Mining and near surface applications dominate the exploration geophysics sector in Central Canada. In our search for articles, rather than just focusing in those two areas, we also looked for other geophysical applications that would provide readers a broader and more interesting range of topics. Therefore in addition to a comprehensive historical review of the geophysics used in the prolific Flin Flon mining area, topics include a report from a recently started deep crustal research program, the application of seismic surface wave tomography in a mining setting, a discussion of the role government-sponsored geophysics can play in attracting and supporting mining investment, and a refreshing and surprising look at the sound waves generated by industrial wind turbines (IWTs). In addition to that, this month’s interview was chosen to fit the Central Canada / hard rock theme – we two theme coordinators teamed up with Rob Stewart to interview Dr. Gordon West, one of Canada’s leading geophysicists, famous for his many decades of work across a broad range of geophysical methods, and his role as University of Toronto professor in developing a generation of geophysicists.

Dan Hollis et al. describe an innovative application of surface wave tomography – specifically Rayleigh wave tomography – on a property on the north shore of Lake Superior. Not only does the method produce a model that agrees with the known geology, including the delineation of the Platinum Group Elements - Copper (PGE-Cu) ore body that is yet to be mined, it also defines a possible new target on the property.

Former RECORDER editor Mostafa Naghizadeh, now an Assistant Professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, provides a report on some early seismic results produced by the new Metal Earth applied research and development program. This program, a federal government sponsored multi-year initiative involving academic, government and industry partners, aims to “transform our understanding of the genesis of base and precious metal deposits during Earth’s evolution”. In his article Mostafa looks at some brand new seismic reflection results from the Archaean Province of the Canadian Shield.

Seismologist Mike West, now living in SW Ontario, set about to better understand the sound waves from nearby wind farms, commonly referred to as industrial wind turbines (IWTs). Applying his expertise derived from decades of seismic work around the globe, Mike goes back to basics, and uncovers some unique aspects to the signals generated by these industrial scale power generation installations, now a common feature in many parts of Canada and the rest of the world. This article is a great example of how geophysics can be applied in new and different ways. Just because we live in a time where some traditional applications of geophysics are perhaps not as much in demand, doesn’t mean that our skills are not relevant and useful.   

Desmond Rainsford, the lead geoscientist for the Ontario Geological Survey’s Geophysics and Geoscience Mapping Section, explains what is articulated in the title of his article on Pre-competitive geophysics – attracting investment with data. Desmond describes how publicly available data, acquired by governments, like Ontario and other jurisdictions in the world, are critical  to inform early-stage decision making, particularly as it relates to mineral exploration.

In his article Geophysical Exploration Beneath the Phanerozoic Cover of the Flin Flon – Snow Lake VMS Belt, Bob Lo provides a fascinating timeline of the geophysics used in the evolution of the Flin Flon mining area. In particular, he shows the crucial role it played in extending the discovery and development of mineral deposits to an area underneath Phanerozoic cover. Bob uses the examples of two well-known volcanogenic massive sulphide copper-zinc discoveries, Reed Lake and McIlvenna Bay, to illustrate how time and perseverance were required to find these deposits in this challenging setting.



About the Author(s)

Oliver Kuhn ( spent most of his career in seismic processing, most notably with Calgary’s Geo-X Systems Ltd., but also working for periods at Geco-Prakla in the SE Asia / Pacific region, Divestco, and Apoterra.  In 2014 he joined Quantec Geoscience Ltd., which specialises in DCIP and MT ground surveys, and he is currently President & CEO there, based out of Toronto. Oliver has a long affiliation with the CSEG, serving as its President in 2006, and contributing his Science Break articles to the RECORDER on a regular basis.

Jean Legault ( is a 35+ year mineral exploration geophysicist, with time spent in ground geophysics in northern Quebec, in the southwestern US and in northern Ontario, before settling down in southern Ontario where he is Chief Geophysicist and Director of Geophysics for Geotech Ltd., an Aurora, Ontario-based, international airborne geophysical survey company.  He is a Past-President of KEGS (Canadian Exploration Geophysicists Society) and is currently Chair of the 2019 SEG Mining Committee. He is a frequent conference speaker, internationally, and has authored or co-authored over 50 papers and journal articles since 2008, including in the CSEG RECORDER.



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