Identification of kimberlite bodies in Brazil from a 3D audio-magnetotelluric survey

Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 16:35
3024 (Moscone West)
Patricia Pastana De Lugao1, Correa de Oliveira Eric1, Fabricio O Loureiro2, Pedro Ribeiro Arantes2 and Aymee Fernandes Pastana1, (1)Strataimage Consultoria Ltda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (2)Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States
We report on a succesfull identification of kimberlite bodies in Brazil through the use of the electromagnetic technique audio-magnetotelluric (AMT). Macnae (1979) writes that “In one large survey in South Africa, electromagnetic (EM) techniques have proven to be remarkably effective in detecting the presence of weathered clays or epiclastic kimberlite contained within the pipes.”

Full tensor AMT data were acquired at 65 points (stations) in a 3D configuration with frequencies ranging from 10kHz to 1Hz. The survey was located in the NW portion of the Mato Grosso state, Brazil, in na area of thick jungle coverage.

During the AMT survey, few outcrops were seen because of the dense forest cover. Usually, the occurrences found were of sand deposits, indicating the occurence of Fazenda Casa Branca and Utiariti Formations and gravel from Salto das Nuvens Formation, widely used in paving trails n this region.

In the area of the survey, three main targets were confirmed/identified:

Kimberlite Area 1 - a classic kimberlite in the region, with the crater facies with different clasts and distinct size. We noted the occurrence of a red-brown soil and an unusual vegetation in this area. The resistivity model provided confirmed the presence of Kimberlite Area 1 and was used to identify other two areas.

Area of Interest 1 - area with atypical vegetation along a trail. There is an excavation that displays soil of white color with several blocks present, there are small quartz crystal agglomerates in these blocks. The resistivity model cleary shows a conductive body here, indicative of the presence of a kimberlite.

Area of Interest 2 - the presence of a kimberlite was confirmed, not exactly where the targeted Area 2 was, but the southwest of it. Close to this area, there was a very fine rock and a few blocks of pure silica, probably indicating a kimberlitic intrusion.

In summary, the 3D resistivity model in depth obtained from inversion of the AMT data confirmed and identified three targets for kimberlites quickly and at a low cost, in na otherwise region of difficult logistics due to the dense jungle cover and remote location.