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Quantitative analysis of scale of aeromagnetic data raises questions about geologic-map scale

January 1, 2006

A recently published study has shown that small-scale geologic map data can reproduce mineral assessments made with considerably larger scale data. This result contradicts conventional wisdom about the importance of scale in mineral exploration, at least for regional studies. In order to formally investigate aspects of scale, a weights-of-evidence analysis using known gold occurrences and deposits in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt of Finland as training sites provided a test of the predictive power of the aeromagnetic data. These orogenic-mesothermal-type gold occurrences and deposits have strong lithologic and structural controls associated with long (up to several kilometers), narrow (up to hundreds of meters) hydrothermal alteration zones with associated magnetic lows. The aeromagnetic data were processed using conventional geophysical methods of successive upward continuation simulating terrane clearance or 'flight height' from the original 30 m to an artificial 2000 m. The analyses show, as expected, that the predictive power of aeromagnetic data, as measured by the weights-of-evidence contrast, decreases with increasing flight height. Interestingly, the Moran autocorrelation of aeromagnetic data representing differing flight height, that is spatial scales, decreases with decreasing resolution of source data. The Moran autocorrelation coefficient scems to be another measure of the quality of the aeromagnetic data for predicting exploration targets. ?? Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007.

Publication Year 2006
Title Quantitative analysis of scale of aeromagnetic data raises questions about geologic-map scale
DOI 10.1007/s11053-006-9023-4
Authors V. Nykanen, G. L. Raines
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Natural Resources Research
Index ID 70028895
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse