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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

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...

February 10, 2016

Cameco's new uranium discovery revealed

Canada's top uranium producer has a significant new discovery nearby to one of its largest existing mines...

February 9, 2016

NexGen Drills Most Intense Mineralization to Date at Arrow

NexGen announces further results from its on-going six rig 30,000 m winter 2016 drill program on its 100% owned Rook I Property in the Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan...

February 9, 2016

Rio Tinto scales up its big data ambitions

Rio Tinto is opening its "vast troves" of exploration data to junior explorers in the hopes they will help sift for opportunities and supply ideas and labour...

February 8, 2016

Online portal improves access to geoscience data from Africa

The Botswana Geoscience Institute is launching a Geoscience Portal...

February 8, 2016

5 Best Minerals & Fossils To Buy With Your IRS Tax Refund

You just got your IRS tax refund and now you're presented with some cash to go out and buy one of a kind minerals and fossils from your local...

February 5, 2016

World's largest offshore windfarm to be built off Yorkshire coast

Dong Energy makes final investment decision on 1.2-gigawatt project that will power more than a million UK homes...

February 2, 2016

World's top 10 rookie gold mines

These high-grade mines will soon start competing with gold mining's industry leaders ...

January 25, 2016

Exxon Mobil Corp's defiant outlook predicts Canadian and Venezuelan oilsands output will 'quadruple' over next 24 years

In sharp contrast to the grim medium-term prognosis for the Canadian oilsands, Exxon Mobil Corp. is predicting sunnier times for bitumen in the decades ahead...

January 23, 2016

Magnetic Survey Keeps Cost Down

At a contaminated furniture factory site in North Carolina, a reconnaissance magnetic survey was conducted toward the end of a Phase 2 investigation ...

Solving Complex 4D Problems on Canada’s West Coast

by Virginia Heffernan on February 29, 2016 applied

This ability to slice and dice data is invaluable to Terry Curran’s work for the Pacific Salmon Foundation, where he is building a web site that will contain all the marine data for British Columbia.
Shown above: Dissolved oxygen in the Strait of Georgia.

Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) technology, similar to the chips on credit cards, is being used in the Strait of Georgia to track how many juvenile salmon are consumed by seals. Shown above a seal outfitted with a tag scanner heads back to marine waters.
Photo provided by the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Eight Parameter stack measured by an ocean glider in the Douglas Channel.

Surface chlorophyll sampled by ferry.  This has the z-axis as datetime.

Ocean scientists work in not just three but four dimensions, including time, so presenting data in a way that others can understand can be challenging. One solution is to reduce the 4D data cube to three dimensions by taking a slice of time or another dimension, such as depth.

In a recent presentation at Canada’s Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS), consultant Terry Curran explained how he uses Geosoft Oasis montaj to integrate oceanographic data and produce corresponding visuals. First he prepares the data for loading using Python, then groups the data for a particular time period, usually with a few days of scatter. The last step is to integrate other variables, such as elevation.

“The software has evolved amazingly over the past few years, so now I can easily take a vertical, horizontal or constant value slice through a 4D cube of data,” says Curran, who has used Oasis montaj to process more than 26 million oceanographic records gathered over the last fifty years.

This ability to “slice and dice” data is proving invaluable to Curran’s work for the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF), where he is building a web site that will contain all the marine data for British Columbia. The process involves carefully documenting metadata, then creating and standardizing data layers so that anyone operating GIS can use the layers singly or in combination with other datasets.

Determining the causes of salmon loss

One of Curran’s jobs with the PSF is to manage data coming from citizen groups that contribute to the Foundation’s Salish Sea Marine Survival project. PSF launched the project in response to the dramatic decline in Chinook and Coho salmon populations in the Strait of Georgia (part of the Salish Sea) over the past 20 years. Recent catches in the Strait have been one tenth past levels, yet the causes of the decline remain somewhat of a mystery.
Using their own boats, each citizen group measures parameters such as conductivity, temperature, depth, oxygen, chlorophyll and turbidity with a secchi disk at 10 locations and on 20 separate occasions from February to October. Curran combines the wealth of citizen data to create spatial and temporal overviews of the physical differences.

He also makes maps from the results of nutrient sampling that can be telling. “My view is that the ocean is very like a garden. It takes bulk nutrients (N, P, K) and oxygen for free-floating plants to grow, zooplankton then graze upon the plants, and fish and marine mammals eat the zooplankton.”

Another component of the project uses Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) technology, similar to the chips on credit cards, to track the survival rates of riverine smolts after they have hatched naturally or in a hatchery. Curran used Geosoft software to create 3D sensitivity plots of the beam patterns from antennas that detect the movement of the smolts.

The BC Conservation Foundation analysis of the results combined with complementary research being carried out at the University of British Columbia that places PIT tag scanners on the heads of seals suggests that seals in the estuaries are a main culprit behind the decline in salmon stocks. The researchers can actually see the seals eating the smolt whenever there is a pit tag detection together with a head strike.

Mapping the Douglas Channel

Another project where montaj played a role is mapping various parameters in the Douglas Channel near Kitimat, BC, where a private consortium is proposing to build a floating LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal and storage unit, a jetty structure and mooring facilities. 

This project measured temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and CDOM (coloured dissolved organic material) as a function of depth from a glider that navigated the channel during a two-week mission. The autonomous vehicle, supplied by the Canadian Centre for Ocean Gliders (CCOG) received GPS positions and transmitted data via satellite back to base, where Curran would generate maps and other visuals.

Curran says his ability to process data and provide 3D renderings of the results has advanced considerably since his previous work with gliders in the Strait of Georgia when he ran a technological group for the Canadian Hydrographic Service and acted as the industrial liason officer for the IOS.

Standardizing ocean research

As the burden of ocean research moves increasingly from government to various non-profit organizations with different protocols, it is imperative that the data generated be of academic journal quality that can stand up to peer review.

“We need to formalize the data processing so that any processing steps are defensible,” says Curran. “Regardless of the NGO or research lab, the standards would be the same.”

Curran believes the push to standardize ocean research data would benefit from Oasis montaj’s ability to integrate and clean data in one dimension, display the data in two dimensions, and provide gridding and slicing and dicing capabilities in three dimensions.

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