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Modeling multiple geologic domains in mineral deposits with an implicit signed distance function approach

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2016, Vol. 340, No. 1, pp. 127-137

Silva, D.A.; Deutsch, C.V.


The geologic modeling of multiple domains is required for the prediction of mineral resources and reserves. In general, explicit methods have wide acceptance among modelers due to the ability to manually add deemed important trends and geological features into the models. As an alternative, implicit geologic modeling techniques are increasingly adopted to reduce professional time requirements. These methods aim for objective, repeatable and flexible models by replacing the manual time-consuming interpretation of sections with the interpolation of signed distance values. These techniques, however, have been developed for the binary case of two domains at a time. The current paper presents an algorithm that extends the binary case to multiple domains. The method is able to transfer large-scale geological features from data to geologic models. A case study illustrates the benefits of the algorithm and practical implementation considerations.