We present an overview of the developments and achievements, over the past four years in the application of seismic reflection methods for mineral exploration in Australia. We show that seismic methods can be successfully used to delineate exceptionally complex hard rock environment in Australia providing that the acquisition parameters and data processing strategy are adequate for the task. Moreover methodologies for the direct targeting of specific ore reserves as well as rock identification from seismic data are discussed.
Modern hydrogeology is increasingly depending numerical modeling to simulate impacts of water resource projects tens or hundreds of years into the future. The validity of such numerical models is highly dependent on accurate distribution of key hydrogeological parameters. A combination of 3D seismic reflection and Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) offers the potential to create detailed, accurate, hydrostratigraphic frameworks within which physical, chemical and biological properties can be distributed. We provide the outline and outcomes from a systematic research program designed to develop and optimize 3D seismic reflection and VSP techniques tailored for hydrogeology. The test site is located at the Beenyup Waste Water Treatment Plant near a major freeway, where a long term high volume purified waste water injection trial will commence in 2009.
The first experimental 2D high resolution seismic reflection was recorded in 2005 over McLeay nickel deposits, Lake Lefroy, Kambalda, Western Australia. Seismic results indicated that these deposits may have a seismic signature. The complexity of the seismic pattern also suggested that 3D seismic may be necessary for exploration of McLeay deposits. Subsequent pilot high resolution 3D seismic survey conducted in 2007 confirmed the potential of reflection seismic for exploration at this site. Finally in 2008, a 10 Km
In underground coal mining, knowledge of the geomechanical properties of the strata surrounding the mining horizons is essential for the prevention of unexpected rock failures that can disrupt production and jeopardize mine safety. Model based acoustic impedance inversion integrates drill hole and seismic information to allow assessment of the geomechanical environment. We demonstrate our approach using results from a 3D and a 2D seismic survey. We introduce a means of converting acoustic impedance to the Geophysical Strata Rating (GSR). The GSR is a rock mass rating scheme that is normally derived from geophysical logging data. When expressed in terms of GSR, acoustic impedances have values that are meaningful to coal mine engineers.