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GEOS5513 Geophysical Exploration for Mineral Systems

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit covers the concepts and applications of geophysical techniques as used in modern mineral exploration programmes that use the concept of a mineral system to discover new mineral deposits. The unit provides students with the opportunity to develop advanced understanding and practical skills in applying geophysical methods to explore for mineral systems that are deep below the surface or hidden by thick cover rocks.

Students are introduced to the principles and applications of the most commonly used geophysical exploration techniques and gain practical skills in the integrated analysis of geophysical data sets using state-of-the art strategies. The unit covers the concepts that underpin all geophysical methods and uses real-world mineral exploration scenarios to provide experience in geophysical data processing and interpretation.

The unit is composed of two modules, which are also developed as micro-credentials. Module 1 provides an overview of the principles behind geophysical exploration methods, then covers the ubiquitous magnetic method. Module 2 introduces gravity, radiometric electrical and electromagnetic methods and concludes by considering geophysical methods in the context of mineral system based-exploration paradigms. This leads on to an independent research assignment where students apply what they have learned to the problem of how to explore for a particular mineral system/mineral deposit type when it is under cover.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of the principles underpinning geophysical methods commonly used in mineral exploration; (2) demonstrate practical skills in geophysical data acquisition design, processing and interpretation; (3) demonstrate proficiency in geophysical interpretation and data integration especially with respect to deriving maximum geological information from the data; (4) demonstrate knowledge of the role, strengths and limitations of geophysical techniques used in mineral exploration; (5) apply geophysical methods to mineral exploration under cover; and (6) communicate scientific results effectively.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online quizzes; (2) practical interpretation exercises and assignments; and (3) research report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Mike Dentith
Unit rules
Course Enrolment 72550 Master of Geoscience (ID 167) Or 70590 Master of Ore Deposit Geology (ID 299)
Advisable prior study:
GEOS4411 Mineralising Systems or MING5501 Applied Structural Geology or MING5504 Advanced Ore Deposits
Contact hours
Intensive workshop teaching over two weeks (up to 7 hrs/day for 10 days) and some online components
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.