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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

December 7, 2016

Geosoft introduces IP and resistivity inversion in VOXI Earth Modelling

Geosoft has added induced polarization and resistivity data inversion to its VOXI Earth Modelling 3D inversion software service. Geoscientists are now able to create detailed 3D models of conductivity and chargeability from IP and resistivity survey data with VOXI. The resulting models can assist in interpreting and targeting regions for mineral and environmental applications...

December 5, 2016

Mexico's Deepwater Round Exceeds Expectations

Some of the world's biggest oil companies showed up Dec. 5 and agreed to invest on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, proving that deepwater exploration still has a pulse despite challenging market conditions...

November 30, 2016

Magnetic inversion results for Ngamiland available for download

A regional-scale geophysical inversion of magnetic field data in the Ngamiland region of northwestern Botswana is now available for download from the Botswana Geoscience Portal, a partnership initiative of the Botswana Geoscience Institute, industry sponsors and Geosoft...

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...

Best Practices for Handling the Data Explosion

By Natalie Green

First there were megabytes, then gigabytes, and now terabytes. But have you ever heard of a petabyte? Just one petabyte is the data equivalent of a stack of DVDs from here to the moon, and they’re coming to an exploration office near you.

As the quantity of exploration data increases exponentially – one estimate has it doubling every 12 months – companies that fail to efficiently organize, preserve, centralize and collaborate with their data will experience delays and missed opportunities.

Based on a combination of wider industry best practices and our own experiences helping companies effectively manage exploration data assets, Geosoft has come up with five best practices to make exploration data management more efficient:

1. Clear the Clutter:

One exploration group we worked with was using more than a hundred data products.  That number is not sustainable.  Identify which applications and formats are essential for your business and cull the rest. Here’s what you should consider keeping:

  • Raw data You may want to preserve raw data, but keep it in a compressed file that can be opened only if needed.
  • Processed data may include corrected and levelled line or point data, such as a Geosoft database (GDB) file, for the user who doesn’t want or have the time to start from scratch with raw data. Making processed data accessible to the non-specialist encourages collaboration and takes the pressure off the specialist to handle every data request.
  • Interpreted data could be a grid for a quick reference to the nature of the data, or a carefully gridded and processed product.
  • Imagery is helpful for geoscientists and/or GIS users. Several companies provide their geoscientists with grids and other data in image formats for use in GIS or other applications.
  • Metadata provides descriptive information. It can be used to categorize and organize data, query or search for datasets that meet certain criteria, or provide historical context for the origin, purpose, or validity of a dataset.
  • Survey Outlines act as a reference and have a number of general applications in GIS and other areas. For example, one organization publishes the outlines for its GIS users, while another uses the outlines to reference project reports.

2. Find Your Coordinates

It is not uncommon to hear about a target on the wrong datum or a drill hole that missed the target due to been located in wrong location; a costly mistake. All data is associated with a place on Earth – either on the surface or below the surface – and GPS has been an invaluable tool for recording accurate geographic coordinates in the field. But still errors occur in the management of coordinate systems.

Geoscientists need both spatial information that tells them precisely where the data originated and physical information that tells them where it is stored.

3. Classify

Classifications should be used to organize the data to make the discovery of data more efficient.  For example:

Continent > Country > State/Region > Project Name > Data Type

When classifying data, it is important to be consistent, use clarification as needed (e.g. the year the data was collected), and avoid burying data in too many levels: six is plenty, ten is too many.

4. Add Descriptors

Metadata is essential for exploration information management. The metadata for a digital photo, for example would include both data that is captured automatically (i.e. the date, aperture, camera, GPS location) and data filled in manually (i.e. tags and people). Geosoft recommends a standard set of minimum required metadata fields for every dataset, and provides tools and workflows to capture these in industry standard formats.

5. Make it Flow

Workflows move the data through the system from collection to collaboration and ensure that all users know where to find existing data and put new data. The workflow should be relatively painless, allowing spatial and metadata searching. Ideally, one person - a data manager or steward - is responsible for the data and data contribution processes.

The flow typically follows this cycle, with data continually being added to the flow:

  1. Find and create the data sources, including geophysics, geology, GIS and metadata
  2. Submit the data to the queue as packages
  3. Run Quality Control and Assurance (QC & QA) with the DAP repository
  4. Catalog the data using dataset and metadata indexes
  5. Publish to the Intranet and/or Internet for multi-user searching and extraction

Data preparation services

Managing new data and transferring existing data assets into new solutions requires effort. Geosoft Professional Services group has created tools to help exploration companies automate some of these procedures, such as the capture of coordinate system details.

Often these are custom tools that specifically meet the needs of one organization. For example, we created a specialized tool that outlined survey boundaries for one group that wanted to integrate their GIS and exploration solutions. Other tools, such as a configurable metadata editor, meet a more general need.

You can learn more about Geosoft Information Management Solutions online.