News from the GSC (February 01, 2001)
Downhole Seismic Imaging
The Downhole Seismic Imaging (DSI) consortium, a partnership of Falconbridge Ltd., Noranda Inc. and the GSC, has successfully demonstrated the capability of DSI instrumentation for cost-effective mapping of ore zones and structures at distances of two to three kilometres. A group of Canadian and European universities provide expertise and advice. The consortium’s goal is to transfer this technology to the commercial sector and foster a competitive, sustainable contractor industry that offers DSI to mining companies in Canada and abroad.
Downhole seismic imaging is based on the Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) techniques used by the petroleum industry. The DSI consortium has adapted these downhole seismic tools to mining environments during three years of field testing. It has also developed specialized code (DSIsoft) to process the data on a universal software platform that is transportable to most existing computer and processing systems.
One advantage of the DSI method in mineral exploration is that it covers a considerable volume of rock at a moderate cost. The success of DSI will depend on reducing its cost per application and enhancing the confidence in its interpretations. This will occur as more surveys are done in a wider variety of terranes and geological settings.
The GSC’s role in the consortium has been one of a broker, pulling together industry interests with ongoing research in the academic and government research community. The GSC’s commitment to the consortium underscores its support and interaction with Canadian industry to develop innovative techniques that enhance mineral exploration.
For information, contact David Snyder, GSC, [email protected], http://www.cg.NRCan.gc.ca/dsisoft