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27 August 2013

Development of ISTU scientists will help to find deposits of minerals, oil and gas difficult to access

Scientists of the Institute of surface management at NI ISTU have developed a hardware and software system "Mars", designed to improve the effectiveness of search and exploration of ore minerals, oil and gas.

The project's author, Associate Professor of the subdepartment of technology of geological exploration, Yuriy Davydenko, said that the basis for the development is the technology of electromagnetic zoning and induced polarization.

"At the moment, large and easily discovered mineral deposits had been almost exhausted; it is the time to search for small ore bodies. Nowadays, mining industry uses technology developed in 60-70s. However, the conventional technique has several drawbacks. It does not provide solutions to complex geological problems, such as the search for topped off overlying deposits of diamond volcanic pipes.

We are developing the technology of electromagnetic zoning and induced polarization. Passing electromagnetic pulse current through the geological environment, it is possible to trace the flow of current. Depending on how and where the signal was distorted, we can conclude what is in the depth of the soil. It is important to properly build the measuring system and to register all of the transients with minimal distortion.

Analyzing the data obtained it is possible not only to determine a kind of soil or rock deposited at a particular depth, but also to assess the mineral composition of matter. The traditionally used methods register insufficient number of primary data; the most valuable information on the propagation of electromagnetic waves is not involved in the further analysis. This leads to the fact that the object of the search is the drawback, which ultimately leads to a false prediction", says Yu. Davydenko.

Development of scientists of Technical University is a hardware and software system that can find a variety of fields that were not previously available. For example, the diamond pipes of explosion, covered with volcanic rocks (traps) are not seen by the usual way, while the technology of electromagnetic soundings and induced polarization may detect them.

The first tests of the technology of electromagnetic zoning and induced polarization were held in July 2013 in Olkhon area.

"Archaeological site" Kurminskoe lake-2" has been selected as a reference object. This area the area of 10x10m at a depth of two meters deposits catalan iron recovering horns. It was there performed areal survey of about 450 points; the area of survey was approximately 1 km2. It was important for us not only to start up operations, but also to estimate the minimum (or maximum) depth of research and resolution of the complex, as well as to check how far the signal goes and whether it is interpreted or not. Studies have shown that the depth of measurements can vary from half to two kilometers," emphasizes Yu. Davydenko.

In addition, during the pilot tests ISTU scientists conducted work on the reference site "Listvennichny" at Ltd. "Alrosa". In the course of the researchers had to identify the deposit of the tuff tube. According to the results of the work there were written about 1100 physical points of observation. As pointed out by the developers, these objects cannot almost be found by traditional methods

Yu. Davydenko said that compared with traditional technology development of ISTU scientists can improve the accuracy of measurements from 50 to 80-90 percent, and reduce the cost of research in 3 times, compared to peers.

Today, ISTU scientists are planning to improve the design of the measuring modules, as well as to improve their resolution and method in different geological conditions due to the depth. The plans are to provide services for the study of various objects, as well as training to work on the equipment. The hardware and software system "Mars" may be used for prospecting and exploration of ore and minerals, engineering surveys in construction, as well as the search for oil and gas offshore.

Anastasiya Slepneva