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Modelling the quality of sand and gravel resources in 3D

By Katy Mee, Kathrine A. Linley, Joseph M. Mankelow and Richard A. Shaw


The construction industry is a critical sector of the UK economy and natural aggregates, such as crushed rock, sand and\ud gravel, are the most commonly used construction minerals. Demand for aggregates will continue into the future and\ud this demand will primarily be met by indigenous production. However, minerals can only be worked where they occur\ud and with increasing pressure on land use, it is important\ud that mineral resources are identified and appropriately\ud safeguarded. It is imperative that we understand how\ud these deposits are distributed not just on the surface but\ud also underground (Figure 1).\ud Whilst 2D mineral resource data is proving invaluable\ud in assisting planners, developers and industry in landuse\ud planning and decision-making, it does come with\ud limitations, such as being unable to depict the internal\ud variation in the quality of the deposit with depth or\ud provide an indication of the ratio of mineral to waste.\ud Such information is essential when assessing the\ud economic viability of extraction and, within BGS, 3D\ud modelling techniques are being used to address these\ud issues

Year: 2011
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