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Northwest Mining Association

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining

November 2011
Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

James Siddorn, Ph.D., P.Geo., is a Practice Leader with SRK, based in the
Toronto office. James is a specialist in combining the structural analysis of the
ore deposits with applied 3D geological modelling and 2D GIS (geological
interpretation of geophysics). He also specializes in comprehending the structural
control on ore plunge and the distribution of mineralization in precious and base
metal deposits at deposit scales.

James has extensive underground and surface mapping experience, combined


with a broad mining knowledge. He is an expert in computer based 3D geological
modelling and its application to applied structural-economic geology,
hydrogeology and geotechnical analysis, using 2D and 3D GIS programs.

James has over 15 years of experience in the exploration for and 3D modeling of
Au, Ag, Ni-Cu-PGE, tantalum, and diamond deposits, with deposits and terranes
ranging from Archean to the Mesozoic in age and covering five continents.
James also has extensive teaching experience, teaching over 1000 geologists in
the applied use of structural geology at both mine and exploration sites and
conferences.

jsiddorn@srk.com

Blair Hrabi, M.Sc., P.Geo., is a Senior Structural Geologist with SRK, based in
the Toronto office. He is a structural geologist with 18 years of experience with
the exploration industry, government geological surveys, and in academic
settings mapping and modelling the lithology, structure and mineral deposits in
deformed Archean and Proterozoic terranes.

Blair has a broad experience with the regional geological setting of mineral
deposits and specific experience evaluating the structural controls of Archean
lode gold deposits and showings. He is experienced in the 3D computer
modelling of gold, magmatic nickel and VMS deposits to aid in resource
evaluation and drill targeting. Blair enjoys teaching applied structural geology
including field mapping, controls on mineralization and the use of oriented drill
core. Blair has a special interest in the compilation and integration of diverse data
sets including lithogeochemistry, regional magnetic and gravity data, satellite
imagery and mapping-based structural and lithologic data to understand the
evolution and geometry of complex, mineralized terranes and to aid in GIS-based
exploration targeting.

bhrabi@srk.com

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 2


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

DAY ONE

0800-0815 Welcome and Introduction.

0815-0900 General Concepts of Structural Geology and their Application


to Mineral Systems.

0900-1030 Structural Mapping Techniques for Exploration and Mining


Geologists.

1030-1045 Coffee Break

1045-1200 3D Visualization and Interpretation of Geology and


Mineralization.

1200-1300 Lunch Break

1300-1430 Analysis of Structure in Drillcore: A Practical Introduction.

1430-1445 Coffee Break

1445-1600 Structural Analysis of Faults and Fault Systems – Part 1

DAY TWO

0800-1015 Structural Analysis of Faults and Fault Systems – Part 2

1015-1030 Coffee Break

1030-1200 Structural Analysis of Folds and Fold Systems

1200-1300 Lunch Break

1300-1430 Structural Analysis of Veins and Vein Systems

1430-1445 Coffee Break

1445-1600 Tectonic Regimes and their Control on Structural Architecture

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 3


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM1: General Concepts of


Structural Geology and
Their Application to Mineral
Systems

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 4


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association
Annual Meeting

Reno, Nevada
November 28-29, 2011

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 5


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Aims of Course
• Demonstrate why so many ore deposits are
strongly structurally controlled;

• Define the simple principles of “structural


control”;

• Give you the tools you require to do


structural geology in the mining and
exploration environment; and

• Give you the confidence to apply these tools,


and therefore to make a real difference!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 6


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Workshop Presenters
Dr. James Siddorn Practice Leader
SRK Toronto
• Specializes in:
• Deciphering the structural control on ore plunge and the
distribution of mineralization at deposit scales;
• 3D applied geological modelling; and
• Applied structural geological interpretation of aeromagnetic data,
focused on the controls on the distribution of mineralization.

Mr. Blair Hrabi Senior Consultant


SRK Toronto
• Specializes in:
• Compilation and integration of diverse data sets including
lithogeochemistry, regional magnetic and gravity data, satellite
imagery, and mapping-based structural and lithologic data to
understand the evolution and geometry of complex, mineralized
terranes and to aid in GIS-based exploration targeting.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 7


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Workshop Schedule: Day 1


0800-0815 Welcome and Introduction.
0815-0900 General Concepts of Structural Geology and their
application to mineral systems.
0900-1030 Structural Mapping Techniques for Exploration and
Mining Geologists.
1030-1045 Coffee Break
1045-1200 3D Visualization and Interpretation of Geology and
Mineralization.
1200-1300 Lunch Break
1300-1430 Analysis of Structure in Drillcore: A Practical
Introduction.
1430-1445 Coffee Break
1445-1600 Structural Analysis of Faults and Fault Systems – Part 1

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 8


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Workshop Schedule: Day 2


0800-1015 Structural Analysis of Faults and Fault Systems – Part 2

1015-1030 Coffee Break

1030-1200 Structural Analysis of Folds and Fold Systems.

1200-1300 Lunch Break

1300-1430 Structural Analysis of Veins and Vein Systems

1430-1445 Coffee Break

1445-1630 Tectonic Regimes and their Control on Structural


Architecture

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 9


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM1 - General Concepts of Structural
Geology and Their Application to
Mineral Systems
Structural mapping - Why Bother?

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 10


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Geologist and the Engineer

A man floating along in a hot air balloon began to realise he


was lost. He reduced his altitude and spotted a person
below. He descended a little more and shouted:

"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would


meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am".

The stranger replied,

"You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 100


feet above the Goldstrike mine, along the Carlin trend, in
northeastern Nevada.”

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 11


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Geologist and the Engineer


"You must be a geologist", said the balloonist.

"I am" replied the stranger, "How did you know?"

"Well", answered the balloonist, "everything you told me


is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of
your information, and the fact is I am still lost. Frankly,
you've not been much help so far".

The stranger below responded,

"You must be a engineer".

"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 12


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Geologist and the Engineer


“Well," said the geologist,

“you don't know where you are or where you are


going.”

“You have risen to where you are through a large


quantity of hot air.”

“You made a promise to someone that you have no idea


how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem,
but you really aren't interested in the information I'm
providing.”

“The fact is you are in exactly the same situation you


were before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault”.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 13


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Geology Input to the Mining Process

Most operations do
not maximize the
value of continued
geological input.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 14


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Geology Input to the Mining Process

Geology
underpins
every
aspect of
the mining
process

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 15


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore Reserve Estimation Process

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 16


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

“The Geologist’s Toolkit”

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 17


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Geology Input to the Mining Process

Geology
input lowers
RISK!!!!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 18


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

How Does Structural Geology Make a


Difference?
• Direct input on the limits, size and shape of ore bodies;

• Elevates confidence in predictability of ore behavior:


• Geometrical – grade control, dilution, targeting;
• Geochemical – grade control, ore quality/metallurgy; and
• Geotechnical – ground control, dilution.

• Definition of hydrogeological pathways, geotechnical domains,


etc.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 19


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Conceptual Basis of Structural


Control in Mineral Deposits
• All hydrothermal ore deposits require
transport of large quantities of relatively
insoluble metals in solution from some
source region to the site of deposition;

• Metal transport takes place principally by


percolation of the fluid through the rock, and
the low solubility of the metals means that
very large fluid fluxes are required. Hydrothermal and sulphide
depositional model

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 20


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Metals Abundance in Various Rock Types


Element Ultramafic Mafic Felsic Greywacke Cont. Crust
Cu ppm 10 87 30 75
Zn ppm 50 105 60 80
Pb ppm 1 6 15 8
Au ppm 0.0008 0.0017 0.002 0.002 0.003
Ag ppm 0.06 0.11 0.051 0.08 0.08

Solubility of metals
Cu, Zn = not constrained by solubility in saline
solutions, therefore approximate abundance in rocks.

Au = not constrained by solubility in hydrothermal


solutions, especially those containing S, therefore
approximate abundance in rocks.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 21


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 1:
Fluids and Plumbing

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 22


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise on Fluids and Plumbing


• Assume solubility of Au = 0.03 ppm;

• How much fluid required for a 5Moz Au deposit?

1oz = 31g
1litre = 1kg

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 23


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise on Fluids and Plumbing

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 24


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fluid Required
Deposit Solubility fluid
grams fluid (L)
Size (ppm) (tonnes)

Au (Moz) 5 155,000,000 0.03 5,166,666,667 5,166,666,666,667

Remember, these calculations assume


100% efficiency in depositing the metal
at the deposit site!

5E+12 litres = 5 km3

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 25


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fluid Required
Toronto Skydome (Rogers Centre):
Volume roof closed: 1,600,000 m3 1m3 = 1000 litres
1.6 x 109 litres
5Moz Au deposit:
Minimum fluids: 5.0 x 1012 litres
3,125 Skydomes

Another way of looking at this


problem is that 1oz of gold
will saturate an Olympic
swimming pool full of a
typical hydrothermal fluid!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 26


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Basis for Structural Control


• Getting the metal to the deposit is first and
foremost a severe hydrodynamic problem;

• A simple analysis of this hydrodynamic


problem provides the foundation for the
principles of structural control; and

• It also leads to a set of simple, practical


structural geological tools for aiding the
discovery, delineation and efficient
exploitation of mineral deposits.
‘Brothers’ Black Smoker

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 27


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Basic Hydrodynamic Problem


• So how does the earth manage to channel several millions of
Olympic swimming pools of fluid through the relatively small
rock volume that is to be the mineral deposit?

Betze-Post deposit 40 million ounces


Meikle deposit 7 million ounces
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 28


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

A Simple Hydrodynamic Analysis


• The migration of fluid through a porous and
permeable rock mass is described
macroscopically by Darcy’s Law.

Fluid flux = Pressure head x Rock permeability


Fluid viscosity

• Pressure heads have a limited range in the earth - eg,


Plith - Phyd

• Hydrothermal aqueous fluids have approx constant


viscosities at upper to mid-crustal conditions. Old Faithful, Yellowstone

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 29


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Driving Forces for Fluid Flow


• Pressure gradients factor of ~3 (lithostatic versus hydrostatic)
• Topography
• Seismic pumping
• Metamorphic dehydration
• Magmas emplaced in fluid-saturated rocks
• Fluids expelled from crystallising magmas
• Buoyancy
• Temperature (thermal expansion)
• Salinity
• Viscosity - range of 1 order of magnitude
• 40-400 µPa*s at T = 100-800ºC and 50-300 MPa
Mt St Helens Phreatic
Eruption

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 30


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Driving Forces for Fluid Flow

• Permeability
• Porous sandstone (Ø>15%) = 1 darcy (10-12 m2)
• Crystalline granite = 10-10 darcies (10-22 m2)
• Fault at mid-crustal depth = 1 darcy (10-12 m2)

• 10 orders of magnitude!

• Therefore only permeability can vary


sufficiently to permit the large fluid fluxes
required to form ore deposits.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 31


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• Only abnormally permeable
rocks will permit the fluid fluxes
necessary to form ore deposits;
• Fractured rocks (i.e. fault
zones) are the most likely
conduits for transport of large
fluid volumes;
• But there is a built-in negative
feedback in the system which
will reduce the effectiveness of
the fault zone to pass the fluid
(and metal) volumes required.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 32


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• The evidence for this is ubiquitous in paleo-fault zones -
fractures are vein-filled, wall rocks are often highly
altered, gouge zones are tight and cemented - all of
which dramatically reduce the hydrodynamic efficiency of
the zone.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 33


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• Therefore, in order to transport the required
metal volumes, the permeability of the fault
zone must be continuously regenerated –
(permeability of an active fault at mid crustal
depth ~4 darcies, or 10-8 m2)

• This leads to the important conclusion that


hydrothermal ore deposits are localised on faults
that were (repeatedly / continuously) active at
the same time the hydrothermal system was
active and metal-pregnant

• Therefore, the concept of “structural


preparation”, whereby the fault sits around
waiting for the mineralising fluid to come by is
flawed. San Andreas Fault

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 34


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structure active during


mineralization

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 35


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Importance of Getting Timing Right


• Application of structural control principles requires that the
timing of mineralisation must be carefully matched with
the history of activity on a fault system.

Regional cleavage cuts high-grade mineralization

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 36


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• Most (all?) hydrothermal ore deposits form
on or adjacent to active faults/shear
zones;
• Especially in gold deposits, economic
grade is broadly correlated with
vein/fracture concentration, which in turn
is a measure of dilatancy in the controlling
structure; and
• A key component of mineral
exploration is identifying and locating
sites of dilation in structures that were
active at the time of ore formation.
Sulphide filled dilational
jog, Sudbury, Ontario

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 37


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• Permeability is unlikely to be the same everywhere on an
active fault zone.
• Permeability will generally be highest where damage
within and around the fault zone is highest.
• This will depend to some extent on host rock type, but will
principally be localised by irregularities (e.g. bends,
branches, steps, jogs) along the fault.

Damage zones around irregularities along fault zone


are zones of enhanced permeability
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 38


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• Fluid flow is therefore maximized, and
ore deposits are generally localized on
irregularities (i.e., bends, bumps,
branches and jogs) in fault zones.
• Irregularities commonly extend beyond
or sit off the main fault strand, which
explains why deposits commonly occur
on second- or third-order structures
rather than on the main fault.
• Aside from fluid flow, this concept
applies to magma as well. Therefore,
intrusions and breccia pipes and
associated mineral deposits also
commonly occur along irregularities.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 39


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


• Zones of local damage and permeability enhancement in
active fault zones have another key influence on fluid flow
and deposit localisation
• The damage zone undergoes (fracture) porosity
enhancement during each episode of fault movement.
This increase in local porosity causes a transient
reduction in local pore fluid pressure, which will suck fluid
towards the damaged zone.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 40


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control

Dilation
sucks!!

• There are two other important consequences of this local


pressure drop:
• It encourages mixing of fluids sucked from the surrounding wall
rock and along the fault zone;
• It can drastically alter the solubility of metals in the fluid.
• Both of these processes can lead directly to metal
precipitation in the zone of maximum fluid flux.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 41


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Principles of Structural Control


In summary, irregularities on active
fault zones:
• Provide the very high-permeability fluid
pathways that have the capacity to
transport large volumes of metal to a local
site of deposition;
• Are fluid pumps which suck fluids into
the zones of enhanced permeability; and
• Encourage mixing of locally derived and
equilibrated fluids with (hotter and metal-
saturated) fluids travelling along the fault
zone.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 42


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Control Principles


There are three basic steps to applying these
principles at regional to local scales:
1. Determine the timing of mineralization
relative to structural events, and identifying
the event(s) that produced the
mineralization;
2. Mapping/logging/interpreting in 3
dimensions, to determine the structural
setting and pattern of active structures
during mineralization;
3. Determine the likely shapes, orientations,
and locations of dilational sites on the
active structures.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 43


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Control Principles

• Determine the timing of mineralisation in the event history


and match it to the history of movement on the fault / shear
zones in the region.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 44


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Control Principles


• Carefully map in 3 dimensions those faults considered
to have been active at the time of mineralisation, paying
particular attention to even the subtlest variation in strike,
dip or continuity.
Brunswick No 12 Mine
Peter et al., 2007

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 45


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Control Principles


• Determine the direction and sense of movement on the
faults, in order to predict the location, shape and plunge of
zones of maximum damage / dilation.

Zone of dilation associated with


bend on sinistral fault
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 46


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Control Principles


When you have located a mineralizing
structure:
• Determine the displacement direction
and sense, so that you can relate
changes in dip/strike of the fault/shear to
the formation of dilational sites; and
• Relate fault movement and shape to
vein/breccia orientations and
locations in detail; always make sure
you work out how
veins/stockworks/breccias relate to
faults.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 47


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

How Does This Apply To Your Area?

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 48


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM2: Structural Mapping


Techniques for Mine and
Exploration Geologists

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 49


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM2 – Structural Mapping Techniques for
Mine and Exploration Geologists

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 50


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Mapping: Some Basic Principles


• Structural mapping
SHOULD be part of
everyday geological
mapping practice,
but this is often not
the case.
• Where do I start?
• What do I map?
• What tools do I
have?
• Why should I Betze-Post Mine, Nevada

bother?

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 51


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore Body Plunge

So you can decipher


ore body plunge!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 52


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Geological vs. Structural Mapping


Geological mapping Structural mapping

• 90% of effort goes to • Strong emphasis on


primary rock structure, alteration etc;
identification; • Faults, shear zones as
• Outcrop map produced rock bodies;
at end of the mapping • Integrated geological map
campaign; and that works in 3D; and
• Systematic data • Data interpreted during
gathering for later mapping and used to
interpretation. produce working map
during the mapping
campaign.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 53


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Key to Successful Geological Mapping


• Collect the data you need, not data for
data’s sake;
 Maintain context of what you are trying to achieve;

• Work in plan and section at the same time;


• Work in 4D;
• Follow geometrical principles - geology is
fractal in nature, pattern recognition is key;
• Start interpreting right from the start!
 Mapping is iterative, and geological maps should constantly
evolve

• Stretch the data and make decisions about


relationships.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 54


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Mapping

Structural mapping includes:


• Determining the geometry (i.e. orientation +
shape) of rock units, fabrics, discontinuities;
• Mapping contacts is the key
• Determining movement sense and displacement
on structures using available kinematic
indicators;
• Determining the history of (structural) events
• Mapping in 4D!

• Then place mineralization within this context


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 55


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Traditional vs. Structural Mapping

…somewhere in Tanzania

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 56


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

What Tools Do We Have?


• Stratigraphy
• was originally horizontal and laid down in a particular order
• younging, or “way-up” indicators
• Structural fabrics and deformation
• know how to recognize them
• know what processes they represent
• Geochronology
• Cross-cutting relationships, structural overprinting,
radiometric dating
• Geometrical principles
• map making and pattern recognition
• structural balancing

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 57


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Map Patterns

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 58


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Map Patterns and Relationships


• The relative size and importance of
features should be reflected in your
map;
• Don’t just map “data”, map and interpret
relationships.
EXAMPLE
In the map opposite from an
underground crosscut (Hillside gold
deposit, Australia), mineralised veins are
red and faults are blue.
Which faults are likely to be the main
controls on grade distribution?

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 59


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Map Patterns and Relationships


• Gold is dominantly vein-hosted and grade
correlates closely with vein density;
• Fault-bounded zones of different vein
density are mapped in the cross-cut;
HG
• Domain boundaries can be identified as
mappable faults along the boundary
between high-grade and medium-grade
ore;
• Defining and mapping the domain
boundaries enables geostatistics, resource
MG
estimation and mine planning to be carried
out with greater confidence.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 60


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Geometrical Principles

• Rocks must occupy 100% of their “space” at all


times during their deformation history = “structural
balancing”;

• Thus, reconstruction of non-deformed state of rock


package should be possible by inverting movement
along faults;

• Most cross-sections on published 1:100,000 and


1:250,000 maps are markedly “unbalanced” and
therefore are likely incorrect.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 61


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 2:
Mary Kathleen Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 62


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Mary Kathleen Map Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 63


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Balancing

Faults 1-4 are all


shown as vertical
on cross-section
and at consistently
low angle to steeply E-
dipping stratigraphy

Interpretation can
be checked by
reconstruction

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 64


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Balancing

Total throw (vertical


displacement) across this
group of 4 closely spaced,
parallel faults is approximately
20 km - about half of the
thickness of a normal crust!

Therefore, faults are probably


not vertical (especially as
formed)

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 65


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Balancing (continued)

An interpretation involving listric faults would


be preferred, as it avoids the excessively large
fault offset.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 66


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Work in Plan and Section

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 67


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Think in 4D - Structural Control in the Yilgarn

• Four principal deformation events between 2700-2600Ma.

• Gold mineralization associated with Event 1/2 (“early”) and with


Event 4.

• Event 3 is a major fold / thrust event which reorients earlier (incl.


mineralized) structures.

• Traditional maps show all faults / shear zones as black lines - no


discrimination according to age.

• It is necessary to interpret age and kinematics of structures in order


to effectively use structure as a targeting tool.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 68


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Yilgarn
Craton

4D Structural
Framework

Event #1
Continental
Extension

“Early” Au and base metal mineralizing event


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 69


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Yilgarn
Craton

4D Structural
Framework

Event #2
Thrusting &
Inversion

“Early” Au mineralizing event


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 70


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Yilgarn
Craton

4D Structural
Framework

Event #3
E-W Crustal
shortening
and
thickening
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 71


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Yilgarn
Craton

4D structural
framework

Event #4
Weak
Transpression

“Late” Au mineralising event


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 72


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Our interpretations
must capture the
timing of structures

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 73


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Work in 4D and Place the Known


Mineralization in this 4D Context
Extensional structural architecture
influences geometry of subsequent
compressional events

Red Lake
Intersection of thrusts
and transfer faults
control position of
large gold camps
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 74


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

It's a fact!

There is no such thing as a fact map!!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 75


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 3:
Flatland 3D Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 76


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Flatland 3D Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 77


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Flatland 3D Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 78


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Level 2 Answer

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 79


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Level 3 Answer

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 80


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Level 4 Answer

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 81


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 82


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM3: 3D Visualization and


Interpretation of Geology
and Mineralization

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 83


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM3 – 3D Visualization and Interpretation of
Geology and Mineralization

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 84


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Where Did Mapping and 3D Geology Begin?

William Smith’s 1815 Geological Map

Emile Argand’s 1922 Geology of the Alps


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 85


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Why Do Geologists Need 3D Visualisation and


Modeling?
• Primarily because geology is a 3D science;

• Its has been treated in a 2D manner until recently


because of lack of tools to adequately deal with
the 3rd dimension;

• Many of the surficial deposits have now been


found and the future of exploration lies in new
discoveries beneath cover or buried at depth;

• To make these discoveries it will be necessary to


start considering targeting in 3D;

• Most structural interpretations require a good


understanding of what is happening in all 3D; and

• New 3D techniques and software now make this


task practical for most mining and exploration
companies;

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 86


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Importance of 3rd Dimension to Exploration


• Geological interpretation is still the basic skill
underlying the mining and exploration industries;

• Historically exploration activities have tended to be


dominated by geochemical prospecting methods;

• Frequently it is becoming more commonplace that


meaningful interpretation of geochemical results
require a much broader geological understanding of
the mineralisation process than geochemistry alone.

• The key driver for the exploration industry is the


discovery of mineral deposits under cover or at depth;

• This cannot be achieved using traditional 2D methods


alone; and

• Therefore 3D techniques are becoming essential as an


integrated part of sub surface exploration in
greenfields, brownfields and mine situations.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 87


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Visualisation Techniques
• Geological maps;
• Cross-section construction &
apparent dips;
• Structure contour analysis;
• Orthographic projection;
• Stereographic projection;
• Computer software;
• Gemcom, Vulcan, Surpac, Datamine, Gocad,
Leapfrog etc.

• Automated interpretation
techniques.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 88


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Visualisation Techniques – The Basics


• Be able to visualize in 3D and accurately
outline shapes in 2D!

• Use all tools: Maps, Cross-sections, Long-


Sections!

• All maps are interpretations!


• Understanding geology comes from the process of trying
to interpret observations, not the gathering of facts alone.

» SINK or SWIM?

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 89


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Importance of Fundamental Geological Skills


• New 3D software and computing power enhance the ability to interpret
geological data, however, they remain an extension of the visualization
capabilities of the structural geologist, who must routinely make
sensible conclusions about subsurface geology through extrapolation
from incomplete data, using;
• Timing relationships;
• Geological constraints on geometry:
• Lithology;
• Structural geology;
• Geochemistry;
• Traditional tools!
• 3D visualization:
• Better visualization leads to better 3D computer based models;
• Feedback between “geologist’s interpretation” and the modeling
software;
• How to think in 3D:
• Create a mental image of an object;
• Rotate the object mentally until a comparison can be made;
• Make the comparison;
• Decide if the objects are the same or not;
• Report the decision.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 90


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Rotation - Visualization

• Shepard and Metzler (1971) mental rotation test:

A B C D E

Which two are the same?

Shepard, R and Metzler. J. "Mental rotation of three dimensional objects." Science 1971. 171(972):701-3

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 91


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Mental Rotation Test


1.

A B C D E
2.

A B C D E
3.

A B C D E
4.

A B C D E
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 92


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Visualization
• Ability to visualize in 3D related to right side of the
brain;
• For interpretation of visualized data - Avoid visual
representations that require large mental rotations;
• “the more an object has been rotated from the original,
the longer it takes an individual to determine if the 2
images are of the same object…” Shepard and Metzler
(1971);
• New advances in computing power allow on-screen
representation of large datasets;
• Allows user to rotate data into an orientation that
enables easier 3D visualization; and
• However, view data on a 2D screen, so user still relies
upon mental visualization, interpretation, and depth
perception skills.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 93


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Apparent Dips and Cross Sections


• IMPORTANT!!!! For correct illustration of
geological features in 3D, where strike is at
oblique angle to the section line the dip of unit
along line of section is an APPARENT DIP.

tan (APPARENT DIP) = tan (TRUE DIP) * cos ε


Plane 030/40E

• Where ε = angle between true


dip direction and the apparent
dip direction, i.e. angle between
the line of section and the true
dip direction; and
• Apparent Dip should always be
lower than the True Dip.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 94


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Apparent Dips and Cross-sections

 Fault oriented:
110/56NE
Section oriented:
090

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 95


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Apparent Dips and Cross-sections

• Fault oriented:
110/56NE
• Section oriented: 27 degrees?
090

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 96


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Traditional Tools - Structure Contour Analysis

• Concept of structure contours same as


topographic contours;

• Structure contours define the


surface of a geological feature, for example:
• fault,
• shear zone,
• surface of stratigraphic unit,
• contact of intrusion

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 97


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structure Contour Analysis


Structure contours are lines that connect points of equal height above a
datum level that are contained within a structure (bedding,
unconformity, fold, fault etc.)

Image courtesy of Fault Analysis Group, UCD, Ireland)

Structure contours of a planar dipping surface (blue) form straight, parallel,


equally spaced lines
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 98


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structure Contour Analysis

Image courtesy of Fault Analysis Group, UCD, Ireland)

Structure contours of a simply folded dipping surface (blue) form straight,


parallel lines. Their spacing and their elevation changes with the shape
and elevation of the surface.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 99


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structure Contour Analysis

• Widely spaced structure contours indicate


shallow dip of unit or contact;
(= shallow surface slope of topographic contours)

• Close structure contours indicate steep dip


of unit or contact;

• Curved contours indicate rounding in


surface (e.g. complex folds, intrusions).

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 100


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structure Contour Analysis - Exercise

• EXAMPLE of an application of structure contour


analysis

Granny Smith Mineralization Exercise

• Western Australia Gold Deposit


• Laverton District
• Associated with Granite-Greenstone contact

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 101


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 4:
Granny Smith Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 102


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Granny Smith Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 103


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Granny Smith Grade Map


N

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 104


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Granny Smith Structure Contours


N

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 105


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Granny Smith Combined Data


N

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 106


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Granny Smith Combined Data


N

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 107


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Granny Smith Combined Data


N

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 108


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

New Age of Structure Contours - gOcad

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 109


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Orthographic Projection

• 2D representation of a 3D object, e.g. map or cross-section;

• Series of lines link equivalent points on 3D object with


positions on the projection surface = PROJECTION LINES

• Normally projection lines are oriented perpendicular to the


projection plane = ORTHOGRAPHIC PROJECTION

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 110


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Orthographic Projection

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 111


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fundamental Geometrical Projections


• Compass bearing (trend) of a line can only be measured in plan
view;
• True length of the line can only be measured in a view parallel to
the line;
• True slope (plunge) of a line can only be measured in a vertical
view parallel to the line;
• The point of intersection of a line and a plane (piercing point)
can only be determined in a view perpendicular to the plane;
• The angle between a line and a plane can only be measured in a
view parallel to the line and perpendicular to the plane;
• The angle of pitch of a line on a plane can only be measured in a
view parallel to the plane; and
• The angle between two planes can only be measured in a view
perpendicular to the line of intersection between the two
planes.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 112


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stereographic Projection
• Stereographic projections are commonly
used to present & analyze structural data;

• It is especially useful for solving geological


problems requiring the determination of
angular relationships that would otherwise
have to be solved by tedious orthographic
construction;

• It is important to remember that


stereographic projection cannot be used to
determine the spatial relationships of
different structures, such as the amount of
offset across a fault.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 113


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stereographic Projection

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 114


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

New Age of Stereographic Analysis - gOcad

Vein orientations Foliation orientations


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 115


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Modelling Historical Perspective


In the recent past 3D modelling was rarely considered as a routine
part of mineral or deposit evaluation because of:
• High costs associated with 3D software;
• Building such models was time consuming and expensive;
• Inability to rapidly update the models produced;
• Lack of suitably trained personnel to drive the software;
• Complexity of software made it beyond the use of the average
geologist;
• Software not designed to utilise structural data.

What has changed ?


• Software costs have reduced dramatically;
• More software now available to tackle different types of problem;
• New mathematical approaches to 3D modelling are starting to
appear and replace the older style CAD systems resulting in faster
model making capabilities and models that can be rapidly updated;
• New generation of younger geologists familiar with computer aided
techniques;
• Need to look deeper and under cover to find new deposits; and
• New software that can utilise structural measurements directly to
build 3D surfaces.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 116


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

New Computer Aided Exploration Techniques


• As geologists we need to embrace these new
approaches to exploration in order to better
understand mineralising systems and ultimately make
new mineral discoveries, however:
• Good fundamental geological skills are still required;
• The importance of good field geology is still
important;
• The new additional skills required by geologists now
and in the near future will be:
• Good 3D modeling skills using a variety of software
platforms appropriate to the task;
• Good data mining skills and the ability to integrate
and interpret many different datasets from disparate
sources.
• Whilst 2D computer techniques will still play an
important role for many years in exploration these will
be surpassed by an emphasis on 3D techniques.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 117


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

What Do the Majors Use?


• Rio Tinto, Vale, BHP Billiton, XStrata, Barrick, Anglogold-
Ashanti, Newmont, Freeport-McMoran, De Beers, Gold
Fields, Goldcorp, Kinross, Cameco, Areva.

4% 2%2%
6% 19%
9%

11% 19%

11%
17%

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 118


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED
3D model is not just a pretty picture
MODELLING!

ROCK HYDRO-
Workflow – Part a MECHANICS QUESTION? GEOLOGY

RESOURCE
DEFINITION
APPLICATION ENVIRONMENT

SCALE
EXPLORATION METALLURGY

DATA

STRUCTURAL DRILLHOLE
MAPPING GEOPHYSICS GEOCHEMISTRY
MEASUREMENTS DATA

DATA
MANAGEMENT
PRE-MODEL
VALIDATION
Understand
your genetic
model!
GEOLOGICAL
IMPLICIT FUZZY
CONSTRAINTS

CONSTRUCTION

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 119


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

CONSTRUCTION GMP
EXPLICIT
GMP Use MODELLING
NO GLOBAL conventional 2D IMPLICIT
PANACEA geological tools GRADE
GOCAD to help
MODELLING

INTERPRETATION/
Workflow – Part b
IMPLICIT
LEAPFROG SOFTWARE VISUALIZATION METHOD GEOLOGY
MODELLING

GEOMODELLER
Youngest first? SYN-MODEL GEOPHYSICAL
VALIDATION INVERSION
FRACSIS PHOTOGRAM.
MODELLING

Use flexible RESULTANT DYNAMIC!


approach, no point in
creating a 3D model MODEL
if it cannot be easily
updated.

MODEL
APPLICATION

RESOURCE GEOTECHNICAL
EXPLORATION METALLURGY HYDROGEOLOGY ENVIRO/CIVIL
DEFINITION ENGINEERING

TARGET GEOSTATS & GEOTECH DELETERIOUS WATER PLANT/TAILINGS


RANKING VOLUMETRICS DOMAINING ELEMENTS BALANCE LOCATION

MINE RISK MINE


DESIGN ANALYSIS RECOVERY DESIGN

MINE MILL
DESIGN TESTING

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 120


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Implicit Modelling Revolution


In the past 5 years there has been a radical change
in the approach used in the construction of 3D
geological models.

Early 3D models of the earth relied on CAD based Grade iso-surface


explicit modeling systems found in most of the generated in
general mining packages. Leapfrog

New and emerging software uses an implicit


mathematical approach to the construction of
geological models. This mathematical new
approach has the advantage of:

1. Speeding up the process of modeling by a significant


degree;
2. Giving the user the ability to rapidly update their
models as new data becomes available;
3. Enabling the geologist to use all the available
geological data (including structural measurements)
to make an interpretation in true 3D;

Three examples of this new mathematical implicit


approach which represent a paradigm shift in 3D
geological modeling are: Geomodeller, GOCAD and Geomodeller screenshot
Leapfrog.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 121


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Explicit vs. Implicit Geological Modelling

vs.

Manual Mathematical

* Slide courtesy of Mira Geoscience


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining Courtesy of P. Gleeson, SRK Consulting, Perth, Australia
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 122


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Geomodeller
Geomodeller is an implicit geological modelling
software package. It’s unique abilities are:
• The ability to accept primary geological observations (such as
structural information) to build the 3D geological model;
• Every model is geologically sensible, adhering to built-in
geological rules;
• As new data becomes available, it can be rapidly
incorporated, thus revising the model;
• Accurately models complex geological settings and elements
(overturned fold limbs, complex faults / shear zones,
intrusions and basement); and
• Enable rapid development of complex geological models in a
fraction of the time more traditional methods take.
• View geophysical datasets in the context of the your
geological model;
• Forward modeling of geophysical responses using physical
properties; and
• Refine your model using inversion of gravity and magnetic
survey data.

* Price: ~$4500
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 123


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Geomodeller which


In contrast to a CAD-style model -
uses shapes and surfaces to
describe objects within a model - a 3D
Geomodeller (geology) model is
described in terms of:
• A stratigraphic pile
• Geological contact points
• Geological orientation data
• Erosion / on lap rules
• Fault networks
• Lithological properties

* Price: ~$4500
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 124


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Leapfrog
Leapfrog is a 3D geological modelling
software based on the world’s first practical
rapid 3D contouring code, using a radial
basis function.
Leapfrog excels at rapidly defining grade
shells based on numeric data with out the
need to use CAD based construction
techniques. In short Leapfrog capabilities
are:
• Non-gridded assay data from drill-holes can be
rapidly visualised allowing quick assessment of
mineralisation;
• Prospect evaluation can be rapidly achieved as
grade continuities can be analysed for the
entire deposit in one processing step; Leapfrog
• Allows immediate visual and co-ordinate wireframe
identification of potential targets for exploration
and evaluation teams;
• Allows geological models to be dynamic, since “it is like giving a machine
Leapfrog-generated meshes can be gun to a monkey if they
regenerated when new drill-hole data becomes
available; and don’t know what they are
• Leapfrog can process very small to very large doing”
datasets including imaging sparse exploration Anonymous quote from major gold
company
data to dense grade control data.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 125


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Leapfrog - Workflow


1. Data import and preparation
a. Import collar, survey, assay and geology drill hole data in csv format.
b. Leapfrog completes a thorough drill hole validation routine.
c. A compositing routine prepares composites of any length;
d. Import existing wireframes in a variety of formats
e. Georef and import Maps, images and cross sections in jpg, png and tif;
2. Interpolation (modeling) of data
a. Leapfrog interpolation uses a Radial Basis Function, which allows
scattered 3D data points to be described by a single mathematical function.
b. Models can be isotropic, meaning without any trends or directional bias, or
anisotropic, based on planar, linear or more complex structural trends.
c. Assays and any coded drill hole data, such as lithology and alteration, can
be interpolated.
3. Viewing and interpretation of results
a. Isosurfaces, or wireframes, can be built at any assay value and at any
resolution.
b. In addition to wireframes, interpolation results can be viewed (evaluated)
on surfaces and within a grid of points, similar to a block model.
4. Exporting results
a. Leapfrog wireframes can be exported in a variety of formats;
b. Leapfrog Scenes can be saved and viewed in the Leapfrog Viewer, which
is free to download from www.leapfrog3d.com.

* Price: ~$10000 (lease)


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 126


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Gocad - Sparse


The Sparse plug-in was developed
at the Geological Survey of Canada
in response to the need to quickly
build structural surfaces from sparse
data that represent complex
regional-scale geological objects.
Using Bezier and NURBS-based
graphical editing tools. Sparse
utilises:
• Structural information
• Mapped contacts
• Sectional information

* Price: ~$4000
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 127


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Gocad - SKUA


SKUA (Subsurface Knowledge Unified Approach) is a
new implicit geological modelling module from
GOCAD. Its is similar to Geomodeller in that it
describes a model in terms of:
• A stratigraphic pile
• Geological contact points
• Geological orientation data
• Erosion / on lap rules
• Fault networks
• Lithological properties

Like Geomodeller it allows for rapid modelling of


geological formation and fault networks in a fraction of
the time taken by manual CAD based methods. Also it
makes it easy to rapidly update the model as new
information becomes available. Though designed for
the oil industry it appears to have a great deal of
promise for application in the minerals sphere.

* Price: ~$19000
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 128


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Gocad - SKUA


• Subsurface Knowledge Unified Approach;
• Workflow-based modelling environment;
• Developed upon the 3D Paleo-geographic transform
(UVT);
• Uses matrix-DSI as internal interpolator;
• Beyond domain boundaries with the Geologic Grid;
• Fully integrated with downstream applications
• Grid-based models
• Volume-based models

* Slide courtesy of Mira Geoscience


* Price: ~$19000
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 129


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - Gocad - SKUA


• Geological rule-based modelling
environment
• Stratigraphic column
• Unit depositional relationships
• Fault relationships
• Fault network
• Stratigraphic horizons
• Geologic Grid
• Dynamic editing
• Fault relationships
• Fault throws
• Stratigraphic column relationships
• Requires geologic knowledge, not software
mechanics

* Price: ~$19000 * Slide courtesy of Mira Geoscience


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 130


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Modelling & Visualization Tools


As well as the new generation implicit modelling software there are
many other 3D geological modeling software and visualisation tools
available. Each software has unique features and no single package
can truly cover all the aspects and requirements of earth scientists

CAD based general mining software is still the predominant technique


used by mining and exploration companies for building 3D geological
models for use in exploration and mining (e.g.. Surpac, Datamine,
Vulcan, Gemcom etc). It is popular and has widespread use.

Datamine Surpac

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 131


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Modelling & Visualization Tools


• Siro vision / 3DM Analyst. Rapid
analysis – photogammetric structural
mapping tool for pit walls and other
geological structures.

• This software is used to accurately map


structural features from outcrop or mine
excavations.

• Its ability to map accurately structures


and surfaces on remote site locations in
mines or rock faces makes it ideal for
use in structural mapping exercises
where access can be difficult (i.e. pit
faces)

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 132


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Tools - FracSIS
• FracSIS 3D Database. This
software is probably the only
true 3D geological database
(based on Object Store) and
visualisation system;
• Has the capability to import
and export diverse data sets
in different formats. Has few
capabilities for actually
building geological models;
and
• FracSIS gives the geologists
a true 3D spatial database
with the capability to store,
view and manipulate diverse
data sets.
* Price: ~$4000
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 133


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

3D Modeling & Visualization Tools


• 3D Geophysical Inversion software.
UBC and Intrepid- Geomodeller. 3D
inversion software for magnetics,
density and EM data to help constrain
and define geometries of geological
units in the subsurface.

• Inversion software whether Mapped


constrained or unconstrained can Antiform
provide the geologist with large
amounts of information at all scales
to help constrain geology in the
subsurface and also provide
information on geometries.

• As it can be applied to most gridded


potential field data sets (magnetics,
density or EM) it is a cheap, effective
method for providing subsurface
information which can be directly
used to constrain 3D geological
models in the subsurface.
Unconstrained inversions
from UBC software
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 134


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Gocad and 3DGIS – Do we still need Stereonets ?


• The use of 3D GIS and 3D geological models to solve complex
structural problems is a relatively new approach.

• The question is “Do we still need traditional stereo nets to solve


structural problems now we have 3D models and 3-D GIS”?

• The advantage of the 3D approach along with 3D GIS is that


unlike stereonets alone, this new approach can spatially show us N
20

where the structures (folds faults etc) are located in space. 15

10

• Example a stereo net can tell us the dip and dip direction of the
5

20 15 10 5 5 10 15 20

intersection of a set of faults, but it cannot show us spatially where 5

they exist in a pit or tell us where such an intersection may cause 10

15

wedge failures because they occur facing out (dipping easterly) on 20

say the west wall of the pit.

• 3D models of the faults in combination with 3D GIS can:


• Give the location of the faults and their intersection
directions; and
• Show where all east dipping intersections occur on the west
wall of the pit to potential predict failures.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 135


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Gocad and 3DGIS – Do we still need Stereonets ?

Traditional Stereonet
showing planes of
faults and
intersections

3D model + 3D
GIS. Area of all
west dipping –
plunging
intersections of
major faults on
west wall of pit

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 136


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Conclusions
1. Despite the expansion of tools, and the increased range of
problems that can now be tackled realistically in computer
models, the difficulty of generating high quality geological
interpretations remains the main limitation to applying 3D
geological modelling to the wide variety of geological
problems at a range of scales.

2. Geological interpretation is still the fundamental skill needed


in exploration and mining. Fostering this skill in conjunction
with new technologies is essential if future geologists are to
have the skill sets necessary to make new discoveries and
effectively solve geological problems.

3. Using appropriate technology in an appropriate way will


ensure industry will be able to continue to solve the complex
problems earth science poses that extend beyond and below
the surface.

4. New 3D modelling technologies now offer the ability to rapidly


create and update complex 3D models and interrogate large,
complex data sets in 3D.

5. The new implicit technologies can now utilise structural data


in a way older CAD based technologies do not.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 137


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Software
Maxwell: http://www.max-geoservices.com.au
acQuire: http://www.acquire.com.au
Voxler: http://www.goldensoftware.com
Discover 3D: http://www.encom.com.au
Geosoft Target: http://www.geosoft.com
MOVE: http://www.mve.com
GMP’s (Vulcan, Datamine, Gemcom, Surpac,
Minesight);
SiroVision: http://www.sirovision.com
FracSIS: http://www.runge.com
Geomodeller: http://www.intrepid-geophysics.com
Leapfrog: http://www.leapfrogmining.com
Gocad: http://www.mirageoscience.com
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 138


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM4: Analysis of Structures


in Drillcore:
A Practical Introduction

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 139


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM4 – Analysis of Structures in Drill Core:
A Practical Introduction

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 140


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Introduction and Scope

• Introduction to modern approaches and techniques to


record and understand structures in drillcore.

• Emphasis is on collection and interpretation of good


geological data, rather than mechanical aspects of
drillcore logging.

• Focus on oriented core uses, because:


• Oriented core is extremely useful;
• Currently very much under-used.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 141


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Core Logging


• Qualitative:
• Core photography;
• Logging system to encourage freehand comments, sketches and
digital photos;
• Scan logging of 10-20m lengths laid out in angle-iron frame;
• More emphasis on knowledge rather than data; and
• Core axis / structure angles should be regularly measured, but
emphasis should be on mapping variations.
• Quantitative:
• Requires oriented drill core and / or down-hole optical or acoustic
images;
• Simplest method for retrieving structural data from oriented core
is by measuring ,  and γ angles directly from core;
• Alternative is to physically re-orient core in “rocket launcher”.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 142


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Aims of Structural Analysis


• Determine orientation of mineralized vein sets, i.e. whether all
veins of the set are mineralized or not;

• Detect other structures that may be controlling structures or


parallel to controlling structures, e.g. faults, folds and foliations;

• Determine local strain axes;

• Predict preferred orientations of veins and mineralization, based


on geometry of products of deformation; and

• THESE REQUIRE ORIENTED DRILL CORE.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 143


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Unoriented Drillcore: ‘the Norm’

• Planes in unoriented core define cones in 3D;


• Extraction of meaningful orientation data is very difficult; and
• Of limited use for correlations in highly deformed areas.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 144


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Unoriented Drillcore Uses


• Unoriented core is good for descriptive purposes (description of
lithologies, fabrics, fracture conditions etc.) where orientation is not
necessary;
• If the orientation of a structure is well-constrained (e.g. major fault),
with care, it is possible to extract some kinematic data;
• Unoriented core can be oriented if it contains a planar element
(foliation, bedding) whose orientation is known to be consistent
over the region of interest:
- Use this as a reference frame to extract other data.
- Need to be certain it is of a consistent orientation.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 145


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Using Only Alpha Angles


• Low alpha angle means the
structure / layering is nearly
parallel to the drill hole;
• High alpha angles means the
structure / layering is nearly
perpendicular to the drill hole;
• In between angles eliminate
the above two possibilities;
• This can be very useful
information during
modelling!!!

• Measure and take note of


changes in the alpha angle of
layering while logging and
look out for fold axes!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 146


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Routinely Orient Core


• We strongly recommend that acquisition of oriented
core be the standard in any program, at least over
critical intervals. A decision NOT to orient any core in a
hole should be carefully justified, rather than the
current situation in most companies / projects whereby
oriented core is an exception and requires special
justification;
• The cost of orienting core is now less than 10% and as
little as 5% of total drilling cost, and adds less than 10%
to handling and logging costs;
• In our opinion, the value of orienting core is generally
many times the cost, and NOT orienting core can cost
money in the long run.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 147


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Unoriented vs. Oriented Drillcore


• Where structure is important(!), the acquisition of
oriented core should be the standard in any program,
at least over critical intervals.

• A decision not to orient any core in a hole should be


carefully justified.

• Current situation: oriented core is the exception and


requires special justification.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 148


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Unoriented vs. Oriented Drillcore


• Oriented core enables greater confidence in the:
− Correlation of faults and veins
− Definition of form-lines from foliations
− Distinction between different structural elements

• Cost difference usually amounts to additional:


− 5-20% drilling costs
− 10% logging and handling costs

• Principal objections to oriented core are human


factors, not financial:
− Lack of experience in using orientation tools
− Reluctance to change

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 149


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

How Can Oriented Data Help Us?

Holes are inclined, but not oriented

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 150


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

How Can Oriented Data Help Us?


Without oriented data, many possible geometries

If we know orientation and shear sense, we have a chance!


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 151


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

How Can Oriented Data Help Us?

• We can determine form-lines of complex


geometries and use geometrical North

relationships to assist with the


interpretation;
• Reduce many possibilities to few or even
n=1
n=1
n=1
n=1
n=1
Num to

one;
• Apply proper structural analysis.
Equal area projection, lower hemisph

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 152


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Core Orientation
• Correctly oriented
drill core enables
determination of
spatial relationships
between geological
structures, which are Ore
essential for
exploration. Foliation

Use of oriented drill core can help determine that


this shear zone is extensional , which has
important implications for exploration.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 153


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Oriented Core = More for Less


Oriented core allows:
• Reduce 3 intersections to
one;
• Start using statistical
distribution of orientations
for geotechnical design;
• Interpolation away from
intersection;
• Increase confidence.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 154


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Data From Oriented Core?


• Orientation of planar features
(e.g. contacts, bedding, cleavage & veins).
• Orientation of linear features
(e.g. stretching lineations & striations).
• Kinematic data
(e.g. minor folds, asymmetric fabrics, shear sense
criteria).
• Timing relationships
(e.g. cross-cutting veins and fabrics).

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 155


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Veins in Drill Core


• Following principles apply to collection of data for analysis of drill
core:
(1) Core data must relate to good quality geological map
information;
(2) Timing of foliations, lineations & veins, as well as
determination of primary and secondary mineral assemblages,
must be carefully evaluated.

• All veins must be related to controlling structures;

• Vein systems develop as a result of fluid flow through rocks with


enhanced permeability, which is generated by deformation; and

• Therefore: veins and mineralization form during rock deformation.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 156


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Drill Core Orientation Techniques


• Most common technique: inclined diamond
drilling with an orientation tool:
− Van Ruth device;
− Asymmetrically weighted spear;
− Ballmark ;
− EZYmark; and
− ACT.
• Involves marking the orientation of the sample
prior to removal from the core barrel; and
• Measuring structures relative to this reference
frame.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 157


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ballmark System

• Ball-bearing pressed
into core before core
is removed, marking
the bottom of the
hole.

• Dramatically reduces
time, therefore cost
savings are realised.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 158


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ezy-Mark Orientation Tool

• Tool goes into the core barrel;


• Takes the shape of bottom of the hole at the start of
the run using pin impression and/or pencil zero-point;
• Three different gravity and non-magnetic
measurements taken to get down direction;
• Remove the run when drilled and align the tool
impression with core and draw orientation line;
• Quality control system.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 159


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ace Core Orientation Tool (ACT)


• 3 accelerometers measure the
gravitational direction of the core
tube at any time.
• The user enters the time at which
the core was broken.
• The instrument guides the user to
rotate the tube to the position it
was in at the given time.
• The base of the core can then be
marked.
• Easy to Use
• No consumables
• “Black Box”

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 160


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Orienting Core Before Splitting


Initial orienting is the main
source of error.

Should be marked-up at
drill rig by someone
diligent and competent.

Reference line should be


checked against adjacent
runs by laying core out in
angled-iron and checking
for major changes.

Note: changes could be


real however!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 161


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Drawing the Orientation Line


• Note the change in β angle from run to run;
• Decide which runs are most consistent;
• Get a feeling for the variance from run to run;
• Note runs that have varied in β value more than usual;
• Look at geology to decide whether it is a natural geological
variation or a problem line;
• Correct a problem line if confident, or leave and tag
measurements that are suspicious;
• Draw lines up the core from the next run when broken core
prevents drawing the line down-core;
• Use geological layering to fit the core between runs or
across broken core;
• Note and comment on the reasons for changes in the
orientation line from run to run.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 162


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Convention and Consistency are Key!

• Various conventions for core orientation exist.


(e.g. whether reference line goes on top or bottom of
core).

• On any one project we must:


1. Agree on a convention.
2. Document the convention (in long-hand and on logs).
3. Stick to convention!

BE CONSISTENT!
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 163


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Measuring Orientation: α-β-γ Method


α Angle of planar feature relative
Lineation

to core axis measured along


longest axis of ellipse.
β Circumferential angle between
orientation reference line and
the long axis of the ellipse.
SRK Convention:
• Looking downhole;
• Upper surface of core;
• Measured to bottom of ellipse; and
• Measured clockwise
Reference

γ Angle between a lineation on


line

the plane and the long axis of


Line through bottom
of ellipse

the ellipse. Core Axis

SRK Convention:
• Measured clockwise;
• From bottom of ellipse.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 164


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

α-β-γ Method
Step 1 Step 2

Maximum dip

Downhole direction
Downhole direction
(alpha) angle
measured Beta angle is measured
clockwise (in the
downhole direction)
around core from the
orientation line

Orientation line
(marked Alpha = 42° Beta = 134°
previously)

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 165


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Measuring Orientations
A goniometer is a tool for
measuring angles

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 166


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

α-β-γ Method
• Data is recorded into a spreadsheet as α-β-γ.

• Calculate real world orientations using α-β-γ values and


drillhole survey data (built into spreadsheet).
• Advantage: quick and systematic (hence, used
commonly in geotechnical programs).
• Disadvantage: true values are often obtained after
logging has finished or at the end of the day.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 167


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Measuring Orientation: ‘Rocket Launcher’


Non- Measuring
magnetic
table
Adjustable Core Frame
Support rods
(graduated in degrees)

Tightening
screws

Frame to
hold core

Hinge Reference
Moveable
compass
line at base
of core is
aligned with
Horizontally ‘V’.
rotating arm
Core

Protractor
• Allows measurement of true
orientations of structural features.
Hinge • No post-measurement corrections to be
made.
• Allows recognition of structural
changes (e.g. fabric deflections) in the
core on the fly.
• Important for core mapping.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 168


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Core in Sand Box

• Ensure sand is non-magnetic


• Cheap, but sand needs to be cleaned from core,
compass etc.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 169


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Problems with Handling Drill Core Data


• Problems can arise with:
(1) collecting data;
(2) interpretation of errors introduced by drilling techniques; and
(3) bias due to sampling.

• Errors and omissions in the data are the main causes of such
serious mistakes as drilling in the wrong direction!

• In addition, geological errors and omissions can cause problems


with the interpretation of structures;
• For example, if only one vein set is mineralized, and two are
measured and not distinguished when measuring and logging,
aggregation of the data on stereo nets, particularly if contoured, can
lead to incorrect conclusions.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 170


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Data Checks
• Comparison with orientation data from surface.

• Warning signs are:


− Large amount of scatter in core data relative to surface
data;
− Little similarity between orientations of features; and
− Distribution of data on small circles around the drillhole
orientation on stereographic plots.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 171


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Bias Due to Orientation


• Features oriented at a low-angle to the
drillhole are sampled less frequently than
those cutting at high-angles.
• Spatial bias must be taken into
consideration when analysing the data,
especially when trying to extract
quantitative data (e.g. fracture spacing).
• Can correct using Terzaghi Weighting:
α
w = 1/sin(α)
where α is the angle between the
drillhole and the normal to the fracture.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 172


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Splitting Core

DO NOT CUT ALONG ORIENTATION REFERENCE LINE


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 173


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Down Hole Geophysical Tools

Acoustic
Televiewer

Optical
Televiewer
• Can generate very accurate orientations;
• Orientation is affected by changes in the magnetic field;
• Picking is complicated by strongly laminated rock;
• Powerful supplementary tool particularly when core
orientation fails or is not done.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 174


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Recording Data from Oriented Core


Two approaches:
Structural Core Logging
systematic and data-driven
Vs
Structural Core Mapping
less systematic and interpretation-driven

Both approaches are complimentary.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 175


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Core Logging


• Typically log into a database form as part of a holistic logging
program (e.g. with lithology, alteration etc.);
• Systematic description and measurement of structures over given
intervals, usually a core box;
• Structural core logging should systematically record the nature and
orientations of:
• Lithological contacts;
• Alteration contacts (where possible);
• Structural fabrics (foliations, lineations), including mineralogy;
• Veins;
• Cross-cutting relationships;
• Logging emphasis really depends on the deposit and the
requirement.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
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© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 176


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Core Logging


A large amount of data is amassed, useful for:
• Modelling geometry and structural correlations;
• Analysing orientation of structural populations (e.g.
veins);
But, there are some downsides:
• A lot of data adds background, but is not critical;
• Box-by-box mentality, ‘big picture’ is obscured;
• Mindless box-ticking exercise - devoid of thought.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 177


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Core Mapping


• Philosophy is similar to field geological mapping;
• Focus on areas of interest rather than systematically recording all
structures, particularly significant changes or structural features
(e.g., foliation deflections, faults contacts etc.);
• Extract the data that is critical to the understanding of the system;
• Interpretational, rather than just data collection;
• Allows critical relationships to be identified and (hopefully) solved;
• Particularly useful in exploration environment – ore controls;
• Note cross-cutting evidence, bedding-cleavage relationships,
kinematic indicators, lineations / striations, fold.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 178


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Core Mapping


How to do it:
• Lay-out several boxes of oriented core in angle irons
(orientation mark should be aligned and checked);
• Plot the fence which includes the drillhole of interest on
paper;
• Map and sketch directly on to paper noting any critical
structural information:
• Cross-cutting evidence;
• Bedding-cleavage relationships;
• Kinematic indicators etc.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 179


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structure Classification
• SRK recommends that all identified structures in drill
core should be classified.
• Such classification helps the interpretation of structural
features.

Example structure classification


Class 5 1. (a) Strongly sheared and deformed
Class 3 or (b) brecciated.
2. Clearly faulted with displacement or
Class 2 striations.
3. The rock mass is weakened by (a)
alteration or (b) strong fracturing, a
nearby major structure is likely.
4. The core is completely broken
because of poor core recovery.
Class 1 Possibly structure related.
5. Core is strongly or completely
weathered to residual soil/ mud.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 180


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

New Age of Oriented Core Data Analysis - gOcad

Vein orientations Foliation orientations


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 181


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Summary
• Oriented core has a wide-range of uses in the
structural analysis of mineral deposits.
• Data value of acquiring oriented core outweigh the
fiscal costs in many deposits – often priceless.
• Although, relatively straightforward, acquisition of
oriented core can be prone to errors.
• Oriented core data should be checked internally and
against field data as a quality control.
• Data-driven core logging amasses a lot of useful data
but discourages critical thought.
• Interpretational core mapping helps to identify critical
relationships and should be supplementary to core
logging.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 182


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 5:
Oriented Core Exercise

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Oriented Core Exercise

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 184


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM5: Structural Analysis of


Faults and Fault Systems

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 185


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM5 – Structural Analysis of Faults
and Fault Systems

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 186


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics; Movement sense and
direction.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 187


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Patterns in 3-D


• Faults form 3-D linked arrays that move co-operatively to
accomplish “balanced” deformation of rock masses;
• Too many published interpretations show cross-cutting lineaments
and faults without mutual offset.

Note operation
of 4 faults

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 188


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Patterns in Athabasca Basin

What is wrong with this interpretation?

From Jefferson et al. 2007

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 189


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Networks

Linked arrays of faults:


• Basin linkage in the North
Sea, off Norway (top);
• Main faults in the Pannonian 200km

Basin, Hungary (bottom). NORTH SEA

HUNGARY

100km

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 190


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Networks

On a global scale,
linked networks of
divergent, convergent
and transform (strike-slip)
plate boundaries form a
first-order fracture system
in Earth’s lithosphere.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 191


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Networks
Also 2nd order fault system – transfer faults.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Networks

Strike-slip pull apart basin Normal-detachment fault array

Imbricate thrust duplexes

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Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Conjugate Fault Relationships


• Important Factors:
• Rock type;
• Confining pressure;
• Pre-existing anisotropy or
surfaces;
• Subsequent
© Marli Miller, University of Oregon
deformation/flattening.
Brittle conjugate faults in sedimentary
rocks

English River Subprovince, Superior Province


30° 30°
Brittle ductile conjugate faults in
migmatitic metasedimentary rocks

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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 194


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Riedel Fault Relationships

P • R shears small angle to main


shear, synthetic movement
• P shears synthetic movement
• R’ shears conjugate antithetic
shears, high angles to main shear

Identification of different fault


orientations and their kinematics
can aid in understanding fault
systems as a whole

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 195


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sinistral Riedel Fault System

Cerro Bayo Epithermal


Silver Deposit , Chile

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
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© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 196


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sinistral Riedel Fault System

Cerro Bayo Epithermal


Silver Deposit
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 197


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Classification

• Faults are classified by their sense of slip;


• Specific differences in the nature of the fault types reflect their
orientation and sense of slip relative to geological layering and the
Earth’s surface.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 198


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics; Movement sense and
direction.

San Andreas Fault


1300 km length

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 199


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Displacement

• Fault displacements vary over the fault surface;


• At a broad-scale, the variations are systematic;
• Tip-lines are rarely regularly-shaped;
• Usually faults are not isolated, but part of an array.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 200


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Growth
• Despite the geometrical differences between fault types, the growth
of all faults are controlled by two basic processes:
• Fault propagation and segmentation;
• Fault segment linkage.

• These processes account for nearly all aspects of fault geometry


and fault rock content.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 201


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Propagation and Segmentation


(a) (b)

(c) (d)

Courtesy of: Fault Analysis Group,


Tip-line bifurcation: University College Dublin.

Localized retardation in propagation of the fracture


front results in segmented fault array.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 202


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Linkage

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 203


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Linkage: Examples


Dilational jog along low-angle reverse fault

Dilational jog along low-angle normal fault

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 204


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Segmentation and Dilational Jogs

• Tendency to think in 2D but, in 3D, similar to other fault systems;


• Kinematics are favourable for dilation and fluid flow.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 205


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Dilational Jogs

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Dilational Jogs

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 207


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics; Movement sense and
direction.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 208


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Zone Heterogeneity


• Fault segmentation and
linkage processes result
in highly-variable width
and content (fault rock
types) of fault zones;
• Fault zone thickness can
range over 3 orders of
magnitude for a particular
displacement;
• Drillhole intersections of
the same fault will not be
the same;
• Consequently, faults are
horrible to correlate from
drillhole information.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 209


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Zone Heterogeneity and Fluid Flow

Silvermines, Irish Zn-Pb Province (after Andrew, 1986) Normal fault system >200m displacement

• Feeder zones, shown by presence of epigenetic ore, are localised in


areas of structural complexity associated with segment linkage points;
• These zones are not necessarily dilational, but are zones of high
fracture permeability.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 210


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Brittle Faults and Ductile Shear Zones

• Deformation regime depends upon: temperature, pressure, strain


rate, composition and the presence of pore fluids;
• Deformation regime commonly changes during progression of an
orogeny.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 211


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Brittle vs. Ductile Faults


Brittle
• Discrete discontinuities accommodate
displacement;
• Commonly faults are segmented on a range of
scales; and
• Contain variety of fault rocks (e.g. breccia, gouge)
which partially reflect the strain accommodated
by the fault.

Ductile
• Deformation is continuous with wall rocks;
• Strongly developed planar and linear preferred
orientation fabrics; and
• Strain is reflected in the intensity of the foliation.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 212


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Rock Types in Faults


Incohesive
gouge and
breccia ±
pseudotachylite

Cohesive crush Cohesive


Breccias and foliated high-
cataclasites ± strain zones
pseudotachylite and mylonites

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 213


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Rock Types in Faults

Breccia and pseudotachylite Cohesive crush breccias and cataclasites

Gouge Cohesive foliated high-strain zones and mylonites


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 214


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Mineralization Types in Faults

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 215


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics; Movement sense and
direction.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 216


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

The Importance of Getting Timing Right


• Application of structural control principles requires that the
timing of mineralisation must be carefully matched with the
history of activity on the fault system.

Folded gold, Rainy River Gold project, Ontario.


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 217


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Control Principles


• Determine the timing of mineralisation in the event
history and match it to the history of movement on the
fault / shear zones in the region.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 218


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folded Faults

Early faults are susceptible


to later deformation.

Extensional or compressional
faults at low angles to
sub-horizontal
bedding are particularly
susceptible to later folding.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 219


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Single Progressive Deformation Event


SINGLE
PROGRESSIVE
DEFORMATION
EVENT
This cross-section is
from a gold deposit in
which folds, foliation,
faults and veins
formed during a single
deformation event

Wattle Gully gold deposit, Victoria, Australia


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 220


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Single Progressive Deformation Event

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 221


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics; Movement sense and
direction.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 222


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Kinematic Analysis

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 223


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Kinematic Indicators

Courtesy: Fault Analysis Group, University College Dublin

• Only way to be sure of the movement on a fault is if we can observe a


displaced marker and a fault lineation.
• Together, these yield absolute displacement.
• Normally we don’t have this information so have to rely on secondary
information – kinematic indicators.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 224


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Shear Sense
Ground Rules:
• Shear sense can be reliably determined only on sections at high
angle to fault / shear zone and parallel to transport / stretching
direction (i.e. lineation);
• If possible, determine direction of displacement before looking for
shear sense indicators; and
• You must say which way you are facing to be unambiguous.

To correctly observe sense of


shear indicators, look at the
plane:
- Perpendicular to foliation; &
- Parallel to lineation .

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 225


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Lineations
• Lineations probably are the most
useful of all structures;

• 2 basic types of lineations occur in


deformed rocks:

• Intersection lineations; and


(See CM6: Analysis of Folds)

• Stretching, extension or mineral


lineations.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 226


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stretching, Extension & Mineral Lineations


Lineations in fault rocks are the main
indicators of displacement direction.

The 3 most important lineations include:

(1) Slickenlines (grooves, striations) on


fracture surfaces (slickensides) sub-
parallel to fault zone;

(2) Fibre lineations in vein-fill on fault plane;


usually quartz or calcite;

(3) Stretching / mineral lineations in the


foliation surface in ductile shear / fault
zones.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 227


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics – Brittle Faults.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 228


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Lineations on Brittle Fault Surfaces


Lineations are common on fault
surfaces, either:

(1) Due to grooving parallel to the


movement direction called
“slickenlines” (on fault surface or
“slickenside”);

(2) Mineral fibres that grow on the fault


surface parallel to the movement
direction.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 229


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Lineated Brittle Fault Rocks


Striations (slickenlines) on fault
surface (slickenside) dipping
steeply.

Slickenlines on fault surface, Seabee Gold


Slickenlines on fault surface, Detour Gold project, Ontario. Mine, SK.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Kinematic Indicators: Brittle Faults


Slickenfibres

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 231


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fibre Lineations on Fault Surface

Local separation of fault surfaces filled with vein material,


commonly thin fibres or films of quartz or calcite.

(Gap faces in direction of movement of opposite face)

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 232


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Mineral Fibre Growth

In quartz, galena and gold –


kinematics during ore
formation!

6191M stope sample, Con gold deposit, Yellowknife

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Steps on Fault Surfaces b.

Steps perpendicular to
slickenlines and mineral
fibres are assumed to face in
direction of movement of
opposite side of fault.

lineation

STEP

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Steps on Fault Surfaces (cont.)


Steps show
Back block
that this block
(back block)
moved to left
(sinistral movement).

As fault is vertical,
Front block
this is a strike-slip
fault.

West Bay Fault, Yellowknife, Canada

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Steps on Fault Surfaces (cont.)

Steps perpendicular to slickenlines & mineral fibres;


Surface dips 70 degrees out of page;
What is the sense and direction of shear?
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 236


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Steps on Fault Surfaces (cont.)

Steps perpendicular to
slickenlines & mineral fibres;
Surface dips 90 degrees;
What is the sense and
direction of shear?

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 237


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6:
Fault Problems – Part 1

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 238


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6: Fault Problems

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 239


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6: Fault Problems

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 240


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6: Fault Problems

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 241


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6: Fault Problems

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 242


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics – Ductile shear zones.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 243


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Tectonite Fabric Elements

Stretching Lineation
Aligned and stretched clasts
and/or minerals.

Schistosity
Planar foliation defined by
alignment of platy minerals.

• Depending upon the type of strain, the rock may


contain planar, linear or both fabric elements.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 244


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation Definitions
• Foliation: a planar fabric that is usually associated with a
deformational origin.
• Slaty Cleavage: typical of slates (e.g., weakly
metamorphosed shales) — individual aligned mica flakes

Increasingly coarse
(too small to observe by eye).
• Schistosity (schistose foliation): typical of moderately to
strongly metamorphosed schists —individual mica grains
define foliation (large enough to observe in hand
specimens).
• Gneissosity (gneissose foliation): typical of high-grade
metamorphic rocks —coarser-grained, non-micaceous
minerals predominate —folia tend to anastomose around
pods of minerals more resistant to deformation.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation - Examples

Strong planar (gneissose) foliation Flattened conglomerate

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stretching Lineations

• Stretching, extension or mineral


lineations form parallel to the
elongation, stretching or tectonic
transport direction in deformed
rocks. They are useful as strain or
movement indicators;

• Foliations & stretching lineations


are part of the 3-D rock fabric
formed by deformation, i.e. not Stretching lineation. Star-
separate structures, and reflect the Morning Mine, Idaho.
3-D nature of the strain.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stretching Lineations (continued)


• Markers (e.g. pebbles, fossils, breccia
fragments) provide clear and direct evidence
of rock strain and define stretching / extension
lineations;

• Most metamorphic rocks do not contain


markers. However they commonly exhibit
elongation of metamorphic mineral grains that
define the rock fabric (e.g. mica, amphibole).
These can be visible with the eye, but are
commonly microscopic and can be used as a
mineral lineation that reflects 3-D strain;

• Stretching lineations are very valuable


indicators of movement or tectonic transport
direction, especially in shear zones.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stretching Lineation
Strong stretching lineation in ductile fault zone

Campbell Shear Zone, Con gold deposit, Yellowknife, Canada

Stretching lineation in quartzite

Indicates vertical (dip-slip) movement


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Stretching Lineation
Strong stretching lineation (quartz and amphibole) in
vertical ductile fault zone

Porphyroblasts of
staurolite not
lineated!!
What does this
indicate about
timing of ductile
deformation vs.
metamorphism?

Obotan gold deposit, Ghana.

Indicates oblique movement


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sense of Shear in Individual Zone


Foliation in ductile shear zones oblique to zone boundaries
Obliquity reflects sense of shear
Plan View

Caledonian Orogeny, Doughruagh, Ireland

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sense of Shear in Individual Zone


Hornblendite dike (black) has been highly deformed & thinned in shear
zone
Cross-section View

Kamila shear zone, Kohistan, Pakistan

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

S / C Fabrics in Fault / Shear Zone


In ductile shear zones, shear commonly occurs in
“mini” shear zones — heterogeneous strain

Compare to a pack of cards, except that some


deformation occurs between the slip surfaces

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

S / C Fabrics (continued)
The less deformed layers are equivalent to the margins
of the shear zone proper, and may develop an oblique
foliation related to the sense of shear

C-surface

S-surface

Individual shear zones are C-surfaces (“cisaillement”


is French for “shear”), and oblique folia between them
are S-surfaces (“schistocité” is French for “foliation”)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

S / C Fabrics in Fault / Shear Zone


Cross-section View
Plan View

Ox Mountains, Ireland

Cape Ray Fault Zone


Dube et al., 1996

What is the sense of shear?


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

S / C fabrics in a Shear Zone

Green shear zone, Star-Morning Mine, Idaho. Crean Hill shear zone, Denison

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Asymmetrical Rotated Objects


Rotated porphyroclasts with asymmetric
wings (delta-type porphyroclast).

Cross-section View

Parry Sound shear zone, Grenville Province, Ontario


What is the sense of shear?
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Asymmetrical Rigid Objects


Clasts of relatively rigid (competent) material like boudins or
large crystals (porphyroclasts or porphyroblasts)
Plan View

Pine Lake Volcanics,


Seabee district,
Saskatchewan

What is the sense of shear?


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strain Markers
This is a reverse fault
because the sense of
shear markers (tails
on deformed quartz
veins) indicate right-
up sense of
movement

Campbell shear zone, Con gold deposit, Yellowknife, Canada

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strain Markers
Cross-section View

Cross-section View

6 Shaft Shear, Creighton

Campbell shear zone, Con gold deposit,


Yellowknife, Canada
What is the sense of shear?
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Asymmetrical Strain (Pressure) Shadows

3 possibilities:

(1) Asymmetrical elongation of


deformed, recrystallized “tails” of
porphyroclasts;

(2) Asymmetrical fibre overgrowths


in “pressure shadows”;

(3) Asymmetrical lenses of residual,


less deformed matrix, protected
by the porphyroclast.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strain (Pressure) Shadows

What is the sense of shear?


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Thayer Lindsay Deposit

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Thayer Lindsay Deposit

What is the sense of shear?


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Shear Bands
Shear bands may develop in homogeneous, strongly
foliated rocks especially in the most intensely deformed
parts of shear zones

Sense of shear in the band is the same as


the overall sense of shear in shear zone
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Faults
 Geometry of faults in 3D;
 Fault networks, patterns and
classification;
 Fault growth and dilational jogs;
 Character; Brittle vs. ductile,
alteration, veining;
 Timing;
 Kinematics – Ductile shear zones;
 Displacement calculation.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Amount of Displacement
The 2 principal means of
determining / estimating the
amount of displacement on a fault /
shear zone are:

(1) from the measured offset of


markers / rock units across the
fault, i.e. fault reconstruction;

(2) from the degree of deformation


in the fault / shear zone and the
width of the zone.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reconstruction
Best way to determine displacement

Restore to pre-fault configuration —> —>

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reconstruction (continued)

Pre-fault reconstruction:

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reconstruction (continued)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Piercing Point Solutions

Intersection of two planes


to create a common point
in the hanging wall and
footwall of the fault

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Amount of Offset on Shear Zone

Difficult to determine, but


can be roughly estimated
from intensity of foliation

1. If rocks moderately foliated


and original structures and
textures are preserved:
displacement = 0.5 to 2 X
width of zone

2. If rocks intensely foliated


and mylonitic in entire zone:
displacement = 5 to 10 X
width of zone

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6:
Fault Problems – Part 2

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 6: Fault Problems

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM6: Structural Analysis of


Folds and Fold Systems

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM6 — Structural Analysis of Folds
and Fold systems

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folds and Faults

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folds, boudins, and mullions


Folds, boudins, and mullions form due to a competence
contrast between the layer being deformed and the
surrounding rock. Which structure forms is a function of the
relative competence contrast and the orientation of the
layer to the main compression direction.

Fold Boudin Mullion


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folds, boudins, and mullions


• Folds – Layer at low angle to compression
direction. Strong layer surrounded by weak
rock;
EXT

• Boudin – Layer at high angle to compression COM COM


direction. Strong layer surrounded by weak
rock; and EXT

• Mullion – Layer at low angle to compression


direction. Weak layer surrounded by strong
rock.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Mapping Techniques
• Orientations of bedding & axial plane
foliation;

• Fold vergence;

• Lineations as indicators of fold axes;

• Younging and structural facing;

• Form line mapping;

• Fold sequencing and fold patterns;

• Recognizing transposition.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folds

• Basic geometry
• Orientations of bedding and axial
planar foliation
• Fold vergence
• Intersection lineations as indicators
of fold axes
• Younging and structural facing
• Polyphase folding

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry
Symmetrical Fold Asymmetrical Fold

Interlimb angle
Fold axial plane Fold axial plane

For each fold we can measure:


• Limb orientations
• Fold axis (hinge line)
• Fold axial plane
• Interlimb angle
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Type – Based on Interlimb Angle

Isoclinal Tight

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Type – Based on Interlimb Angle


Open
Close

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry
Cylindrical folds:
• Rectilinear hinge line;
• Constant limb orientations;
• Planar axial surfaces.

Non-cylindrical folds:
• Curvilinear hinge lines;
• Variable, but usually
systematic, limb orientations;
• Planar or curviplanar axial
surfaces.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry
Doubly-plunging Folds

Zagros Mountains, Iran (Google Earth)

• Folds are rarely cylindrical;


• Like displacements on faults, fold amplitudes
may vary along strike.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Why do we need to know about folds?


• Many ore deposits occur in orogenic belts and
are geometrically related to the structural
architecture.
• Pre-deformation mineralization: will be folded
along with the host sequence;
• Syn-deformation mineralization: location
and/or plunge or ore shoots commonly related
to fold structure; and
• Post-deformation mineralization: along
inherited structure e.g. faults along fold limbs.
• It is essential to understand the timing
relationship between the deformation events
and mineralization in order to interpret the
structural controls correctly.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folded Sulphide Ore Zone – Pre-Folding

• Stratiform sulphide
thickened in fold closure
into an accumulation of
sufficient size to form
orebody;
• Plunge of ore is plunge
of folds; and
• Structural analysis can
predict location of fold
hinges and thus aid
exploration targeting.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folding Makes Space for Fluid Flow


Subhorizontal
extension veins

Fault breaching fold hinge

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry – Control on Veins

Tangier anticline, Meguma district, Nova Scotia


Schematic model of vein formation

Caribou deposit, Nova Scotia


Goldenville district, Nova Scotia
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry – Control on Veins


Flexural slip

Folded vein, Deborah deposit, Bendigo

Schematic model of vein formation


Flexural flow

Tangential longitudinal strain

Vein variation, Sheepshead anticline, Bendigo Laminated and extensional veins,


from Cox (2005) Swan decline, Bendigo

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Post-Folding Skarn Mineralization: Antamina, Peru

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Folds and Mineralization


In folded terranes, hinge zones are good targets for a
variety of mineralization styles. Ore plunge is commonly
(but not always) parallel to fold plunge

Where are the fold hinge zones? What is their plunge?


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

How do we identify folds?


• Bedding orientation
changes across a fold
hinge;
• Younging direction
changes across a fold
hinge:
• Gross stratigraphy;
• Younging indicators.
• Older rocks in core =
anticline; and
• Younger rocks in core =
syncline.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliations and Folds


Folds are often intimately related to foliation (cleavage or
schistosity).

Axial planar foliation generally parallels fold axial plane


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Axial Planar Foliations and Folds

Axial planar foliation is often constant, therefore a range in


the intersection angle between bedding and foliation
occurs.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Bedding and Axial Planar Cleavage


Cleavage at high-
Cleavage at low- angle to bedding in
angle to bedding in hinge.
limbs.

Bedding steeper than


cleavage in
Bedding shallower overturned limb.
than cleavage in
upright limb.

Using bedding-cleavage relationships we can start to


determine the geometry of a fold.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Which way is the antiformal hinge?

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Crenulation Cleavage

Outcrop showing bedding


crenulated by small folds

Alignment of fold limbs


forms a crenulation cleavage

Is this outcrop in the


hinge or the limb of a
larger fold?

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation Development and Lithology

• Development of a foliation
(cleavage or schistosity)
depends on presence of
platy minerals (e.g. clays,
micas, amphiboles etc.);
and
• Foliation can appear very
different in rocks with
more / less abundant
platy minerals.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation Development and Lithology


The muddy horizons have
developed a cleavage, and
the sandy horizons have not.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Vergence - Parasitic Folds

• The two limbs of an ideal fold


are mirror images;
• This symmetry relationship
is a powerful tool for
determining the position of
an outcrop-scale fold on a
large structure;
• Small folds on limbs of larger
structure are generally
asymmetrical; and
• This sense of asymmetry is
used to locate fold hinges.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Vergence - Parasitic Folds

• ‘S’ folds - limbs


• ‘M’ or ‘W’ folds – hinge
• ‘Z’ folds - limbs
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Parasitic Folds
‘S’ Folds in Sand/Silts

Parasitic Folds in Psammites

Z
S

M? W

Fold axial planar cleavage

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Parasitic Folds (continued)

Additional examples:

domainal development
of parasitic folds
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vergence in the Field

Parasitic folds are


especially useful to
locate the position of
S folds axial traces of major
folds in areas of
poorly exposed, tight
Z folds isoclinal folding

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vergence Reality

Variable plunge
causes apparent
changes in
vergence
Compare outcrops
A&B
Always determine
vergence when
looking DOWN-
PLUNGE

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

View Folds Down-Plunge


This vertical section is up- Down-plunge section
plunge (so vergence is gives true view of fold
opposite to map view) and geometry and same sense
fold profile is stretched of fold vergence as map

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Orientations of Major Folds

• How do we determine the orientations of major folds?

• The following data is available from most folds:


• Axial planar foliation;
• Bedding or earlier foliation that defines the fold; and
• Parasitic folds.

• The intersection of these planes yields an intersection


lineation that is parallel to the fold axis.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Intersection Lineation

Because bedding and Cleavage surface


cleavage are at
high angles in fold
hinge, and both are
planes of weakness,
some rocks break
into “pencils” in the
hinge area forming
PENCIL LINEATION

Observe structures
on cleavage surface

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Intersection Lineation

The intersection of
bedding and cleavage
form an intersection
lineation, which
is parallel to the
fold axis.

On fold limbs, the


lineation is best
observed on
cleavage surfaces

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Intersection Lineation

Intersection lineations can be


used to estimate trend and
plunge of axes of major
folds

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Intersection Lineation

(from http://nvcc.edu/home/cbentley/geoblog/labels/virginia.html)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Common Intersection Lineations


Bedding/cleavage intersection. Crenulations of an earlier foliation.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Bedding-Cleavage Relationship (vergence)


Bedding-cleavage relationships can be used to
determine the position of an outcrop-scale fold in
a larger structure.

LEFT RIGHT

Is the nearest antiform located to the left or right of


this outcrop? (or: what is the vergence?)
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Bedding-Cleavage Relationship (vergence)


• Using only bedding-cleavage relationship, the antiform
is inferred to be to the right of the outcrop i.e. vergence
is to the right

Bedding and cleavage at


smaller angle in fold limb

LEFT RIGHT

Bedding & cleavage at


high angle in fold hinge

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural Facing

• Structural Facing is rather complexly defined as: the


direction of younging resolved in the foliation at right
angles to the fold axis;

• Facing: the direction in which the axial plane of a fold


passes through younger layers. This term applies to the
whole fold.

• Younging: the direction towards which a rock unit or


layer decreases in age. This direction changes around a
fold.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Facing
• Direction of younging in the cleavage plane is the
structural facing (direction);
• Facing provides information on structural history.

The following slides examine each of these outcrops

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Facing — Outcrop A
Is the facing direction upwards or downwards?

Graded
bedding

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Facing — Outcrop A

The graded bedding youngs upwards, but


faces downwards on the cleavage surface.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Facing — Outcrop B
Is the facing direction upwards or downwards?

Cross-bedding

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Facing — Outcrop B

The cross-bedding youngs and faces


downwards on the cleavage surface.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry at Depth


A B

• Change in younging direction suggests that outcrops


are on opposite limbs of a fold;
• In outcrop A, bedding is steeper than cleavage;
• In outcrop B, bedding is shallower than cleavage.

Fold is synformal but…


Applied Structural Geology in
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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 323


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry at Depth


.. the fold is also an anticline!

Fold is a synformal anticline.


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Why facing is important?

Downward facing implies earlier inversion

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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 7:
Fold Problems – Part 1

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 7: Fold Problems

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Sequencing

What features would you


select as being potentially
critical in this outcrop?

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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Sequencing (continued)

Main features are:


S2
• Bedding (S0)
• Foliation (S1) sub-parallel
to bedding
• Earlier folding of S0 and S0/S1
S1: axial surface (S2)
shown in red

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Sequencing (continued)

So, the main feature in this


outcrop is an earlier fold
(axial surface shown in
S2
red) re-folded by a larger,
later upright fold (F3)

Earlier fold probably


parasitic on the limb of a
much larger F2 fold
F3

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Polyphase Folding
• Multiple foliations associated
with several folding events; F3
F2
• Primary compositional
layering (S0);
S2
• Early penetrative foliation
parallel to layering (S1), shown S0 + S1
by minor veins;
• Folding of S0 and S1 around F2
and development of new axial
planar foliation S2;
• Folding of S0, S1 and S2
around F3. No axial planar
foliation is observed.
Applied Structural Geology in
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Multiple Fold-Foliation Events Complicate Life!

Several cleavages and cleavage reactivation.


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Interference Fold interference patterns


are a function of the relative
orientations of the different
fold phases

Only 2
fold phases!

BUT ALSO:
On the outcrop, the pattern will
depend on the orientation of
the exposed surface
Applied Structural Geology in
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Overprinting Deformation Events: Fold Interference

After Ramsay, 1976

TYPE 1 or Dome-and-Basin
Fold Pattern is produced
where fold axial traces are
at high angle and both fold
generations are upright or
inclined

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Overprinting Deformation Events: Fold Interference

After Ramsay, 1976

TYPE 2 or Arrowhead /
Mushroom Pattern is
produced where fold axial
traces are at high angle, but
one fold generation is
upright to inclined and the
other is recumbent or
reclined
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Overprinting Deformation Events: Fold Interference

TYPE 2 or Arrowhead /
Mushroom Pattern

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Overprinting Deformation Events: Fold Interference

After Ramsay, 1976

TYPE 3 or Wavy Tail Pattern


(coaxial) is produced where
the fold axes are parallel or
sub-parallel, and one
generation of fold is upright
to inclined and the other is
recumbent or reclined
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Interference
What type of
interference pattern is
defined here?

Refolded folds in gneiss, Ruby Mountains, Elko County, Nevada


(From NBMG Photograph Archive)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Interference Shallow-plunging F2


syncline

Contains re-folded F1
folds in the heart of the
deposit

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Interference

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry – Remobilization and Refolding

Thompson Ni Belt, Manitoba

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Interference
- Thompson
• D1 Extension – time of
ultramafic intrusion
• D2 Folding/Thrusting –
peak metamorphism
• D3 Refolding, steep
reverse faults

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sulphide
Localization in Fold
Hinges - Thompson
• Characteristic ore body geometry
in F2 fold hinge – especially
where refolded by F3 folds;
• Note sulphides not folded – F2
hinges “popped open” during F3
folding – dilation zones form ore
bodies; and
• Sulphide horizons connected
along P2 schist – and have ‘tails’
of ore projecting into fold hinge.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry: Mineralization and Refolding


Meadowbank gold deposit, Nunavut

adapted from Sherlock et al., (2001, 2004)


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Multiply- Folded Areas

• Once you have an


understanding of the
geometry of the last
fold phase, work
backwards to ‘unfold’
previous deformation
phases (e.g. by looking
at bedding/cleavage
asymmetry etc.)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Analysis of Multiply- Folded Areas


Even the most complex areas
can be puzzled out with a bit
of time and patience

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© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 346


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation Generations
• It may be possible to
distinguish between
different generations of
foliation and relate these
to different fold events;
and
• If so, it is possible to
analyze structure using
S2/S1 relations etc. as
analogy to S1/S0 relations
in regions with only one
phase of folding.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation Generations

• But remember that


foliation is developed to
different degrees in
different rock types –
some may show F2 folding
with no new foliation,
whereas others may have
penetrative S2 foliation
that obliterates earlier S1
cleavage.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Foliation Generations
• Also remember that some
rocks develop an early
bedding-parallel foliation
- it is common to have
one more phase of
foliation than of folding!
• The foliation may be
related to extension rather
than folding – look for
other evidence e.g.
boudinage.

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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 349


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Transposition: Folding and High Strain


• When the %$#&*# really hits the fan…

layers locally appear to


join up across stratigraphy
rather than along it

Sub-parallel sand lenses in silty shale form


depositional(?) texture with enigmatic origin…

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Transposition: Folding and High Strain

Vancouver Art Gallery


Georgia Street
entrance

Transposed folds are


often more easily
defined by their
‘enveloping surface’

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Transposition: Folding and High Strain


Transposition

Implications for exploration

Mapped distribution of high grade


appears to join up across strike

Enveloping surface defines folded layer

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Transposition in Thin Section

• To illustrate the guiding


principal that geological
structures are repeated
on all scales:
transposition of a silty
layer in a graphitic
schist. (Long axis of
section 5mm).

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sheath Folds: Folding and High Strain


• Sheath folds have curvi-
linear fold traces, and the
fold axes reverse their (Twiss and Moores, 1992)

plunges around a point;


• Sheath folds initiate as
cylindrical folds with axes
perpendicular to the
transport direction and (Hanmer and Passchier, 1991)

stretching lineation; Grenville Orogen, Ontario

• With progressive shear,


the axes rotate to become
parallel to the stretching
lineation.
(http://ic.ucsc.edu/~casey/eart150/Lectures/ShearZones/15shearZns.htm)
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Things to Remember
• Fold symmetry
» Parasitic folds
» Vergence (careful of plunge!)
• Fold–fabric relationships
» Axial planar foliation
» Folded?
» Mineralization?
• Structural facing
» Need ‘way-up’ indicators
» Important for identifying overturned beds, especially where ‘way-
up’, alone, doesn’t work
• Fold sequencing
» Don’t be intimidated by ‘crazy’ patterns
» Be mindful of the orientation of the exposed surface
• Folding and High Strain – Transposition and Sheath Folds
» Enveloping surface
» Competence contrasts
» Rotation of fold axes

REMEMBER:
Folds are fractal. Small scale mimics larger scales. Relationships identified
on the outcrop scale can be applied to the deposit scale and larger.
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 355


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 7:
Fold Problems – Part 2

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 356


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 7: Fold Problem

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 357


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM7: Structural Analysis of


Veins and Vein Systems

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 358


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology


in Exploration and Mining
CM7 – Structural Analysis of Veins and
Vein Systems

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 359


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins in fault / shear zones


• Veins form in or adjacent to
both brittle and ductile
zones, and they are the
most useful indicators of
direction and sense of
displacement.
• Mineralized veins are
especially useful - WHY???
• Veins generally form
oblique to their related
fault, and the sense of
obliquity is related to fault
movement direction /
sense.

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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins exploit pre-existing fabric

Folded bedding parallel quartz vein,


Goldenville, Nova Scotia

Bedding parallel vein, Hill End Mine,


NSW, Australia

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry – Control on Veins

Tangier anticline, Meguma district, Nova Scotia

Schematic model of vein formation

Goldenville district, Nova Scotia


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© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 362


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry – Control on Veins


Flexural slip

Folded vein, Deborah deposit, Bendigo

Schematic model of vein formation


Flexural flow

Tangential longitudinal strain

Vein variation, Sheepshead anticline, Bendigo Laminated and extensional veins, Swan
from Cox (2005) decline, Bendigo

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins Form During Folding

bedding-parallel
fault-fill vein

Vein variation, Sheepshead anticline,


Bendigo from Cox (2005)

• Extensional veins are generated


due to slip along bedding planes.

Laminated and extensional veins, Swan


decline, Bendigo
Applied Structural Geology in
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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 364


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins Form During Folding

• Such slip can also generate


dilation in hinge zones and
form saddle reefs;

• Saddle reefs are


fold axis-parallel
linear shoots.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 365


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins Form During Folding

• Extensional veins also


form in outer arcs
of fold hinges;

• Such extensional veins


may form hinge line-
parallel networks
(i.e. fold axis-parallel
shoots).

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 366


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Geometry – Control on Veins

Goldenville district, Nova Scotia


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 367


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins are Preserved in Fold Hinges

From Kisters, 2005

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 368


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Competence contrasts in ductile fault zones


• Formation of a quartz-carbonate
vein in a schistose fault zone
(e.g. biotite, chlorite, sericite)
creates a large competence
contrast between the strong vein
and the surrounding weak
schist; Quartz vein in graphitic schist, Obuasi,
Ghana
• This creates a positive feedback
mechanism where during
subsequent deformation the vein
will fold/boudinage/fracture
creating low stress sites that will
focus the deposition of
subsequent hydrothermal fluids. Pyrrhotite infilling boudin necks in a
quartz vein, Detour Lake, Ontario

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins exploit pre-existing veins

Quartz tourmaline vein xc Quartz vein xc quartz vein, Con deposit,


boudinaged ankerite vein, Red Lake Yellowknife

Quartz tourmaline vein xc boudinaged Quartz vein xc quartz vein, Con deposit,
ankerite vein, Dome deposit, Timmins Yellowknife

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Positive feedback
Deform ductile
shear zone

Deposit vein
system
(barren or
auriferous)
Deposit veins
localized on
1st/2nd/3rd vein
system

Deform vein
system
Applied Structural Geology in
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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Timing and gold endowment

• It is important to understand
the timing relative to
deformation of the vein
generations, and the
controlling kinematics of the
deformation at that time. Folded gold with axial planar cleavage, Rainy River gold
deposit, Ontario
• It is also important to
understand the relative gold
endowment of the different
vein generations; e.g.
barren-auriferous,
auriferous-auriferous.

Gold in cross-cutting fracture, Rainy River gold deposit,


Ontario
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Significant gold enrichment?

Con, Yellowknife

• Related to orders of magnitude variation in gold


grade (~10 g/t to 1500 g/t); and
• Often associated with chalcopyrite, sphalerite
and galena.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Controlling Geometry? – Red Lake

Conjugate quartz-amphibole veins


within ankerite vein

Folded ankerite vein, CARZ zone, Phoenix Island, Red Lake


(Rubicon Minerals Corp. exploration property)

Overall geometry of later vein system can be


strongly controlled by geometry of earlier
deformed (folded/boudinaged) vein system Folded ankerite vein crosscut by quartz-
tourmaline veins

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles
Vein Internal Structural Formation
Geometry
Type Features Site Mechanism
laminated structure;
shear fracturing;
foliated wallrock slivers; shear zone or fault;
Fault-fill veins slip surfaces; fold limbs
parallel to host structure extensional opening of
existing fractures
fibres at low angles to vein walls;
filli
mineral fibres at high outside shear zones;
Extensional veins angle to vein walls AC joints in folds
planar veins at moderate angle
extensional fracturing;
to shear zone;
extensional-shear fracturing
perpendicular to fold hinge
Extensional
internal layering: multiple openings within shear zones
vein arrays

2 or more oblique to
Stockworks orthogonal vein sets
non specific tabular to cigar shaped zones

Breccia Veins
Jigsaw Puzzle angular clasts, no rotation along faults parallel to host structure

vein and wallrock clasts;


Fault breccias fault or shear zone parallel to host structure fault slip
rotation and abrasion

Adapted from Robert et al. 1994


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 375


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles

From Robert and Poulsen, 2001


Applied Structural Geology in
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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 376


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles: laminated fault-fill veins

Schematic representation of
lateral zoning in vein to
wallrock ratio

Sketch of individual veinlets


amalgamating to form larger
laminated quartz lenses.
Sigma deposit, Val d’Or

Robert et al. (1994)


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles: laminated fault-fill veins

Fault-fill veins with carbonate alteration. Fault-fill veins with carbonate alteration.
Motherlode, California Pamour deposit, Timmins

Fault-fill vein. Fault-fill veins with sericite alteration.


Hoyle Pond deposit, Timmins Con deposit, Yellowknife
Applied Structural Geology in
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles: extensional veins

Robert et al. (1994).

• Planar extensional vein x-cutting shear zone;


• Arrays of sigmoidal extensional veins (tension gashes) in shear zone;
• Planar extensional veins within shear zone.

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles: extensional veins

Extensional quartz-tourmaline vein. Quartz tourmaline vein, Buffalo deposit,


Red Lake. Red Lake

Extensional vein array perp. to foln and Extensional quartz vein array, Black Fox
lineation. Star-Morning Mine, Idaho. deposit, Timmins
Applied Structural Geology in
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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein styles: stockwork and breccia veins


Stockwork and breccia veins can be regarded as composite structures
resulting from a combination of multiple sets of veins and fractures

Quartz-breccia vein, Kirkland Lake Vein stockwork, Black Fox deposit, TImmins

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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins as Kinematic Indicators


• Where high pore fluid pressures
dominate (many hydrothermal
environments), vein orientations
can help determine the kinematics.

• Sub-horizontal veins:
• Contractional

• Sub-vertical veins:
• Parallel to faults: extensional

• Or
• Oblique to faults: transcurrent

After Sibson (1990)


Applied Structural Geology in
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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins as Kinematic Indicators


Cross-section View

Vein system, Obotan deposit, Ghana


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 383


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Bogosu Au Deposit, Ghana, West Africa

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 384


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins as Kinematic Indicators


• The Bogoso Mine
occurs 60km to the
SW of Ashanti along
the same regional
strike-slip fault
system;
• Gold mineralization
occurs at bends
along the strike-slip
system;
• Note vein geometries
associated with
opposing bends!

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 385


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Veins in fault / shear zones

Vein
(tension gash)

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 386


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Tension Veins

S-shaped en echelon
tension veins
indicate a
sinistral
movement

Z-shaped veins
indicate dextral
movement

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 387


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Tension Veins

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Tension Veins
Plan View

What is the sense of shear?


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 389


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Tension Veins

compressive stress direction

Dextral movement

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 390


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein array in ‘back’


Plan View – Back of drift looking up

Obuasi gold deposit, Ghana


What is the sense of shear?
Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 391


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein array
Cross-section View

Black Fox gold deposit, Timmins

What is the sense of shear?


Applied Structural Geology in
Exploration and Mining
Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 392


Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein networks

a
Relationship between a
reverse (compressional)
fault, dilation and b
veining.
a

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein networks

fluid expands rapidly in dilating


part of the fault allowing for phase
separation and mineralisation
Relationship between
normal (extensional)
fault, dilation and
veining. "choke" on tight section of fault

fluid pathway

magma/fluid source

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein networks

Relationship
between strike-slip
(wrench) fault,
dilation and veining.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein networks veins


ve ns
NORMAL FAULT

veins
vei ns

Normal Fau t

STRIKE-SLIP FAULT

veins
vei ns
Strike Slip
Fault

Patterns of faulting and REVERSE


FAULT
associated veining Reverse Fault

Indicates vei ns

two different
episodes of Veins characteristic of dextral strike-slip
movement overprinting horizontal veins
typical of compressional or reverse faulting.
faulting This type of relationship indicates two
episodes of faulting.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Dilational Jogs

Patterns of faulting and


associated veining

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Dilational Jogs

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Obuasi Au Deposit, Ghana, West Africa

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Plunge of ore shoots - Obuasi

10 km

1.6
km

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Plunge of ore shoots - Obuasi

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exercise 8:
Epithermal Vein Exercise

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Epithermal Vein Exercise

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Geometric relationships in shear zones


Poulsen and Robert (1989) In an undeformed
shear zone and vein
hosted deposit the
ore plunge will be
aligned with the
intersection of the
foliation with
extensional veining,
normal to the
stretching lineation.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore plunge in low strain setting – Sigma-


Lamaque, Val D’Or, Quebec

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sigma-Lamaque, Val D’Or, Quebec

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore plunge in low strain setting – Sigma-


Lamaque, Val D’Or, Quebec

From Robert and Poulsen, 2001


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore plunge in low strain setting – Sigma-


Lamaque, Val D’Or, Quebec

From Robert and Poulsen, 2001


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore plunge in relation to overprinting


high strain

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein plunge
Example – Con
Au deposit,
Yellowknife

Yellowknife
Greenstone Belt

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Yellowknife
Greenstone
Belt
Con Au deposit is
hosted in ductile
deformation zones
that crosscut the
Kam Group 2.72-
2.7 Ga mafic
metavolcanics

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Con deposit • Produced 5.5 Moz Au.


• Strike length: 10,000 ft.
• Depth: 6500 ft.
• Refractory gold ‘locked’ in
arsenopyrite and free-milling
‘metallic’ gold.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Con deposit Vein styles

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Campbell Zone Ore Trends


51°
south
rake

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Structural geology
• Con displays protracted history of deformation and
mineralization;
• Structural characteristics are result of 3 deformation phases:
• D1 Early extension;
• D2 Reverse-dextral shearing;
• D3 Late brittle faulting.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Vein plunge

STEEP SOUTH PLUNGING BOUDIN

5797M
AC21002-31-02

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Orientation of F2 Fold/ B2 Boudin axes

103

56

202

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

CM8: Tectonic Regimes and


their Control on Structural
Architecture and Ore
Deposition

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Applied Structural Geology in


Exploration and Mining
CM8: Tectonic Regimes and their Control on
Structural Architecture and Ore Deposition.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Why Do I Need to Know?


• Tectonic environments have a
relatively limited range of
characteristic structural patterns &
styles;
• Recognition & application of these
structural patterns is the single most
important factor in the interpretation
of spatial geological data;
• Appreciation of the regional tectonic
environment in which an ore deposit
occurs, aids in understanding the
local structural controls, which in turn
allow better drill targeting.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Plate Tectonics and Ore Deposits


• Regional tectonic environments are almost invariably
controlled by large-scale plate tectonic movements;
• Three tectonic environments can be distinguished in which
specific ore deposits form (and may be deformed).

Earthquake locations highlighting plate boundaries; from Schellart and Rawlinson, 2009

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Regional Tectonic Environments


• Extensional Settings:
o Fault Architecture;
o Ore Deposits;
• Compressional Settings:
o Fault Architecture;
o Ore Deposits;
• Strike-slip Settings:
o Fault Architecture;
o Ore Deposits;
• Fault Reactivation and Basin Inversion.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings
• Extensional settings occur where continental plates
move away from each other:
• Mid-ocean ridges;
• Subduction zones (slab rollback).

Ocean floor age isochrons (USGS)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings: Fault Architecture


• Crustal thinning results in complex fault architectures,
commonly characterized by the presence of shallow-dipping
normal faults linking into subhorizontal ductile detachment
faults at depth.

Twiss & Moores, 1992.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings: Fault Architecture


• Extension is commonly accommodated by interaction
between 3 main types of faults:
(1) Detachment faults;
(2) Normal faults; and
(3) Transfer faults.

• They move in co-operation


forming fault arrays that
maintain structural balance.

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Detachment Fault Characteristics


• Accommodate large, up to tens of kilometres (horizontal)
displacement;
• Separate medium- to high-grade metamorphic rocks of the
lower plate from low-grade metamorphic rocks of the upper
plate resulting in sharp metamorphic break and / or
metamorphic core complexes;
• Commonly progressively
intruded by magmas during
extension.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Normal Fault Characteristics


• Commonly listric faults linking into detachment fault;
• Secondary, antithetic faults are common;
• Cause block tilting and the formation of basins and ranges
juxtaposing older (basement) rocks against younger basin
sequences; and
• Basin sequences commonly dip in opposite direction to fault.

Basins and Ranges (half-graben)

Detachment fault

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Transfer Faults
• Transfer faults are accommodation structures, not strike-slip
faults;
• Commonly steep to vertical geometries;
• Separate and offset
extensional blocks that
can operate relatively
independently.

Africa

South
America
Google Earth view of Mid-Atlantic Spreading
Ridge showing numerous transfer faults

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings: Basin Formation

Extensional basins form


in 2 stages:

1. Rift stage: active during


extensional faulting
associated with heating;

2. Post-rift ("sag") stage: after


extension associated with
thermal relaxation and
contraction.

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Rift Stage Characteristics


• Active faulting;
• Half-graben depocentres;
• Wedges of coarse clastic sediments;
• Rapid lateral facies changes away from fault scarps;
• May have volcanism.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Sag Stage Characteristics


• Sedimentary sequences generally fine upwards as
topography reduces and subsidence slows down;
• Gradual sedimentary facies changes;
• Continuous units with little thickness variation across the
basin;
• Crustal cooling; little or no volcanism.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Structures in Map View


• Parallel ridges and valleys bound by normal faults
(perpendicular to extension direction);
• Normal faults are commonly discontinuous or stepped along
transfer faults (parallel to extension direction).

Normal faults in red


dash, transfer faults in
yellow dash. Also note
development of alluvial
fans into basins
Google Earth (oblique) view of Basin and Range Province, Nevada, USA

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extension in Archean terranes

Dramatic change in
stratigraphy across
Adelaide Fault

Hannan Lake Serpentinite missing


between these faults

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Early Extension & Ore Deposits

Gold deposits in Slave


Province, Yellowknife
associated with
reactivated normal
faults.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Early Extension & Ore Deposits

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings & Ore Deposits


• Crustal thinning is associated with the formation of
sedimentary basins, high heat flow and magmatism, LPHT
metamorphism, and deformation (even mountain building);
• High heat flow, magmatism and metamorphism may drive
hydrothermal activity and the formation of ore deposits.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Extensional Settings & Ore Deposits


• The location of ore deposits in extensional basins is
controlled by normal faults that act as pathways for metal-
bearing fluids to favourable stratigraphic horizons;
• Reactivation of normal faults during subsequent inversion
commonly introduces
another phase of
hydrothermal activity.

Goodfellow and Lydon, Mineral Deposits of Canada, 2007


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore Deposit Types in Extensional Basins


• VMS deposits:
o Commonly developed during active rifting (e.g. mid-ocean
ridges and back-arc basins);
o Precipitate from hydrothermal fluids
on or below the seafloor.
• Spectrum of sediment-hosted
base metal deposits:
o Commonly developed during rifting
and / or sag stage during circulation
of hydrothermal fluids in sedimentary
basin sequences.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ore Deposit Types in Extensional Basins

Distribution of various ore


deposit types along
Canada’s western
Laurentian margin.

Nelson & Colpron, Mineral Deposits of Canada, 2007

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exploration Targeting in Extensional Settings


In extensional settings:
• Expect steeply-dipping vein systems plunging sub-horizontally
associated with fault-fill veins along normal faults;
• Expect strata-bound ore lenses spatially associated with
normal faults in extensional basins.

Lydon & Goodfellow, 2007

fluid expands rapidly in dilating


part of the fault allowing for phase
separation and mineralisation

"choke" on tight section of fault

fluid pathway

magma/fluid source

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings
• Occur where continental plates collide:
• Subduction zones;
• Associated with mountain building.

Gravity anomalies measured by GRACE satellite highlighting distribution of


mountain ranges across the globe (Flamsteed, 2007)
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings: Architecture


The architecture of compressional tectonic regimes can be
characterized by one (or a combination of) structural styles:
1) Fold Belts;
2) Fold / Thrust Belts.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold Belts
• Upright to overturned fold trains, with or without moderately to
steeply dipping reverse faults;
• Commonly associated with thin-skinned deformation involving
only upper crustal, lithologically uniform terranes at low
metamorphic grades (e.g. foreland setting).

Chevron folding at Loughshinny, Ireland (www.geologyrocks.co.uk)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Relationship Between Folds and Thrusts


• Folding is generally accompanied by faulting on the same
and / or broader scale than the folding;
• In fact, many folds result from movement along faults,
therefore, continuity of bedding around folds should be
questioned, rather than assumed.

Cross-section of West Nepal (DeCelles et al., 2001)


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fold and Thrust Belts


• Dominated by recumbent folding and / or thrusting in areas
with strongly layered rock sequences and / or at higher
metamorphic grade;
• Commonly associated with thick-skinned deformation
involving basement rocks;
• Fold nappe terranes are dominated by the presence of
shallow-dipping recumbent folds.

Cross-section of the Canadian Rockies (Boyce et al., 2002)


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings: Fault Architecture

• Thrust faults may be listric


(curved) from sub-
horizontal to steep
(commonly inverted
normal faults);

• Alternatively, thrusts can


have a "staircase"
geometry made up of
alternating "ramps" and
"flats".

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Listric Thrust Geometry


• Broad anticlines paired with tight (overturned) synclines are
typically associated with listric thrusts;
• These folds develop as a result of drag in both the hanging
wall and the footwall of the thrust fault and are termed
hanging wall (or roll-over) antiform and footwall synform
respectively.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ramp-Flat Geometry
• Most common in thin-skinned deformation propagating along
zones of weakness (flats; e.g. bedding planes) within a rock
package, whereby higher angle faults are called ramps.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Ramp-Flat Geometry
• Ramps which form
perpendicular to the
transport direction are
called frontal ramps;
• Ramps that form parallel
to the transport direction
are called lateral ramps;
• Those ramps inclined at
other angles are called
oblique ramps.
Van der Pluijm & Marshak, 1997

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Imbricate Thrust Stacks


• Thrusts typically occur in groups called imbricate thrust
stacks;
• Each fault in the array undergoes movement until it "locks"
and a new fault develops in footwall of older thrusts,
producing stacking of older thrust sheets on younger sheets;
• Older sheets are carried “piggyback” on the back of younger
sheets.

1 2 3
4 5

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Thrust Duplex
• Series of imbricate thrusts commonly bounded by a (lower)
floor thrust and (upper) roof thrust forming a thrust duplex;
• These accomplish shortening and thickening of competent
units with little internal deformation (similar to ramp-flat
geometry).

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Thrust Duplex

Cross-section of the Appalachians, van der Pluijm and Marshak, 1997

Note how the earlier formed thrusts are steeper than the younger thrusts, due to
continued deformation as the duplex propagates towards the left.
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Complex Thrust Geometries


• Geometry of thrust faults is rarely simple;
• Most are either folded or breached by new
imbricate faults as shortening progresses.

Backthrusts associated
with a ramp.

Wedge thrust over


a ramp.

Van der Pluijm & Marshak, 1997


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Blind Thrusts
• Blind thrusts are thrust surfaces that terminate before they
reach the earth’s surface;
• Blind thrusts may host “blind” ore bodies.

Ductile rock layers fold

Blind Thrust Fault

Image courtesy of Stephen Nelson, Tulane University


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Blind Thrusts
• Blind thrusts are thrust surfaces that terminate before they
reach the earth’s surface (e.g. under basin cover).

Representative cross-section of McArthur River deposit,


Zone B geology (after Craven and Perkins, 2009).

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Structures in Map View


Characteristic elements of fold
and thrust belts include:
• Parallel fold and thrust traces
– commonly sub-parallel to
stratigraphy;
• Hanging wall anticlines (A);
• (Overturned) footwall
synclines (D);
• Truncated thrusts (C);
• Ramp-flat geometry;
• Imbricate thrust stacks.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Overprinting Compressional Events


• Many multiply deformed terranes are characterized by a
combination of early thrusting and / or recumbent folding,
overprinted by upright folds, followed by strike-slip faulting /
shearing;
• Worldwide, there are many examples of economically
mineralized terranes with this structural history, in particular
most Archean terranes.

Rouyn-Noranda Val d’Or

50 km

Cadillac-Larder Lake Deformation Zone on total magnetic intensity (Ford et al., 2007)

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings & Ore Deposits


• Crustal thickening is associated with high heat flow,
magmatism, metamorphism, and deformation;
• High heat flow, magmatism and metamorphism may drive
hydrothermal activity and the formation of ore deposits.

From Lydon, 2007

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings & Ore Deposits

Topography image of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Major porphyry Cu-Au deposits and regional structural
South American Andes (after Rosenbaum et al., 2005) architecture in the Andes of northern Chile (after Richards, 2003)
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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings & Ore Deposits

Distribution of gold deposits in the Tintina Gold Province and Tombstone Gold Belt (magenta) across Yukon and Alaska.
F=Fairbanks, D=Dawson, M=Mayo, W=Whitehorse (after Hart, 2007).

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Compressional Settings & Ore Deposits


• In multiply deformed Archean terranes, regional structures
control location of gold camps; individual gold deposits occur
along secondary faults.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exploration Targeting in Compressional Settings


In compressional settings:
• Expect shallow-dipping vein systems plunging sub-horizontally
associated with fault-fill veins along reverse faults;
• Keep in mind that post-depositionala deformation may have
affected the geometry and a
plunge of an ore deposit.

Figure 4 : Schematic cross-section of a reverse fault


with (a) flat veins branching from it, and (b) within -
fault vein or breccia on more shallowly dipping part of
Long section of Flin Flon-Triple 7-Callinan Cu-Zn-Au
the fault. This isorebody: deformed
the type of structural control expected
Paleoproterozoic VMS deposit (Ames on & Jonasson,
the NW-SE2007).
faults in the Julietta region.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip / Wrench Settings

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip Settings
• Strike-slip settings occur where continental plates slide
past each other (oblique convergence).

Callais et al., 2002

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip Settings: Fault Architecture


Strike-slip faults have the following main
features:
• Long, straight segments with pure-
strike-slip movement (principal
displacement zones - PDZ's);
• Consistent sense and amount of
horizontal offset on a variety of
geological (and landscape) features;
• Sub-vertical dip, but complex
geometry;

San Andreas Fault, California, USA

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip Settings: Fault Architecture


• Small departures from linearity lead to severe, localized
structural complexity;
• Can form areas of extreme local uplift, or of rapid deep
subsidence;
• Individual faults are relatively easy to map, as they
generally have linear traces in plan.

Altyn Tagh Fault, Tibetan Plateau (India-Asia collision zone); Cowgill et al., 2004
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Strike-Slip Settings: Fault Characteristics


• Strike-slip systems can
have complex structural
architecture;
• Fault sections may be
curved in plan and cross-
section;
• Expect restraining and
releasing bends; and
• Expect stratigraphic
variations across faults.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip Faults: Geometry


Dextral Sinistral
• Anisotropies in the crust
may give rise to jogs,
bends, step-overs and
splays along PDZ;

• These areas are important


areas for fluid focusing and
are commonly associated
with mineral deposition.

Twiss & Moores, 1992.

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Releasing Bends (Dilational Jogs)

Releasing bends in strike-slip fault systems are characterized


by a mixture of extensional, dilational & strike-slip structures.

Dilation results in addition of material, usually minerals


precipitated in veins & breccia.

Strong potential for formation of ore deposits!

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Restraining Bends (Compressional Jogs)


Reverse or thrust faults are common at restraining bends &
compressional jogs. They accommodate the compression,
generally also causing uplift.

Thrusts may sole out into a low-angle detachment that forms


the floor of the jog.

Potential for formation of ore deposits!

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip Fault: Flower Structures


• Narrow, sub-vertical PDZ
at depth splays upwards at
shallower depth;

• Especially at bends, steps


and jogs fault “flower Positive flower structure
structures” or “duplexes”
may form.

Negative flower structure


Twiss & Moores, 1992

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Strike-Slip Fault: Flower Structures


Positive flower structures:
• Occur at restraining bends;
• Contain oblique, reverse
faults; and
• Give rise to uplift (mountain
building).

Negative flower structures:


• Occur at releasing bends;
• Contain oblique normal
faults; and
• Produce local subsidence
(pull-apart basins)
Twiss &
Moores,
1992
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Strike-Slip Structures in Map View


Porgera

Grasberg

Porgera

PNG highlands – compressional flower structure at bend along sinistral strike-slip plate boundary
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Strike-Slip Settings & Ore Deposits


• The Bogoso Mine
occurs 60km to the SW
of Ashanti along the
same regional strike-
slip fault system;
• Gold mineralization
occurs at bends along
the strike-slip system;
• Note vein geometries
associated with
opposing bends!

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exploration Targeting in Strike-Slip Settings


In strike-slip settings:
• Expect steeply dipping vein systems plunging sub-vertically
associated with bends along strike-slip faults;
• Where opposing bends occur along a strike-slip fault system
both compressional and extensional vein systems may occur;
• Active plate margins are ideal locations for ore deposit
formation in strike-slip settings.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reactivation and Basin Inversion

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reactivation and Basin Inversion


• Extensional faults formed during basin formation are
commonly reactivated during subsequent compression in a
process called basin inversion;
• This is an important process in the modification of the
geometry of existing ore deposits (e.g. VMS) as well as the
genesis of new ore deposits.

Basin inversion in the Archean Eastern


Goldfields Province, Australia

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reactivation and Basin Inversion

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Fault Reactivation and Basin Inversion

• Listric rotational faults and


detachment faults
reactivate as thrusts;

• Basin sediments are


folded and pushed back
up the fault;

• Transfer faults reactivate


as strike-slip faults,
accommodating
movement between
individual thrust segments.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Basin Inversion: Zambia Copper Belt


?Mwashia-age, normal reactivation of early Katangan normal faults

SW Flat lying normal faults


in “ ore shale”
NE
Reactivated normal faults
localise coarser facies
- + volcanics in Mwashia

Copper-bearing unit
LEGEND

Upper Roan/Mwashia

Ore shales

Lower Roan Quartzite Formation

Syn - rift (Muva?)

Pre-Katanga basement

Fluid Flow

Early normal faults linking into permeable basin


lithologies localize stratiform copper mineralization.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Basin Inversion: Zambia Copper Belt


Copper-bearing unit

• Basin inversion and (a) Schematic cross-section showing early extensional


faulting with imbricate normal faults cutting through
reactivation of normal faults Brockman Formation at high angle and smoothing
out in the Wittenoom Dolomite Fault
produces an imbricate
thrust stack;
• Stratiform copper
mineralization now occurs
as stacked lenses.

(b) Schematic cross-section showing asymmetric folding


of this geometry (eg, Whaleback) showing how bedding
may be folded into overturned to recumbent folds, but
imbricate normal faults remain unfolded, and appear
to "cut" and postdate folds.

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Inversion in the Field

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Basin Inversion & Ore Deposits

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

Exploration Targeting
Combine observations at all scales!
• Interpret map patterns, relate these to field observations;
• Understand the tectonic history of your area of interest and
determine the tectonic setting at the time of ore deposition;
• Know what ore deposit types and / or geometries to expect
in the tectonic setting at the time of ore deposition; and
• Use local structural observations to further constrain your
targeting model.

Applied Structural Geology in


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Northwest Mining Association, November 28-29, 2011

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Applied Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining

APPLIED STRUCTURAL
GEOLOGY IN
EXPLORATION AND
MINING:

Exercises

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 1: Fluids and Plumbing

Calculate how much hydrothermal fluid is required to form a 5 million ounce gold
deposit.

• Assume 100% efficiency in depositing the gold from the hydrothermal fluid at the deposit site;

• Assume the solubility of gold in the hydrothermal solution is 0.03ppm;

• Assume 1 ppm = 1 gram per tonne;

• Assume 1 ounce is equal to 31 grams;

• Assume 1 litre of hydrothermal fluid is equal to 1 kilogram; and

• Assume 1000 kilograms is equal to 1 metric tonne.

Method:

1. Convert 5 million ounces into grams;


2. Calculate how many tonnes of hydrothermal fluid are required to form the gold deposit based on
the solubility of 0.03 ppm (0.03 gpt); and
2. Calculate how many litres of hydrothermal fluid this is equal to.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 2: Mary Kathleen 1:100,000 Map Exercise

Fault Interpretation

You have been provided with the Mary Kathleen 1:100,000 geological sheet (central Mt Isa Inlier).
One simple fault interpretation exercise based on relations on this map sheet is designed to illustrate
general principals of 3D fault interpretation, structural balancing, and the dynamic/rock movement
approach to structural mapping. This exercise is based on relationships in the eastern half of the map
sheet, and you should spend a few minutes familiarising yourself with the principal rock units and
stratigraphic sequence there.

Exercise 1 - Balancing faults in cross-section

On the cross-section A-B-C-D, all of the faults are interpreted to be vertical. Four of these faults
have been labelled 1 to 4, and the following exercise relates to these faults. Identify faults 1 to 4 on
the map. What is their strike relative to that of the adjacent stratigraphic units?

You have been provided with a sheet of tracing film. Centre the film over the cross-section at faults
1 to 4 and trace the ground surface, faults 1 to 4 and the boundary between the Ballara Quartzite and
the Argylla Formation in each fault block onto the film. Now extend the faults and the
Ballara/Argylla boundary upwards and downwards as far as necessary to measure the vertical
component of displacement on each fault. Measure the vertical component of displacement on each
of the faults, and sum the total displacement across the four faults.

Comment on your answer? Is it geologically reasonable? If not, can you suggest a simple
modification to the cross-section interpretation to improve it?

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3 4

1 2

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1 2 3 4

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 3: Flatland Exercise


In the area shown in the map and block diagram, carbonate-hosted base metal veins show a strong spatial
correlation with anticlinal fold closures in the hanging wall of thrust faults. The genetic model for
mineralization suggests that hydrothermal fluid flow occurred during thrusting, with focusing of fluids into
permeable and reactive limestones within the anticlinal hinges beneath a sandstone aquiclude.

Your brief is to prioritise areas for exploration drilling, and provide a guide to the likely plunge of ore-
bearing veins in the target areas. To accomplish this, you should:

 Construct a map of the geology at level 2 on the block diagram. The map should show faults (with
dip), folds and bedding orientation, as well as the lithological units.
 Draw a cross section (parallel to the front face of the block diagram) through an area you consider a
high priority target.
 On your plan and section, indicate the probable vein orientations that may be intersected during
drilling.
 What suggestions can you make for planning the drill program?

JPS 3_Flatland3D_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

1
2
3

20
Colluvium 10
35

Conglomerate
A

Sandstone 5

50
Limestone 50
30 B C
5
Granite

C
C
7 5
5 2 5
5 5 3
5 10

25

50 5

A = major emergent thrust


B = hanging wall anticline
C = irregular faulting and folding of incompetent colluvium

JPS 3_Flatland3D_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

1
2
3

20
Colluvium 10
35

Conglomerate
A

Sandstone 5

50
Limestone 50
30 B C
5
Granite

C
C
7 5
5 2 5
5 5 3
5 10

25

50 5

A = hanging wall anticline


B = dome-shaped part of hanging wall anticline
C = truncated thrusts
D = overturned footwall
E = ramp anticline

JPS 3_Flatland3D_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 4: Granny Smith Structure Contours


You are provided with two maps of the Granny Smith Au-Cu deposit, Laverton District, Australia. One
shows a grade map for the Granny Smith deposit. The other shows structure contours for the granite-
greenstone contact at Granny Smith. Gold mineralization is associated with a major ductile shear zone that
occurs at the granite-greenstone contact.

1. Construct a cross-section representing a key high grade gold location along the granite-
greenstone contact, then use it to answer the following questions:

a. Is gold mineralization preferentially located at shallower or steeper sections of the


granite-greenstone contact?

b. What could this tell you about the structural regime during gold mineralization?

JPS 4_Granny Au-Cu_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

JPS 4_Granny Au-Cu_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 5: Resource targeting and evaluation using


oriented drill core
Exercise 5.1

Draw a geological cross-section incorporating the data of Fig 5.1. Join the Zn 2% intersections in a horizon

parallel to stratigraphic trends. The answer is given in Fig. 5.2, but please don’t look at it until you have

seriously attempted to answer the question. Attempt to draw a more interpretative cross-section from your

answer. After doing this, compare your answer with the cross section shown in Fig 5.3.

Figure 5.1: Drill core data for exercise. The intersections showing Zn 10% are in a
shear zone.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 5.2: Joining drill core intersections. Note the Zn 10% intersections in shear
zone.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 5.3: Interpreted cross-section.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 5.2

Figure 5.4 shows a map of stratigraphic form lines drawn through drill core intersections. On Fig. 5.5 draw
structure contours of the Zn-bearing shear zone. After doing this, compare your result with Figure 5.6.

Figure 5.4: Stratigraphic form-lines joined through the drill holes

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 5.5: Map of drill holes, showing spot heights of the 10% Zn-bearing shear
zone horizon.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 5.6: Structure contours of the Zn-bearing shear zone

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 5.3

On Figure 5.7, construct structural contours for the disseminated Zn 2% horizon, remembering that this
horizon is stratiform. After doing this compare your result with Figure 5.8.

Figure 5.7: Map of drill holes, showing spot heights of the 2% Zn-bearing horizon.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 5.8: Structure contours of the 2% Zn disseminated horizon.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 5.4

Plot the junction between stratiform ore (Fig. 5.8) and shear zone ore (Fig. 5.9). Compare your result
with Figure 5.10.

Figure 5.9: Structure contours of the Zn-bearing shear zone


.

JPS 5_Orientedcore_problems_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 5.10: Junction between shear zone and stratiform ore.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 6: Fault Problems – Part 1


Fault Analysis Problem 1A: Exercise on mapping & interpreting faults

Examine the map shown in Fig. 6.1, paying particular attention to the faults. The map shows a number of
apparently conflicting or geologically unreasonable relationships. In addition, some information about
some of the faults is missing. Make a list of the conflicting relationships, and say what additional
information you would have collected when mapping the faults.

30
85

30

30

0 1 2

km

Figure 6.1: Sketch map of fault relationships

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Fault analysis problem 1B

Is the rock sample sketched in Fig. 6.2 from:

(a) a N-S striking strike-slip fault,

(b) a N-S striking normal fault,

(c) an E-W striking reverse fault, or

(d) a N-S striking reverse fault?

quart z fibre
lineat ion

010

50

Figure 6.2: Sketch of fault outcrop

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Fault analysis problem 1C

Is the fault sketched in Fig. 6.3 a normal, reverse or strike-slip fault? Why?

breccia wit h
q uar t z - sulp hide
m at r i x

Figure 6.3: Sketch of fault and drillholes

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Fault analysis problem 1D

(a) Does the fault shown in Fig. 6.4 have a prospective site on it? Why?

(b) What assumptions have you made in reaching this conclusion?

(c) What information would you seek in the field?

granit e

f au l t

2 00 m

Figure 6.4: Does this fault have a prospective site?

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 6: Fault Problems – Part 2

The map sketched in Fig. 6.5 shows the locations of outcrops sketched in Figs 6.6, 6.7 and 6.8.

(a) What can you determine about the fault at outcrop 1? What else might you look for if you could visit the
outcrop?

(b) What information about the fault can you get at outcrop 2? Is it consistent with the information obtained
at outcrop 1?

(c) What information about the fault can you get at outcrop 3?

(d) Write a brief descriptive statement about the fault, and indicate how your understanding of the fault would
influence how you might drill targets on it.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

N
50 1

slates &
quartzites 20

45 2
volcanics &
volcaniclastics

30
3

0 200 400

met res

Figure 6.5: Sketch map with dips of bedding and locations of outcrops
in Figs 6.6, 6.7 and 6.8.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

slate with
cleavage

quartzite weak cleavage


intensely in volcanics
foliated
zone

Figure 6.6: Sketch map of outcrop 1 (Fig. 6.5)

quartz - sulphide
veins

moderately weakly deformed


sheared
volcanics
volcanics

Figure 6.7: Sketch map of outcrop 2 (Fig. 6.5)

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Structural Workshop Exercises

quartz rods &


mineral
lineation
slate with
cleavage shown

quartzite
intensely foliated zone with
sheared quartz - sulphide
vein remnants

Figure 6.8: Sketch map of outcrop 3 (Fig. 6.5)

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 7: Fold Problems

Exercise 1:
Several folds are illustrated in Fig. 7.1. Sketch the form of bedding on each face of the block diagrams.
Describe and classify these folds. Indicate also the structural facing direction on each block diagram,
where appropriate.

Exercise 2:
Figure 7.2 includes field structural data for a sequence of folded bedded sedimentary rocks. The data
include measurements of the orientation of bedding, a fold axis-parallel foliation and parasitic fold
vergence. No data on younging directions are available, and major fold axial planes were not identified
during mapping.
(a): Analyze the field data plotted in Fig. 7.2 and indicate the likely position of fold hinges.

(b): Construct form lines that portray the orientation of the foliation across the face of the map.
Is the foliation orientation constant? Remember to keep the form lines an approximately equal
distance apart.

(c): Add a second set of form lines to the map and cross-section illustrating the form of
bedding. Describe the geometry of the folds.

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Structural Workshop Exercises

a. 87
51
72

03

overturned bedding

bedding with plunge

fold axial plane strike


and dip

bedding / fold axial plane


intersection lineation

vergence of parasitic fold b.


84

73

Figure 7.1: Block diagrams (continued over page)

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 7.1 (continued): Block diagrams

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Figure 7.2: Map with structural data

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Exercise 8: Drilling Out an Epithermal Vein / Fault


System

The drill section attached summarizes the results of the initial diamond drilling beneath a
mineralized fault + vein which outcrops as shown. Before planning additional drilling, it is
important to try to work out as much as you can about the structural (and other) controls on the
localization of mineralization. Understanding the structural controls will enable you to plan the
most effective and efficient drilling program to outline the mineralization and define the resource.
It is also important to plan drilling to maximize the acquisition of useful information.

After you have examined the drill section, answer the following questions.

1. What is your initial interpretation of the structural controls on mineralization?


2. What additional structural information would you try to acquire in the outcrop and / or
drill core to test and / or refine this interpretation?
3. A visit to the discovery outcrop shows that quartz fibres lineations on the fault plane
pitch very steeply on the fault surface. Narrow quartz veins in the outcrop are vertical
and vein / core axis angles are consistently about 30 degrees. Construct a cross-section
showing the likely structural controls.
4. Has the drilling thoroughly tested the potential on this section? Justify your answer.

JPS 8_Epithermal_Vein_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

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Structural Workshop Exercises

Discovery outcrop -
narrow silicified fault zone & veins.
Fault dips 60 degrees East. 35 g/t Au vein sample.
DDH 1 DDH 2 DDH 3 DDH 4

Narrow silicified fault zone –


same as outcrop
4m @ 8 g/t Au.
Fault dips 60 degrees East. Narrow quartz
35 g/t Au vein sample. veins with
various Au
grades.

Dilational Qtz-vein
breccia averaging
25 g/t Au over widths
shown. Narrow silicified fault zone –
same as outcrop
2m @ 6 g/t Au

50m
Narrow, crustiform quartz vein –
Grading 4 g/t Au over 2m.

JPS 8_Epithermal_Vein_NWMining_jps_rev01.doc November 2011

© SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. 523