The Continuity Problem

Wayne Barnett
Monday, May 1, 2017
First presented: 

Geological continuity is a fundamental characteristic of any geological interpretation. The difference between actual and interpreted continuity directly impacts the risk to any decision based on the interpretation, often with huge financial implications. Examples include decisions related to exploration targeting, resource delineation and categorization, and geotechnical hazards in mining. Unfortunately continuity is the characteristic of a sub-surface geological model that is typically the hardest to interpret with certainty. 

One of the best tools for understanding continuity is structural geology, which constrains possible interpretations and often brings realistic expectations back into a geological model. Modern 3-D modelling tools and the ability to integrate multiple old and new technologies into one decision making environment also helps improve interpretation of continuity. The presentation will discuss why structure is important, suggest some structural modelling workflows and provide some tools that can be used for effective communication of continuity to decision makers.

Feature Author

Dr. Wayne Barnett

Wayne Barnett is an expert in geological modelling, including the use of Leapfrog, GEMS™, and GOCAD® software. Throughout his18-year career in the mining and exploration industry, he has used modelling tools as an integrated part of geological data interpretation and analysis in mining operations and for feasibility technical studies.

A principal structural geologist, Wayne has successfully built very complex geological-structural models using explicit polygonal workflows and new implicit modelling workflows. He is passionate about 3D visualization and the interpretation of geological data and is driven to find solutions for removing interpretative bias and effectively communicating model confidence to downstream users, particularly for geotechnical applications.

3D Geological Modelling Specialist
PhD, PrSciNat
SRK Vancouver
SRK Turkey