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Earth Explorer is an online source of news, expertise and applied knowledge for resource explorers and earth scientists. Sponsored by Geosoft.


News & Views

News Archive

November 30, 2016

LIGO Resumes Search for Gravitational Waves

After a series of upgrades, the twin detectors of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, have turned back on and resumed their search for ripples in the fabric of space and time known as gravitational waves. LIGO transitioned from their engineering test runs to full science observations at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 30...

November 9, 2016

International Volcano Scientists Unite

For the first time, the United States will host the international Volcano Observatory Best Practices workshop, previously held only in Italy. The workshop will take place this month in Vancouver, Washington. It is designed specifically for volcano observatories around the world and their staff to exchange ideas and best practices with each other...

October 4, 2016

USGS Assesses Mineral Potential for Sagebrush Habitats in Six Western States

USGS has completed a comprehensive assessment and inventory of potential mineral resources covering approximately 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming...

October 3, 2016

Uganda Targets Up to U.S.$100 Million for Mineral Exploration

Uganda is well endowed with mineral resources and, like many naturally-gifted African countries, is becoming keen on ensuring that these resources play a transformative role in its long-term structural transformation dream - the Vision 2040...

September 9, 2016

Small-Scale Fishers Get A Big Boost With First-Of-Its Kind Impact Investment Fund

Conservation organization Rare announces the Meloy Fund for Small-Scale Fisheries at Our Ocean Conference. The Global Environment Facility, one of the largest funders of conservation worldwide, will be investing $6 million into the fund...

September 1, 2016

Scientists take to the skies to track West African pollution

Scientists operating research aircraft over West Africa have detected organic materials in the atmosphere over a number of urban areas, contributing to concerns of the rise in pollution across the region...

August 17, 2016

New IGS Xplore prospectivity maps for Botswana

International Geoscience Services have released a series of base metal prospectivity maps for the Ngamiland District of northwestern Botswana using free geodata available on the recently-launched Botswana Geoscience Portal, hosted by Geosoft. The maps identify favorable areas for copper, zinc and lead mineralization using geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets downloaded directly from the portal.

August 11, 2016

NexGen Makes New High Grade Discovery

NexGen Energy reported the discovery of a new high grade zone of mineralization 4.7 km northeast of the Arrow Deposit as part of an on-going summer drilling program on its 100% owned, Rook I property, Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

August 10, 2016

Rampion UXO Disposal to Take Place This Week

E.ON has confirmed that the two unexploded devices, detected along the Rampion offshore cable route will be safely disposed this week following the consultation with the Marine Management Organisation...

August 9, 2016

Diamonds In The Rough: E&Ps Find New Reserves In Mature Basins

The oil industry’s history demonstrates clearly that new plays and prospects have long been found in mature basins that were thought to be well on the way to being squeezed dry. Through the acquisition of new data, developing new concepts and coming up with fresh interpretations, long-producing basins around the world from the North Sea to Malaysia have continued to reveal new riches...

August 8, 2016

Northern Shield Identifies High Quality VTEM Targets at Séquoi

Northern Shield Resources announced the results of the interpretation and modelling of the VTEM survey from the Séquoi Property in the Labrador Trough of Quebec . Séquoi is owned 100% by Northern Shield and is being explored for Noril'sk style Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. After geophysical modelling and interpretation of the VTEM data from Séquoi, six VTEM anomalies of significant interest have been identified...

August 3, 2016

Rio Tinto tailors big data drive to copper

Rio Tinto will put the weight of an exploration big data push and its newly-formed Growth and Innovation group behind its desire to identify a "tier 1" copper asset. Speaking at the annual Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie, Growth and Innovation group executive Stephen McIntosh said Australia was "overdue for a tier 1" mineral discovery of any type...

August 1, 2016

Tetra Tech Awarded $200 Million Navy CLEAN Contract

Tetra Tech announced that it has been awarded a $200 million, single-award contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Atlantic. Through the Comprehensive Long-term Environmental Action Navy (CLEAN) contract, Tetra Tech will provide environmental engineering support services to installations within the NAVFAC Atlantic Area of Responsibility...

May 3, 2016

NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS), MODUM Partners announce "Young Scientist Summer School on Sea Dumped Chemical Weapons"

This international project cooperates closely with CHEMSEA (Search and Assessment of Chemical Weapons) Project for and sharing and knowledge transfer...

April 12, 2016

Monday mad rush for gold stocks

Renewed optimism about the outlook for gold saw investors pile back into gold stocks, pushing many stock to 52-week highs in heavy volumes...

April 11, 2016

Medgold Resources: Continues to Expand the Boticas Gold Project, Portugal; Proposes $200,000 Private Placement

Medgold Resources is pleased to announce new assay results from contiguous rock-chip sampling from the Limarinho South zone at its Boticas gold project in Portugal, which include a highlight of 6.0m @ 5.7 g/t Au...

April 8, 2016

De-carbonizing our energy sector

Nuclear energy currently provides around 11 percent of the world's electricity. China, the European Union, the United States, India, Russia, South Korea, and other nations’ have major existing fleets...

April 1, 2016

Follow-Up Drilling Results Indicate Wide Gold Zones at Hendricks Gold Discovery

Gascoyne Resources Limited announced that it has received the final assay results from the 10,000 metre aircore exploration drilling programme...

March 26, 2016

The Oil Market Is Finally Hitting Its Breaking Point

After a significant reduction in investments over the past two years, oil companies can no longer overcome the production declines from legacy wells...

March 15, 2016

N-Sea Expands into the French Offshore Wind Industry

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has signed a letter of intent with CERES Recherches & Expertise Sous-Marine and TechSub Industrie Environement, to provide subsea survey, installation and remediation services to the French offshore wind industry...

March 9, 2016

PDAC 2016 Convention Exceeds 22,000 Attendees

Optimism and opportunity abounded at the PDAC 2016 Convention of The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in spite of recent industry challenges...

March 3, 2016

6 Alpha Launches EOD Contracting Division

6 Alpha Associates, a specialist risk consultancy practice, with expertise in the assessment and management of unexploded ordnance, has launched a dedicated explosive ordnance disposal division...

Introduction of VOXI Earth Modelling technology

Accessible 3D modelling technology advances exploration geophysics for improved drill targeting

by CARMELA BURNS on March 9, 2012 technology

Geosoft introduced VOXI Earth Modelling, a geophysical inversion software service that generates 3D voxel models from airborne or ground gravity and magnetic data, at the PDAC 2012. Ian MacLeod, Geosoft Chief Technologist, also presented a talk entitled VOXI - A Cloud Approach to Earth Modelling for Exploration during the Geophysical Technical Session at the PDAC. 

“One of the important benefits of converting gravity or magnetic data into a 3D earth model is that the visual end product allows explorers to see and understand the subsurface using now common 3D viewing platforms,“ said MacLeod. “VOXI produces a model of rock properties, which can be directly integrated with other surface and subsurface geologic observations."

Integration is important, says MacLeod, because no one technique provides all the answers. “Geophysical models often need to be constrained by geological and geochemical observations in three dimensions. Our aim as explorers is to develop the most complete subsurface picture of geology and mineral systems that we can."

The technique of modelling the earth through inversion has been used successfully within mineral exploration industry for well over a decade, and the benefits have been well documented.  The ability to convert geophysical measurements directly into 3D images of the subsurface that can be integrated with other exploration information in three dimensions has enabled resource explorers to extract significantly more insight from their geophysical data. Insights generated from these 3D earth models have helped mineral explorers to sharpen their prospecting and improve their drill targeting, particularly in challenging subsurface environments.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) led the way when they established the UBC-Geophysical Inversion Facility in 1989 with funds from the B.C. Science and Technology Fund.  UBC went on to develop modelling and inversion programs and utility codes that form the basis for most of the geophysical inversion solutions being deployed today in research institutes and large mineral exploration companies.

Over the past decade, inversion has proved its worth in exploring for major ore deposits around the world. Within mineral exploration, inversion modelling has aided in developing exploration potential within the iron ore and nickel belts of Western Australia; the Stuart Shelf and Olympic Dam in South Australia; iron oxide-copper-gold in Africa, South America and Australia; copper in Mongolia; and nickel laterite in Colombia.

The results have been impressive, however at present inversion remains largely in the hands of expert modellers, and the ability to generate an earth model that you can have confidence in is out of reach for most geophysicists. It’s estimated that less than 20% of mineral exploration projects use inversions despite the availability of advanced, high end inversion services and systems. With its VOXI Earth Modelling solution Geosoft is targeting speed, usability and accessibility to remedy this.

“We have designed VOXI Earth Modeling to fit naturally within an explorer’s workflow” said Robert Ellis, Geosoft Senior Earth Modelling Scientist that led the development of VOXI, “and we’ve made it fast, recognizing that speed in generating 3D inversions is a critical requirement that will allow geoscientists to use this tool routinely.  Speed also allows us to iteratively improve our models as we add constraints and learn more about our projects.”

Behind VOXI Earth Modelling’s speed and agility is cloud technology engineered by Geosoft to conduct the complex geo-computing via the internet, with minimal drain on the explorer’s personal computer systems. The VOXI Earth Modelling cloud service is powered by Microsoft Windows Azure.

Included in the first release of VOXI Earth Modelling is Geosoft’s Magnetization Vector Inversion (MVI) modelling technique. MVI allows the magnetization direction to vary within the model and thus take into account the combined effects of remanence, demagnetization, anisotropy and induced magnetization. The result is a more realistic representation of rock magnetization, which is the fundamental rock property measured with the magnetic method.

Geosoft VOXI Earth Modelling is being offered as a software service extension accessible within Geosoft’s Oasis montaj 3D mapping and analysis platform. Once market availability is announced in April, Geosoft customers will be able to use the VOXI Earth Modelling service on a pay as you go or subscription plan.

More information resources:
Video introduction to VOXI Earth Modelling
Technical paper on MVI - Presented at the ASEG 2012 Conference, Queensland, Australia

Related Earth Explorer Articles:
Modelling the Earth through Inversion