Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl


Novel modeling methods for probing deep targets using 2D, 3D and

thin-sheet modeling algorithms for ground-based and airborne time-

and frequency-domain EM data

The geological evolution of Europe has resulted in the generation of a variety of mineral resources, which are essential for the sustainable economic growth of the EU. There are, however, challenges for the exploration og these mineral resources. Enhanced subsurface geological information, deposit concepts, and exploration methods are all required to realize the great unexplored potential at depth in major mining camps, but also to realize the potential that new greenfield regions can offer due to the enhanced geological knowledge.


Smart Exploration, consisting of a research and application team supported by a group of technologically advanced SMEs and mining industries, primarily focus on developing cost-effective, environmental friendly tools and methods for geophysical exploration in highly challenging brownfield areas to meet the ever increasing community (social acceptance) and environmental issues, as well as reducing the return time (from exploration to production).

As one of the project partners, HGG is developing effective electromagnetic modelling and imaging techniques providing full 3D view of the subsurface conductivity structures. We are developing inversion of airborne transient electromagnetic data in 2D and 3D. The 2D code is based on a full 3D forward calculation but with a 2D resistivity structure. The forward algorithm uses a tetrahedral or octree finite element formulation while the inversion is a simple octree structural mesh. We are also developing full 3D inversion for ground based multi receiver, few transmitter loop systems.

Fig. 1. Geographical representations of the partners (red circles) and exploration sites (mining symbols). Six exploration or validation sites in 5 countries, and 27 partners from 9 countries participate in the project. The greenfield exploration sites in Kosovo are coordinated by Proxis (registered in Poland).
Fig. 2. The overall structure of the Smart Exploration consortium illustrating how the partners complement each other, for different aspects of the project (new technologies – new data and targets – validation), to reach the three pillars of the call: Research-Innovation-Action.
Fig. 3. Six work packages are designed in the Smart Exploration to address and interconnect different tasks and objectives of the project and for making a significant impact towards new exploration technologies.
Fig. 4. Distribution of the total budget and staff efforts per partner (top row), based on the partner type (including the management) and staff efforts based on work package (bottom row).
Fig. 5. Investigation site at Neves-Corvo, Portugal. The colorscale shows the regional gravity map. Gravity data and the surface time domain EM data (large loop configuration) will be inverted.

  • SkyTEM system
  • UAV controlled-source EM
  • Digital-based systems for slimhole seismic measurements
  • Development of new geophysical instrument such as the ground-based frequency domain electromagnetic system


  • Uppsala University
  • Geological Sur­vey of Sweden
  • Nordic Iron Ore
  • Ludvika Kommun
  • GeoVista
  • MIC Nordic, BitSim
  • Amkvo


  • Yara
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Turku


  • HGG, Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University
  • SkyTEM Surveys

The Netherlands:

  • Delft University of Technology
  • Seismic Mechatronics
  • EAGE


  • Polytechnic University of Turin


  • National Laboratory of Energy and Geology
  • Somincor


  • Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg


  • Institute of Geophysics
  • Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Geopartner
  • Proxis


  • National Tech­nical University of Athens
  • Helas Gold
  • Seismotech
  • Delfi Distomon