Malmberget from above. Photo: Fredric Alm, LKAB Press Photo

Historical exploration

Published: 12 February 2014

By studying how the bedrock once was created, researches hope to get a more accurate picture of how the ore deposit below Gällivare / Malmberget really looks like. Traditional measurements with test drilling is now complemented by 3D modeling and also the fourth dimension, time, as then termed 4D modeling.

It is the researcher Tobias Bauer in Ore Geology at Luleå University as the project "Multiscale four-dimensional Geological Modeling of Gällivare area" to the challenge. One might think that such a known deposit that Malmfälten should be genomprospekterad and well documented but new technologies and creative ways of thinking, new tools in the process of defining ranges of the ore body deep underground.

Animation - click on:
3D model of the ore rock mine. Data belongs LKAB.

To see an animation of the orebody, click the image above, then "show original image".

- By reconstructing the geological history and especially the structural development of the region, we try to understand the geological evolution of the ore deposits from their formation to the way they have been deformed into its present form and position, says Tobias Bauer, while he rotates the vibrant color model on the computer screen.

The method is also used to find new deposits. By studying the continental appearance and movement through time, one can get a pretty good indication of where to find more ore bodies.

- If you understand how ores once was created, it is easier to find new sights, says Pär Weihed, Professor in Ore Geology at Luleå University of Technology.

The mountains and the ore in the area of Malmfälten was created for about two billion years ago in a volcanic environment at the edge of an ancient continent.

The project "Multiscale four-dimensional Geological Modeling of Gällivare area" is financed by Vinnova, LKAB and Boliden within the Strategic Innovation Programme Mining and Metal Extraction.

Tobias Bauer

Bauer, Tobias - Associate Professor

Organisation: Ore Geology, Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 492150
Room: F841 - Luleå»