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Seeing the shades of grey in 3D inversion

December 22, 2012

GEOPHYSICS CORE MAGAZINE

Using 3D models of the subsurface derived from geophysical data is standard practise for guiding exploration in the petroleum industry and has the potential to improve success rates for mineral explorers.

But because geophysical inversion models can provide the same response for different geological scenarios, they can introduce ambiguity into the resulting interpretation. The latest thinking, and technology, has focused on the key factors required to generate 3D models with greater ease and confidence, making their output more reliable and informative as an aid for mineral exploration.

Topping the list of requirements is the ability to integrate as many constraints as possible – including gravity and magnetic data, surface geology and borehole logs. The resulting complete earth model is more likely to pick up nuances in physical rock properties and provide a truer rendering of what lies beneath the surface.

“We’ve got to start thinking about the shades of grey,”…

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