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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Industrial Processes > New tomographic software for three-dimensional mining and mineral exploration
Graphic element New tomographic software for three-dimensional mining and mineral exploration
New software provides high-resolution visual display of subsurface geological features based on small-scale seismic surveys for mining, civil engineering and nuclear waste storage.

Current methods for characterising subsurface geological features involve the use of explosive charges and the subsequent recording of seismic effects. This project was aimed at developing new tomography software for processing data acquired from small-scale seismic surveys carried out in hard rock conditions in zinc-lead mines and in rock caverns used for nuclear waste storage.

Exceptionally high resolution was achieved allowing interpretation with a high level of confidence. The new software generates visual displays by bringing together more information than other techniques, meaning a greater chance of detecting minerals or subsurface holes, joints and faults.

Small-scale surveying can help in optimising mining planes, say partners, raising productivity. In civil engineering it can help tunnel builders to avoid rock masses or sand lenses. For authorities storing nuclear waste, high-resolution small-scale surveys can identify caverns which offer the greatest security.

Based on the work carried out in this and other Brite Euram projects, a new data acquisition system, including both hardware and software, has now been launched for use in a number of softer rock environments.

Cordis RCN: 6273
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