Remote Predictive Mapping for Mineral Exploration
Remote Predictive Mapping (RPM) integrates disparate geoscience data types in order to generate a 'best-guess' geologic interpretation of an area being investigated and to pinpoint and prioritize sites for further investigation. RPM has proven highly effective for mapping to scales as large as 1:50,000; however, exploratory geology rapidly requires greater detail.
RIGHT: Till deposits in the Itchen Lake area.
Transition Metals and Nunavut Resources Corporation have formed a strategic alliance (Transition-NRC) for the purpose of minerals exploration and project generation within the Kitikmeot Region. Given this large expanse of highly-prospective but under-explored territory, the alliance was interested in the potential of remote predictive mapping (RPM) to help in the identification of potential opportunities for further exploration.
RPM entails compilation, interpretation and integration of geosciences data from a variety of sources, including satellite imagery and geophysical and geochemical surveys, to generate predictive maps containing structural, lithologic, geophysical and surficial information needed to support geological field activities and to serve as first-order geologic maps in areas for which field maps do not exist.
RIGHT: RPM-generated mineral-potential map.
The steps in RPM methodology include:
· definition of mapping focus and exploration environment;
· data acquisition;
· data processing and enhancement;
· data analysis and interpretation;
· GIS compilation of RPM interpretation result; and
· validation of remote predictive maps.
This methodology can be completed without field-based mapping, but is more successful when ground-truth observations are used to calibrate analysis and validate the predictive models in near real time. Incorporation of newly acquired data allows for a constantly evolving geologic model of the mapped area. The true benefit of RPM is realized when the technical specialist, field mapping and discipline experts collaborate through analysis and interpretation.