST