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Revista Brasileira de Geofísica

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AYRES NETO, Arthur. High resolution seismic reflection and sonography in submarine mineral exploration. Rev. Bras. Geof. [online]. 2000, vol.18, n.3, pp.241-256. ISSN 0102-261X.

This paper gives an introduction about some acoustical geophysical techniques that can be used in the marine mineral exploration. The side scan sonar and reflection seismic are acoustic tools that allow the investigation of the sediment distribution on the seafloor as well as the identification of subsurface geological structures and sedimentary layers that favors mineral concentration. Both methods use the propagation and reflection of acoustic waves through the water column and the sedimentary sequence as the waves pass from one medium to another. The amount of seismic energy that is reflected depends on several different factors such as incidence angle, acoustic impedance and roughness of the seafloor. With the amplitude of the signal it is also possible to classify different kinds of sediments correlating the echo strength with hardness of the seafloor. It is this signal that carries information about the geology of the seafloor. These informations are very important for the evaluation of the mineral potential of a given area.

Keywords : Seismic profiling; Side scan sonar; Mineral exploration.

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