Body-wave passive seismic interferometry revisited: mining exploration using the body waves of local microearthquakes

Katerina Polychronopoulou, Athanasios Lois, Deyan Draganov

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As the global need for mineral resources is constantly rising and the exploitable concentrations of these resources tend to become increasingly complex to explore and exploit, the mining industry is in a constant quest for innovative and cost‐effective exploration solutions. In this context, and in the framework of the Smart Exploration action, an integrated passive seismic survey was launched in the Gerolekas bauxite mining site in Central Greece. A passive seismic network, consisting of 129 three‐component short‐period stations was installed and operated continuously for 4 months. The acquired data permitted detection of approximately 1000 microearthquakes of very small magnitude (duration magnitude ranging between –1.5 and 2.0), located within or at a very close distance from the study area. We use this microseismicity as input for the application of passive seismic interferometry for reflection retrieval, using the body waves (P‐ and S‐wave coda) of the located microearthquakes. We retrieve by autocorrelation zero‐offset virtual reflection responses, per component, below each of the recording stations. We process the acquired results using reflection processing techniques to obtain zero‐offset time and depth sections, both for P‐ and for S‐waves. In the context of the present work, we evaluate one of the acquired depth sections, using an existing seismic line passing through the Gerolekas passive seismic network, and we perform forward modelling to assess the quality and value of the acquired results. We confirm that passive seismic reflected‐wave interferometry could constitute a cost‐effective and environmentally friendly innovative exploration alternative, especially in cases of difficult exploration settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-253
Number of pages22
JournalGeophysical Prospecting
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Body waves
  • Local seismicity
  • Passive method
  • Seismic interferometry

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