Geosoft introduces its plans for delivering 3D earth modelling solutions

Release of Voxel Inversion Modelling technology scheduled for 2011

Geosoft recently presented its plans for delivering earth modelling solutions to exploration industries at the SEG (Society of Exploration Geophysicists) Conference, in Denver. Geosoft will be releasing new 3D inversion modelling technology in 2011. The new earth modelling capabilities will be available as an online service that is accessible within Geosoft’s Oasis montaj earth mapping platform.

Geosoft’s approach to earth modelling is aimed at making modelling techniques more efficient and accessible to all geoscientists, contributing to improved 3D understanding of the subsurface and better targeting decisions within exploration industries.

“Our developments in inversion modelling combine a well-integrated workflow and simplified interpreter interface with network technology that harnesses internet-based servers to perform computer-intensive inversions,” said Ian MacLeod, Chief Technologist with Geosoft. The delivery of inversion capabilities as an online service will give interpreters access to advanced 3D inversion modelling capabilities without consuming desktop processing power.

Over the past decade inversion techniques, which convert geophysical data into 3D earth models, have proved their worth in exploring for major oil reserves and ore deposits around the world. They’ve helped mineral and oil explorers to sharpen their prospecting and direct their drilling decisions, enabling them to reduce uncertainty, exploration risk and the cost of discovery. Inversions have been particularly effective in complex environments where the geology is less predictable or there are natural structures, such as salt bodies, obstructing the explorer’s view of the subsurface.

While the results have been impressive, it is estimated that less than 10% of mineral exploration projects use inversions despite the availability of advanced inversion services and systems. At present inversion remains largely in the hands of expert modellers, and the ability to generate a physical earth model is out of reach for most geophysicists.

With its next generation earth modelling solutions, Geosoft is targeting speed, usability and accessibility to remedy this. “In many cases, project time limitations have prevented the use of complex 3D inversion interpretations,” said MacLeod. “Producing inversions currently takes a lot of time, and there are a limited number of experts available to do them. Meanwhile, explorers are pressed to assess, test and prove potential as quickly as possible to efficiently move through their pipeline of opportunities and increase their odds of discovery.”

“Making 3D inversion fast and accessible to more explorers will change the cost/benefit scenario significantly,” concludes MacLeod. “And this will lead to more exploration success through targeting decisions that benefit from an improved three dimensional understanding of the subsurface.”

An interview with Ian MacLeod, Geosoft Chief Technologist, on the use and benefit of inversion modelling within mineral and oil exploration industries appears in this month’s Earth Explorer magazine – Modelling the Earth through Inversion.

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Carmela Burns, Geosoft
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(416) 369-0111

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