Investigation and development of strategies for performing constrained inversions of geophysical data for mineral exploration

Geophysical inversion is the process of determining a 3D computer model of the Earth’s subsurface from measurements made in a geophysical survey. Geophysical data are sensitive to the presence, location and size of certain rock types including ore bodies. However, many different rock types can give similar measurements, and the measurements are usually sensitive to only large-scale variations in the subsurface. To mitigate these shortcomings, it is possible to incorporate additional information into the inversion process. For example, the
locations of particular rock types (known from geological mapping or borehole logging) can be used to force the Earth model constructed by inversion to be correct at these locations. If portions of the model are correct then the remainder of the model is more likely to be correct. Techniques and software exist for performing this kind of “constrained” inversion. However, not much work has yet been done to determine the most effective way of incorporating the additional information into these inversions. This is what will be done in this research project.
The partner organization is active in mineral exploration and has previously used default, unconstrained inversion methods.

Faculty Supervisor:

Colin Farquharson


Mehrdad Darijani


Vale Canada Limited


Geography / Geology / Earth science



Memorial University of Newfoundland


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