GEOSax Explores Ore Deposits in Saxony

Illustration underground.
A junior research group from TU Bergakademie and TU Chemnitz has started work on the geophysical exploration of ore deposits in the region’s Erzgebirge. The project will run until 2020, with three postdoctoral and two doctoral positions involved in testing a range of geophysical Exploration methods.

Whether power lines, car parts or earrings: all of them are made of metals that have to be extracted from ores. Now scientists from the Bergakademie will use acoustic waves and electromagnetic fields to better detect the raw materials underground. They can also use these methods to analyze the various structures below the earth's surface, and to determine their properties. “If a structure is highly electrically conductive, for example, this could indicate an ore deposit,” explained Dr. Mathias Scheunert from TU Bergakademie Freiberg’s Institute of Geophysics and Geoinformatics.

The measurements will be carried out by geophysicists from the junior research group at the University’s own Reiche Zeche research and training mine, as well as at an ore mine in Finland. In this way, they can take measurements from above or on the earth's surface, and verify their findings directly underground. From the measured data, models of the physical properties of the deposits are then calculated using numerical mathematics and elaborate computational methods. Together with the measurement results, these models are collected and managed in a prototype database developed by specialists in geoinformatics from TU Bergakademie Freiberg. All of the important information – such as measurement data or 3D models – can thus be accessed and presented in visual form. The geophysical methods of evaluation are being refined and further developed with the help of mathematicians from TU Bergakademie Freiberg and TU Chemnitz.

In the future, the new digital tools developed in course of the project will make it easier for geologists and companies to evaluate data using computer models, and to use them to make economic decisions.

Anyone interested in this combination of geosciences, physics, mathematics and modern computer technology should take a closer look at the Geoinformatics and Geophysics course at TU Freiberg:

This combination is unique in Germany, and opens up a diverse and multifaceted professional field to graduates.

The GEOSax project is being funded to the tune of 1.5 million euro by the European Social Fund.

For further information on the project, visit:

Contact Person: Dr. Mathias Scheunert, Institut für Geophysik und Geoinformatik, Tel: 03731/39-3630