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Advanced Geological Interpretation of Aeromagnetic Data: Applied Indirect Exploration Targeting

James Siddorn
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
First presented: 
KEGS/BCGS Roundup 2013

Aeromagnetic surveys are a widely recognized exploration technique in mineral exploration especially in covered terranes. They are often not used to their full potential, with direct anomaly targeting and lineament analyses conducted but little else. The real value in aeromagnetic data can be unlocked by integrating multiple data sets into the interpretation of the data with the aim to produce a coherent geological map which outlines the structural and geological history. Geological models are a primary component of the interpretation process; in order to present an interpretation of the geology of the region there needs to be a coherent framework of stratigraphic and structural principles that form the basis of the interpretation. Individual rock unit and structural elements identified on the aeromagnetic images can then be related to components of the geological models. Individual structures can be interpreted in both a time and space context, with an outline of when and how faults moved. In turn, the spatial distribution of mineral deposits in relation to structures becomes evident and can be related to the geological evolution of the region, not just the geometry. Advanced aeromagnetic interpretations should produce structural/geological maps showing the relative timing of structural events with a focus on commodity specific exploration targeting. This talk will outline an interpretation method with examples of final products for a series of geological terranes.

Feature Author

Dr. James Siddorn

James Siddorn has 19 years of experience in the structural analysis of mineral deposits. He specializes in deciphering deposit-scale controls on ore plunge in precious and base metal deposits and in the district-scale geological interpretation of geophysics for exploration targeting. He has completed numerous deposit- and district- scale structural studies in support of gold, Ni-Cu-PGE, and uranium exploration.

James has conducted strategic and technical reviews for exploration and mining projects around the globe. In addition, he provides technical input for geoscientific programs evaluating site suitability for deep geological nuclear repositories.

James has taught more than 30 applied structural geology courses internationally to over 1,500 exploration and mining geologists and engineers. In May, 2013, he was recognized by the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum with the Past Presidents’ Memorial Medal “for leadership and excellence in the field of Structural Geology”.

Principal Structural Geologist
PhD, PGeo
SRK Toronto
SRK Latin America