The light land-based non-seismic survey methods in combination with airborne geophysics provide the basis for advanced mineral prospecting at the early stages of the geological exploration.

The application of these methods at early stages of the geological exploration process allows to obtain the additional valuable geological information, especially in poorly studied and complex-built areas at relatively low financial costs. This enables the mining companies to make the right investment decisions and plan for the use of expensive technologies in a rational way, reducing the project costs..

Service provided by

The airborne geophysics surveys are extremely demanded in hard-to-reach areas, for example, in exploration of Antarctica, where the information on structure of the mainland covered with an ice dome can be obtained by remote methods exclusively.

In addition, it is the most rapid, cost-effective and environmentally friendly method. In 2019, the specialists of PMGE surveyed over 20 thousand km2 of the Antarctic surface by means of the airborne geophysics methods in the course of the 65-th Russian Antarctic Expedition.

High efficiency in the set of terrestrial non-seismic methods is demonstrated by electroprospecting, which allows to resolve a wide range of issues in geological exploration of solid commercial minerals and hydrocarbons, ensures the rapidity and accuracy of the surveys, provides an opportunity for application in various climatic conditions, as well as substantial cost-effectiveness as compared to the destructive methods of soil studies.

More details on types of activities

Such electroprospecting methods as near-field transient electromagnetic sounding (NTES) and controlled source audio magnetotellurics (CSAMT) demonstrate a very high efficiency in the set of terrestrial non-seismic methods, enabling to achieve a wide range of objectives in the field of geological exploration for solid commercial minerals and hydrocarbons.

The contemporary concept of the electroprospecting application in forecasting of the reservoirs in complex geoelectric conditions is based on full consideration of the host medium influence.

This approach, for example, in conditions of Eastern Siberia, allows to study the issue of determining the permeability of brackish-saturated reservoirs, resolve the issues of the trappean influence, focal permafrost and other inhomogeneities overlapping the target bodies in the sedimentary sheath.

The survey methodology includes the operations of profile-areal NTES and CSAMT data. CSAMT is primarily applicable in studies of deep bodies, and NTES - in regularization of CSAMT inversion and detailed study of the near surface section for correct forecasting of the deep bodies. This methodology is supported by data processing and interpretation techniques that enable to model the three-dimensional geoelectrical structure.

A technology for volumetric reconstruction of geoelectric environment 3D-CSAMT model is based on a highly accurate 3D-modeling of geoelectromagnetic fields, which enables to detect in heterogeneous environments the geoelectric responses from underlying bodies with responses having substantially less distortion of signals from the irregularities of the upper section.

Applied techniques
  • Controlled source audio magnetotellurics (CSAMT) is a technique for performance of regional surveys in the purposes of studying the deep depths up to 100 km.
  • Near-field transient electromagnetic sounding (NTES) is a kind of electroprospecting operations for elaboration of a detailed geoelectric model of the surveyed area.
  • Shallow near-field transient electromagnetic sounding is the shallow survey for studying of the near surface section in the purposes of water prospecting for drilling and infrastructure needs.

Gravity and magnetic surveys are the most inexpensive in the production from light geophysical methods. These methods are used in the early stages of prospecting operations to obtain the information on structural and tectonic structure of the territory and its peculiarities to identify the most promising sections within the studied area for performance of heavier and more expensive ground surveys. Gravity and magnetic surveys are conducted in both airborne and terrestrial, as well as offshore options.

Insofar, the gravimetric and magnetic acquisition in 1: 200 000 scale has been performed for significant part of Russia. Today, such and larger-scale gravimetric and magnetic surveys are conducted with application of airborne geophysics, and, as a rule, additionally involve gamma spectrometry and electroprospecting. These surveys are used for studies of the spectrum and energy of gamma radiation and electric resistance, which provide important geological information.

Applicable equipment:
  • Gravimeters CG-5 Scintrex
  • Prospector 200T
  • Magnetometer G-859

The gravimetric methods are successfully applied in engineering geology and geodynamic measurements for integrated regional exploration, prospecting for oil and gas, as well as geological surveys in complicatedly structured tectonic zones and areas of trappe magmatism.

The magnetic methods are used in combination with gravimetric and other geophysical techniques to achieve the objectives as follows:

  • Identification of density and magnetic inhomogeneities;
  • Modeling of geological and geophysical cross-sections;
  • Detection of deep faults;
  • Identification of decompression zones, promising in terms of hydrocarbon potential;
  • Tectonic zoning.

The most significant portion in growth the surveyed data on the deposits of nickel, copper, zinc, lead in North America has been received for many years already from the fields projected with application of the modern airborne geophysics

Airborne geophysics is one of the most effective tools for assessment of natural resources in the vast hard-to-reach areas to meet the challenges of regional and survey exploration stages.

Integrated airborne geophysical surveys that include the state-of-art electrical prospecting, magnetic, gravity, gamma spectrometry, temperature measurements and other methods constitute a solid foundation for advanced studies and prospecting of important commercial minerals.

Airborne geophysical equipment

Depending on the nature of the objectives to be achieved, different types of aircrafts are used to build up the airborne geophysical systems for collecting and processing of the geophysical fields.

Medium-range aircrafts
The aircrafts of this type are used, as a rule, to achieve the regional stage objectives. The altitude of the flight is about 250-300 m., the speed is approximately 300 km/h.

Airborne systems based on the Cessna-Caravan aircraft
are used for prospecting and evaluation studies in the scales of
1: 100 000 - 1 : 50000.

Helicopter systems with powerful EM-channel
are used for large-scale studies. They provide the survey depth for about 500-800 meters. The systems are built on the basis of Eurocopter AS-350 or Mi-8 , which gives in the first in terms of economy, but remains often the only option for very severe operating conditions in Russia.

Geochemical methods are inexpensive and effective, environmentally friendly methods in prospecting for hydrocarbon deposits. Along with drilling operations they reveal the direct attributes of oil and gas accumulations.

Geochemical studies allow to achieve the objectives as follows:
  • Identification of geochemical hydrocarbon anomalies;
  • Identification of anomalous zones of modern and ancient migration;
  • Determination of migratory nature in hydrocarbon accumulations;
  • Determination of saturation phase in productive horizons;
  • Differentiation of faults permeability degree for hydrocarbons.


  • Region
    Siberian Federal District, Katanga District
  • Type
    Terrestrial geophysics
  • Year
  • Contractor
Project in details
Previous project
Next project