Near-surface seismic imaging at a porphyry copper mine
Levander, Alan R.
Master of Arts
In June 1996, a 2-D high-resolution seismic survey was conducted at an open pit porphyry copper mine in southwest New Mexico. The local geology consists of a Miocene conglomerate, overlying Precambrian to Eocene basement rock containing unaltered igneous rock and mineralogically altered rock that hosts the sulfide deposits. The survey employed reflection and refraction techniques to image the top of the ore body. A variety of filtering techniques was used to suppress strong coherent source generated noise, and high amplitude ambient noise from mine operations. The resulting seismic sections compare well with borehole data and photographs of the mine walls; showing lithology and structural features within the initial 300 m of the subsurface. Imaging differences in lithology, contrasts due to sulfide deposition, and structures has potential importance for mine operations for efficiency of extraction and for safety. Locating structural features, such as those controlling groundwater flow, also has environmental applications.
Geology; Geophysics; Mining engineering