Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/handle/10219/3863
Title: Forward modeling and 3D inversion of electromagnetic data collected over the McArthur River uranium deposit in the Athabasca Basin, Canada
Authors: Mir, Reza
Fullagar, Peter
Darijani, Mehrdad
Smith, Richard
Scott, Shawn
Ross, Martin
Shamsipour, Pejman
Chouteau, Michel
Ansdell, Kevin
Gouiza, Mohamed
Keywords: electromagnetic modeling (EM);Quatermary;interpretation;Athabasca Basin;McArthur River uranium deposit;3D modeling
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2022
Citation: Mir R. P. Fullagar, R. Smith, S. Scott, M. Ross, P. Shamsipour, M. Chouteau, K. Ansdell and M. Gouiza, 2022, Forward modeling and 3D inversion of EM data collected over the McArthur River uranium deposit in the Athabasca Basin, Canada: Geophysics, 87(2), B129-B143. doi: 10.1190/geo2021-0199.1
Abstract: Detection and assessment of the deeply buried high-grade uranium deposits in the Athabasca Basin rely on geophysical methods to map conductive rocks. Variable Quaternary surface cover can mask the anomalous signals from depth and affect the interpretation of inverted conductivity models. We present the analysis of several electromagnetic (EM) modeling studies and two field data sets to demonstrate the effects of varying Quaternary cover resistivity and thickness, on the ability to resolve the parameters of underlying sandstone, alteration, and basement conductors. Synthetic data, assuming a typical shallow EM sounding system and realistic resistivities found in the Athabasca Basin, indicate that resistivity and thickness parameters of the Quaternary cover can be separately recovered in cases in which this cover is more conductive than the underlying sandstone, but not when the cover is significantly more resistive. A 3D modeling study indicates that by using airborne EM data, it is possible to detect a basement conductor of 20 S at a depth of at least 600 m below the surface, even in the presence of Quaternary cover thickness variations of the up to 20% (40–60 m). Furthermore, although Quaternary cover variations and deeper sandstone alteration can produce comparable anomalous signal amplitudes in a time-domain EM response, their effects are most visible in distinctly separate time windows. Ground-penetrating radar and other data to characterize the Quaternary cover in the McArthur River area indicate that this cover consists mostly of sandy tills ranging in thickness from 0 to 117 m. Constrained 3D inversion of an airborne EM data set from the same area indicates basement conductors consistent with the depth and location of a known fault. Elevated conductivity in the sandstone by up to a factor of two over the background values could indicate possible alteration.
URI: https://zone.biblio.laurentian.ca/handle/10219/3863
Appears in Collections:Smith, Richard S.

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