Geophysical Methods Development

screenshot of example geophysical software output

The Mineral Resources Program has a continuing need for the development of state-of-the-art geophysical methods and instruments that have application to mineral resource and mineral environmental studies. This project provides support to: 1) maintain readiness of software and equipment for low-cost geophysical surveys that support USGS mineral resource investigations, contribute this information to other USGS programs, and partner with other agencies to provide mineral-resource-derived geophysical data and interpretations; 2) continue development of geophysical methods for application to current and future USGS needs, and 3) provide support to joint USGS/NSF/NASA geophysical investigations. Specific objectives are:

  • Cooperative research on mineral applications of airborne gravity gradiometry.
  • Systematic evaluation of commercial airborne electromagnetic systems for mineral resource applications with application to current Mineral Resources Program projects.
  • Stochastic integration and quantifying uncertainty of interdisciplinary datasets.
  • 3D magnetotelluric inversion modeling for mineral resources.
  • Review and refine methods to interpret aeromagnetic data in areas of rugged terrain.
  • Joint USGS/NSF/NASA geophysical investigations of ice-covered frontier areas.
  • Testing and evaluation of surface-towed and hand-held electromagnetic instruments for mapping earth resistivity under cover of water, soil, and artificial surfaces.
  • Development of calibration and improved processing techniques for airborne EM data.
  • Develop and maintain specialized geophysical software as required for mineral resource applications.
  • Connecting petrophysical properties to environmental rock properties.
  • Petrophysics laboratory research, support, and analysis.

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