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Advanced inverse methods

Theme Leader: Juerg Hauser

The challenge in exploration is one of area reduction. Successful exploration involves focussing in greater detail on smaller regions. Traditionally, detection approaches from inverting geophysical data have been a valuable arrow in the explorer’s quiver. At larger scales, inversions become computationally more expensive through the curse of dimensionality. Adding to this, larger scale inversions are much more difficult to constrain leading to greater uncertainties.

Deep Earth Imaging, through applying advanced inverse methods tailored to specific exploration challenges, aims to address this by working towards probabilistic inversions at the mining camp to deposit cluster scale. Traditionally at this scale, direct ore detection is too expensive to apply. We aim to do this by inversions targeted to properties of interest such as ore grade. We also are performing research into the inversion for geological processes rather than simply inverting for a single set of geophysical properties.

Our expertise is such that we look at all solutions to inverse challenges. Depending on the inverse problem, such a targeted inversion can be achieved through:

  1. applying existing approaches;
  2. modifications of existing techniques; or,
  3. ultimately where necessary the formulation of novel approaches.

A key research focus for us are true joint inversions on multiple geophysical data, aiming to resolve an earth model and its corresponding uncertainties to allow us to precisely image the subsurface.

We also are exploring methods to invert for geological boundaries and interfaces as imaged by both the seismic imaging and the potential field and electromagnetic imaging research themes.