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Integrated Exploration Platform

Western Australia

Integrated Exploration Platform (IEP) is a GIS based data analytics platform (currently, as a module for ArcGIS) to support mineral explorers operating in Western Australia.   The IEP was developed at the Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET) within the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Western Australia, in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA).  This development was financially supported by GSWA in the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) and Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage LP140100267.


AIM:

Integration of variety of exploration data into a single coherent interpretation is a challenging task which results in highly biased and inconsistent interpretation outcomes.  The Integrated Exploration Platform aims to address this challenge by empowering mineral explorers operating in WA with a state-of-art data analytics tools to maximise geological knowledge gain from GSWA data.  

FUNCTIONALITIES:

Harnessing the power of computer visualisation, image analysis, and an interactive and user-friendly interface, the Integrated Exploration Platform provides an interpreter-driven and computer-assisted interpretation workflow through two main functionalities: (1) interactive multi-data visualisation tools to support exploring and interrogating multiple datasets simultaneously (2D and 3D); and (2) interpretation support tools to improve interpretation confidence through feature evidence assessment of interpreted features. 

Interactive Multi-data Visualisation Tools provide effective ways in interrogating multiple datasets to reveal similar or conflicting information within them, for example checking coinciding anomalies associated at varying frequency scales within magnetic data with gravity data of the same area.  
These visualisation tools use an interactive blending paradigm, where multiple datasets can be simultaneously perused, to better facilitate the interpretation of complex information from multiple data sources. Blending combines datasets to form a single display in a way that effectively represents desired information from each dataset. A suite of different multi-image blending tools (Kovesi et al., 2014) are designed to support different types of data critical to mineral exploration, including 2D data such as geophysical data, radiometric data, and ASTER data, as well as blending visualisation techniques for 3D volumetric data. Additionally, the IEP also provides a data enhancement method that allows isolating features of a specific frequency range that is of interest.


Example blend results from the Image Wheel blender for 2D data in the IEP, combining gravity data in colour, with magnetic data in grayscale.
   

Examples of some of the novel visualisation for 3D volume data in the IEP.

Interpretation Support Tools

utilises image analysis algorithms provides quantitative feature evidence evaluation for structural interpretation of geophysical data (Holden et al., 2016). Using automated edge, ridge and valley feature detection algorithms, the Integrated Exploration Platform produces a number of feature-strength maps using a 2D geophysical dataset, such as magnetics, as input.  The data overlay methods combine a feature-strength map with the original data through contributions to the hue (colour) and luminance (brightness) components respectively to provide the feature evidence on interpreted lines.  There are two modes: an interactive spotlight visualisation; and a buffered rectangle visualisation along each interpretation line.

Visualisation of feature evidence combined with the original data in the IEP. (a) the spotlight visualization mode: a circular spotlight region overlain with the ridge feature map is shown at the location of the mouse cursor and is updated in real time as the user moves the cursor; (b) the on-lines visualisation mode: the edge feature evidence is shown along each of the interpretation lines, giving an overview of areas well supported by feature evidence.

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE: The first public version of the Integrated Exploration Platform (version 2.5) will be made available at the GSWA Open Day 2016 (26 February).

References:

Kovesi, P, Holden, EJ. and Wong J, 2014, Interactive Multi-Image Blending for Visualization and Interpretation, Computers and Geosciences, Volume 72, pp. 147-155.

Holden, E.J., Wong, J.C., Wedge, D., Martis, M., Lindsay, M., Gessner, K., 2016. Improving assessment of geological structure interpretation of magnetic data: An advanced data analytics approach. Computers and Geosciences, Volume 87, pp. 101-111.