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3D Seismic Data of Arizona Rose Breccia Pipe Reveals Startling Results

Publisher –
Zonge, 2010.

Case Study – [pdf] MIN_Rose Pipe 3D Seismic\

Evaluation of Collapse Structures Associated with Breccia Pipe Formation

Zonge Geosciences performed a 3D seismic reflection survey at the Rose Breccia Pipe project, located near Seligman, Arizona. Breccia pipes are collapse features that extend in a near vertical fashion for nearly 1,500 vertical feet. Often the surface expression of a breccia pipe is a sinkhole or series of sinkholes at the surface which can be greater than 300 feet across. The Rose Pipe is famous due to its surface expression and very rich uranium deposit where the breccia pipe intersects the Hermit Shale Formation at approximately 1100 feet below ground surface. Historically, the only way to investigate these collapse structures is with drilling due to their near-vertical nature and the broken-up character of the rock formations.

For the first time, a high-resolution 3D seismic reflection survey was used to evaluate a breccia pipe structure and volume of material at the Hermit Shale level. The mineral-rights owners initiated the geophysical investigation.

Two startling results were obtained: 1) at the depth of interest – the Hermit Shale contact, the Rose Pipe was narrower than anticipated; and, 2) the Rose Pipe actually has two ‘pipes’ but only one is manifested at the ground surface as a collapse feature. This survey resulted in the projection of locations for additional drilling and sampling for assay purposes, and also to generate additional exploration funds due to the increased reserves projected from an additional ‘pipe’ present at depth.