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Practical and Applied Reflectance Spectroscopy: Automated Drill Core Logging and Mineral Mapping Open Access


Other title
Olympic Dam
automated drill core logging
infrared spectroscopy
reflectance spectroscopy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Tappert, Michelle C.
Supervisor and department
Rivard, Benoit (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Muehlenbachs, Karlis (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Peter, Jan (Geological Survey of Canada)
Rivard, Benoit (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Herd, Chris (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
Potter, David (Physics)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This thesis investigates three ways that automated reflectance spectroscopy can be used for applied purposes: the automated logging of drill core into ore-bearing and barren zones, the analysis of minerals to provide evidence of hydrothermal alteration, and the creation of mineral maps to show crystal orientation. Reflectance spectra collected from 300 meters of drill core from the iron oxide-copper-gold deposit (IOCG) at Olympic Dam using HyLogger were analyzed between 870 and 960, and 2,190 and 2,230 nm to identify hematite (i.e., mineralized lithologies) and phengite (i.e., barren lithologies), respectively. The results were plotted as a function of depth to produce a log that accurately identified ore-bearing and barren zones. The most intense absorption features between 870 and 960 nm, and 2,190 and 2,230 nm were also found to correspond to iron and aluminum concentrations, respectively. Reflectance spectra were also collected from the same drill core using HyLogger 2 and were analyzed between 2.190 and 2.230 µm to evaluate the abundance and mineral chemistry of phengite. Microprobe results from 597 phengite grains were compared to the spectral results, and it was revealed that in the ore-bearing zones, phengite displayed a higher-Al content and lower Mg-number than phengite from the barren zones. Mid-infrared spectra collected from individual phengite crystals revealed that high-Al phengites produced a peak at 9.59 µm, and low-Al phengites produced a peak at 9.57 µm. To document the effect that crystal orientation has on the mid-infrared reflectance spectrum of quartz, spectra were collected at a 100 x 100 µm spot size from an oriented quartz crystal and from quartz crystals contained within a quartz-bearing granite hand sample (Inco-37). Spectra from the optic axis (i.e., c-axis) produced an intense trough at 8.63 µm, and a peak at 12.50 µm. Spectra from the a-axis produced a less intense trough at 8.63 µm, and two peaks at 12.50 and 12.79 µm. Furthermore, the band ratio Ref9.01/Ref8.63 was used to estimate the orientation of quartz crystals.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Tappert, M., Rivard, B., Giles, D., Tappert, R., and Mauger, A. (2011) Automated drill core logging using visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy: a case study from the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit, South Australia. Economic Geology, 106, 289-296.

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