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Visual3D: A European network of infrastructure with focus on 3D/4D geomodelling
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1867-2342
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While the territory of the EU in many parts shows a very high exploration potential and many EU countries remain attractive to investors (e.g. Fraser Institute, 2015), a mere 4% of global exploration expenditure is currently invested within European countries. One tool to trigger a higher degree of investment in exploration and to secure the domestic supply of both main commodities and critical raw materials (CRM) is to enhance our three-dimensional geometric understanding of the Earth’s crust.

For these reasons, EIT Raw Materials decided to fund a network of infrastructure (NoI) –Visual3D – for three years (2017–2019). Visual3D involves to-date 14 partner organisations from nine EU countries. The NoI aims to integrate expertise within exploration and 3D modelling from industry, academia and research institutes, with the ambition to increase the understanding of geological bodies in 3D and 4D through improved visualisation techniques.

During its first year, Visual3D has worked to identify common issues in the field of geomodelling, the solutions to which may be facilitated by a Pan-European network approach:

  1. Data compatibility. The vast majority of European mining companies are currently working with 3D solutions for mine planning, resource estimation and production, utilizing a vast variety of expert programs (e.g. Leapfrog, Vulcan, Surpac, gOcad, MOVE). This leads to a wide range in character of 3D-models, as well as various types of data and file formats. Especially the combination of models on different scales, such as the incorporation of deposit scale models into regional-scale models, often necessitates simplifications and may lead to a loss of data. Therefore, a NoI that improves the interchangeability of models and furthermore enables full data integration will increase the usability of geomodels in exploration and research.
  2. Communication of geomodels. Commonly, specific expert software in order to make different data formats readable and communicate geomodels between collaborators, clients, stakeholders and decision makers. This limits the group of possible co-workers in a modelling project and the group of people that can utilize such models to the amount of available and often expensive licenses. A network of 3D-modelling users can substantially widen the possibilities to make geomodels accessible to a wider audience.
  3. Complexity and variety of CAM software. Software packages for computer-aided modelling (CAM) for geology and for industry standard mineral resource and reserve models are rather complex. Furthermore, there is a wide variety of available CAM software, each yielding individual functions, advantages and disadvantages. Changing a software or personnel within an organisation necessitates investment in additional training and causes downtimes. Implementing work flows for data interoperability may minimize expenditures on software and training for mining and exploration companies. Hence the NoI aims to work on solutions in order to optimize the generation, interpretation and application of geomodels, and improve the time and cost efficiency of these processes.

Integration and improved outward communication of the available visualisation tools at the NoI partners will support better targeting of new mineral resources at depth, and eventually reduce environmental impacts and costs by enhancing the efficiency of exploration workflows. The distribution and possible commercialization of the NoI´s outcomes among stakeholders of the extractive industry will improve the competitiveness of European exploration and mining.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The French Geological Survey, BRGM , 2018. p. 20-
National Category
Geology
Research subject
Ore Geology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67761OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-67761DiVA, id: diva2:1185631
Conference
4th meeting of the European 3D Geomodelling community, Orléans, France, 21-23 February 2018
Available from: 2018-02-26 Created: 2018-02-26 Last updated: 2018-03-05Bibliographically approved

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