It is the vision of the Center for Advanced Subsurface Earth Resource Models (CASERM) to transform the way geoscience data is used to locate subsurface earth resources. The purpose of the center is directed toward research challenges in the development of 3-D subsurface geological models for mineral deposits, particularly as these models integrate diverse geoscience data to inform decision making and minimize geological risk, beginning with locating and mining subsurface earth resources and continuing through mine closure and environmental remediation.
The center will conduct research in four areas (1) development of novel geophysical and geochemical instrumentation, analysis, and interpretation methods for enhanced characterization of rock properties; (2) integration, scaling, and inversion of diverse geological, petrophysical, and geophysical data types of dissimilar spatial resolution and distribution to identify and characterize subsurface earth resources; (3) development of value of information methodologies for derisking decision making; and (4) computational imaging and visualization, and development of graphical and exploratory data analysis solutions and visualization tools.
Individual research projects under the center will focus on the way geosciences data are used at two distinct scales. We will (1) transform mineral exploration by developing tools for regional 3-D subsurface geological modeling that integrate 2D surface geological data with scarce drill hole information and data derived from subsurface imaging (e.g. deep-sensing geophysical and geochemical surveys). We will (2) de-risk mineral resource assessment and development through the invention of novel techniques that allow big data (geochemical properties, geophysical properties, rock properties, comminution behavior, structural data, etc.) to be included in block modeling at the deposit scale. In addition, it is our aim to prepare the next generation of geoscientists for the digital age in mineral exploration and mining.