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Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Journal of Geochemical Exploration

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jgeoexp

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jgeoexp Mapping of district-scale potential targets using fractal

Mapping of district-scale potential targets using fractal models

Gongwen Wang a , , Emmanuel John M. Carranza b , Renguang Zuo a , c , ⁎⁎ , Yinglong Hao a , Yangsong Du a , Zhenshan Pang d , Yue Sun a , Jianan Qu a

a State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China

b Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede, 7500 AE, The Netherlands

c State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

d China Geological survey, Beijing 100037, China

article info

Available online xxxx

Keywords:

Mineral exploration

Fractal

Box-counting dimension

Power-law frequency

Hurst exponent

Porphyry-Cu deposit

abstract

The Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit is one of the most important copper deposits discovered in China in the last ve years. In this deposit, the irregular distributions of high concentrations of metals are associated with four intrusive complexes and fault structures. In the present study, fractal models including box-counting dimen- sion ( B d ), power-law frequency and Hurst exponent are applied to characterize the vertical distributions of Cu values along boreholes in the deposit, and to delineate target areas in the Pulang copper district. The resulting box-counting model shows that the vertical distributions of Cu in both mineralized and non- mineralized boreholes exhibit self-similarity, with values of B d ranging from 1.01 to 1.43, and mineralized boreholes have values of B d higher than those of non-mineralized boreholes. The resulting power-law frequency model shows that the vertical distributions of Cu in mineralized boreholes are bifractal whereas they are monofractal in non-mineralized boreholes. The bifractal vertical distributions of Cu values are generally associated with multiple ore-forming stages/periods or complicated ore-forming functions of geological background. The Hurst exponents of Cu data from all continuously mineralized boreholes are >0.5, indicating that the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit has good vertical continuity of mineralization, or that the development of orebodies was relatively stable in this geological setting. High Hurst exponents (>0.85) can be utilized to identify subsurface mineralized targets, whereas lower Hurst exponents (b 0.85) represent discontinuous mineralized rocks along the margins of the porphyry-Cu deposit near country rocks. Based on calculated values of average Cu grade, coef cient of variation, B d and Hurst exponent for the Cu data along boreholes, interpolated values of these variables are excellent for mapping of potential targets. The results show that the Complex II (intrusive body) is a potential copper target in the north of the Pulang district, because it has a similar B d as the Complex I that hosts the Pulang porphyry-Cu orebody in the south of the Pulang district. In addition, the Complex I has a potential porphyry-Cu target at depth be- tween explorations lines 7 and 15 based on high Hurst exponents and favorable geological setting. The appli- cation of the fractal models discussed in this study is convenient, simple, rapid and direct for outlining potential exploration targets without processing multiple geological, geophysical, and geochemical datasets from disparate sources.

Crown Copyright © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Mandelbrot's (1983) fractal geometry provides advantages for de- scribing and simulating many complex forms and patterns in nature. Fractal models are well established and have been effectively applied for describing the distributions of geological objects (Cheng, 1995; Raines, 2008; Zuo et al., 2009c) and for identifying geochemical anomalies ( Cheng et al., 1994, 2000 ). Fractal models have also been

Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 10 82323271. ⁎⁎ Corresponding author at: State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China. E-mail addresses: gwwang@cugb.edu.cn (G. Wang), zrguang@cug.edu.cn (R. Zuo).

applied for quantifying properties of mineralized areas to aid mineral resource evaluation, mineral prospectivity mapping, and geochemical exploration (e.g., Agterberg, 1993; Carranza, 2009, 2011; Carranza and Sadeghi, 2010; Carranza et al., 2009; Li et al., 1994; Sanderson et al., 1994; Shi and Wang, 1998; Turcotte, 1997, 2002; Wang et al., 2011; Zuo, 2011; Zuo et al., 2009a, 2009b). Like the distributions of geochemical elements in surcial materials (Cheng et al., 1994), the distributions of geochemical elements in bore- holes also exhibit fractal properties, which assume power-law charac- teristics (Monecke et al., 2001; Sanderson et al., 1994; Zuo et al., 2009a). Characterization of the distributions of geochemical elements in boreholes is essential for evaluating the quality and quantity of min- eral resources (Zuo et al., 2009a). Fractal models are gradually being

0375-6742/$ see front matter. Crown Copyright © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013

2 G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx

2

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx xxx

adopted for effective analysis of spatial structures in metallic geochem- ical systems. Fractal modeling of the spatial distributions of geochemical data can provide useful information and appropriate criteria for recog- nition and classication of mineralized and barren zones within a study area. Various log-log plots in fractal modeling are proper methods for separation and classication of populations in geochemical data be- cause threshold values can be recognized as breakpoints in those plots. Geochemical threshold values recognized though fractal analysis are usually explainable by geological features or processes. This provide

2. Methodology

Cheng et al., 1994). Irregular distributions of high concentrations of metals in ore deposits are characterized by fractal and multifractal properties. Therefore, in this paper, methods for analysis of fractal dimensions including box dimension, power-law frequency and Hurst exponents were utilized to (1) characterize the vertical distri- butions of Cu grades in borehole data from Pulang district (China), and (2) dene potential targets for further evaluation of porphyry- Cu resources.

strong basis for the proposed application of fractal modeling to identify

2.1.

Box-counting method

and map various zones in porphyry-Cu deposits (Afzal et al., 2011). Porphyry-Cu deposits usually display consistent, broad-scale zoning patterns comprising of sodic-calcic, potassic, chloritic-sericitic, sericitic, and argillic alteration assemblages (Lowell and Guibert, 1970; Meyer and Hemley, 1967; Sillitoe, 1973). Intrusive porphyries in one district may have similar features (e.g., lithology and alteration mineral assem- blage), but in every porphyry-Cu deposit the degree of mineralization may vary from the core of potassium silicate zone to the peripheral

Box counting is one of most popular methods to estimate fractal dimensions. It can be used to measure irregularity of spatial patterns, and it can be implemented with the aid of a GIS or Matlab software. If spatial patterns are fractal in terms of the box-counting method, the relation between the number of boxes and the side length of the boxes follows a power-law:

phyllic zone. Therefore, various alteration zones in a porphyry-Cu

N ðδÞδ B d ;

ð1Þ

deposit are expected to exhibit self-similarity fractal characteristics, whereas mineralized and non-mineralized zones are expected to exhib- it distinct self-similarity fractal characteristics. Yu (2006) researched

which can be rewritten as

the fractal features of some porphyry-Cu deposits, and the results

log ½ N ðδÞ ¼ C B d log ðÞδ

ð2Þ

showed that both orebody and mineralized boundaries have continu- ous fractal characteristics. Therefore, this case study aims to demon- strate the usefulness of fractal modelling for district-scale recognition and mapping of mineralized zones using borehole datasets. The Pulang copper district in the Yunnan Province, southwestern China, is the focus of this case study.

where N( δ) is the number of boxes or cells of side δ and containing metal grade curves, C is a constant, and B d is the box-counting fractal dimension. Separate grids, each with a different cell size δ, were used to cover the areas enclosed by metal grade curve vector layers, and these grids were used for counting the corresponding the N ( δ) enclosed by metal grade curves. Data pairs for δ and N ( δ) are plotted on a log-log graph and linear regression is applied to t the plots with at least one straight line, from which B d can be estimated. For a one-

Fractal and multifractal analyses have been demonstrated to be

useful in identifying irregularity in spatial distributions of natural

dimensional borehole prole in two-dimensional space, the range of possible B d is from 1 to 2.

objects ( Mandelbrot, 1983). Ore deposits are examples of natural ob-

2.2.

Power-law frequency model

jects and many types of ore deposits were produced by magmatic- hydrothermal systems, which represent a special type of singular pro- cess that occurs in the Earth's crust ( Mandelbort, 1985; Cheng, 2008;

The power-law frequency model was used to measure the fre- quency distribution of element concentration data. This model has

distribution of element concentration data. This model has Fig. 1. Transparent 3D model of geology and

Fig. 1. Transparent 3D model of geology and boreholes in the Pulang district.

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx 3

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx xxx

3

Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx 3 Fig. 2. Geological cross section along

Fig. 2. Geological cross section along exploration Line 0 in the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit.

been demonstrated by many studies (e.g., Li et al., 1994; Sanderson et al., 1994; Shi and Wang, 1998; Turcotte, 1997; Zuo et al., 2009a), and can be expressed as

N ðc Þc P d ;

which can be rewritten as

log ½ N ðc Þ ¼ C P d logðÞc

ð3Þ

ð4Þ

where N(c) is the number of samples with element concentrations greater than or equal to c, C is a constant and P d is the fractal dimension.

2.3. Hurst exponent model

The Hurst exponent proposed by Hurst (1951) is directly related to the fractal dimension of a process, and provides a measure of pro- cess roughness. The Hurst exponent is associated with a self-afne re- cord, which measures the long-range dependence in a time series and

measures the long-range dependence in a time series and Fig. 3. 3D model of the Pulang

Fig. 3. 3D model of the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit (based on Cu cut-off grade of 0.3%).

4 G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx

4

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx xxx

Table 1 Statistical information of 77 boreholes (73 mineralized boreholes and four non-mineralized (bold and underline) boreholes in the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit). Note: - delineates monofractal properties of boreholes.

Zones (from south to north)

Borehole

Depth

B d

B d

N

Cu grade (%)

Hurst

Hurst exp.(R 2 )

D

Bifractal

 

(m)

(R

2 )

Mean( μ)

Std. dev.( σ)

CV

exp.

B i .(D1)

B i .(D2)

 

(

σ / μ)

Mineralized zone in complex I, Line 15

ZK1501

306.86

1.01

0.985

8

0.017

0.015

0.900

0.82

0.988

1.18

0.547

2.524

ZK1513

150.15

1.02

0.996

14

0.016

0.008

0.500

0.82

0.977

1.18

0.815

5.674

Ore zone in intrusive complex I, Line 7

ZK0701

280.28

1.17

0.996

94

0.193

0.196

1.016

0.83

0.970

1.17

ZK0705

115.07

1.05

0.996

33

0.280

0.171

0.611

0.88

0.951

1.12

ZK0709

329.60

1.23

0.997

55

0.214

0.112

0.521

0.78

0.974

1.22

0.610

3.670

ZK0713

163.31

1.09

0.997

58

0.193

0.209

1.085

0.94

0.981

1.06

ZK0717

251.05

1.16

0.990

76

0.025

0.016

0.621

0.76

0.957

1.24

Ore zone in complex I Line 3

ZK0301

230.38

1.25

0.994

139

0.261

0.158

0.606

0.86

0.993

1.14

ZK0304

155.48

1.16

0.994

93

0.228

0.091

0.397

0.89

0.979

1.11

ZK0305

157.11

1.18

0.996

86

0.265

0.138

0.521

0.95

0.983

1.05

ZK0313

171.33

1.14

0.997

62

0.319

0.133

0.416

0.92

0.986

1.08

ZK0317

340.15

1.29

0.995

167

0.070

0.053

0.759

0.87

0.985

1.13

0.732

5.577

Ore zone in complex I Line 1

ZK0101

99.30

1.14

0.996

65

0.493

0.255

0.517

0.86

0.981

1.14

ZK0104

93.58

1.18

0.994

55

0.370

0.091

0.245

0.81

0.990

1.19

Ore zone in complex I Line 0

ZK0008

300.28

1.22

0.994

139

0.193

0.097

0.505

0.86

0.976

1.14

0.235

4.156

ZK0004

150.08

1.21

0.994

97

0.615

0.195

0.317

0.73

0.924

1.27

0.036

4.381

ZK0002

124.26

1.13

0.995

83

1.553

0.376

0.242

0.83

0.990

1.17

0.058

5.328

PLD001

300.19

1.27

0.998

168

0.667

0.350

0.525

0.94

0.990

1.06

0.375

2.302

ZK0003

147.48

1.17

0.993

97

0.944

0.328

0.347

0.75

0.963

1.25

0.022

4.053

ZK0005

268.14

1.31

0.998

140

0.336

0.178

0.530

0.85

0.984

1.15

0.136

3.736

ZK0009

378.25

1.25

0.995

178

0.268

0.114

0.424

0.87

0.966

1.13

0.066

4.342

ZK0013

252.22

1.26

0.995

117

0.438

0.185

0.422

0.94

0.989

1.06

0.504

6.760

ZK0017

375.30

1.26

0.997

116

0.071

0.081

1.144

0.79

0.990

1.21

0.830

4.100

Ore zone in complex I Line 2, Line 4, Line 6, Line 8, Line 10, Line 12, Line 16, Line 20, Line 24

PLD002

268.67

1.23

0.992

104

0.349

0.127

0.362

0.89

0.981

1.11

ZK0201

168.30

1.17

0.995

104

1.320

0.342

0.259

0.78

0.975

1.22

ZK0202

143.60

1.18

0.994

93

1.544

0.532

0.345

0.85

0.982

1.15

 

ZK0203

181.80

1.23

0.995

104

0.827

0.252

0.305

0.74

0.960

1.26

ZK0204

111.10

1.13

0.996

71

0.564

0.181

0.322

0.86

0.992

1.14

ZK0205

204.80

1.20

0.997

101

0.523

0.184

0.352

0.86

0.984

1.14

ZK0401

450.80

1.36

0.998

258

0.332

0.219

0.661

0.97

0.977

1.03

0.072

2.465

ZK0402

172.50

1.23

0.996

114

0.594

0.208

0.350

0.93

0.993

1.07

ZK0403

700.30

1.43

0.994

387

0.530

0.322

0.608

0.92

0.988

1.08

ZK0404

122.80

1.17

0.996

79

0.279

0.099

0.356

0.80

0.981

1.20

ZK0405

217.00

1.23

0.996

129

0.696

0.232

0.333

0.78

0.985

1.22

0.385

5.319

ZK0406

750.20

1.41

0.993

358

0.283

0.114

0.403

0.81

0.985

1.19

ZK0407

270.80

1.33

0.995

142

0.392

0.171

0.435

0.93

0.988

1.07

ZK0411

391.00

1.31

0.994

178

0.235

0.103

0.440

0.90

0.983

1.10

ZK0415

235.60

1.20

0.991

111

0.296

0.259

0.873

0.88

0.999

1.12

0.471

3.936

ZK0419

750.20

1.38

0.998

144

0.158

0.125

0.792

0.88

0.974

1.12

ZK0601

228.60

1.27

0.997

145

0.686

0.340

0.496

0.93

0.986

1.07

ZK0602

205.80

1.18

0.996

93

0.601

0.324

0.539

0.89

0.976

1.11

ZK0603

236.10

1.27

0.997

148

0.549

0.194

0.353

0.84

0.960

1.06

ZK0604

181.70

1.24

0.993

121

0.329

0.174

0.527

0.91

0.995

1.09

ZK0605

237.15

1.22

0.998

132

0.402

0.165

0.410

0.70

0.963

1.30

ZK0606

410.20

1.25

0.994

113

0.056

0.057

1.016

0.73

0.983

1.27

ZK0608

141.70

1.12

0.989

74

0.173

0.229

1.323

0.78

0.989

1.22

ZK0801

307.98

1.23

0.993

156

0.346

0.204

0.590

0.81

0.946

1.19

ZK0803

270.66

1.31

0.994

150

0.339

0.117

0.345

0.87

0.993

1.13

0.140

5.520

ZK0804

256.00

1.24

0.995

97

0.250

0.094

0.375

0.73

0.982

1.27

ZK0805

307.85

1.26

0.995

121

0.239

0.111

0.464

0.89

0.986

1.11

ZK0808

370.30

1.23

0.995

168

0.244

0.208

0.855

0.91

0.996

1.09

ZK0809

432.75

1.28

0.995

101

0.240

0.106

0.443

0.92

0.991

1.08

ZK0813

105.80

1.07

0.993

44

0.120

0.067

0.554

0.89

0.988

1.11

ZK0819

320.00

1.10

0.996

17

0.076

0.058

0.768

0.75

0.932

1.25

ZK1001

281.81

1.22

0.994

167

0.597

0.344

0.577

0.93

0.997

1.07

ZK1004

239.80

1.24

0.996

109

0.215

0.094

0.437

0.79

0.991

1.11

ZK1005

285.00

1.19

0.994

84

0.175

0.064

0.364

0.90

0.979

1.10

ZK1201

446.90

1.11

0.995

34

0.145

0.178

1.226

0.71

0.940

1.29

ZK1201

357.20

1.25

0.995

177

0.627

0.508

0.809

0.93

0.994

1.07

ZK1203

446.25

1.21

0.998

133

0.205

0.103

0.500

0.75

0.987

1.25

ZK1204

333.08

1.27

0.997

54

0.221

0.079

0.360

0.88

0.965

1.22

ZK1205

341.88

1. 25

0.992

139

0.216

0.077

0.358

0.77

0.987

1.23

ZK1209

184.83

1.01

0.998

7

0.116

0.082

0.708

0.70

0.844

1.30

ZK1601

534.25

1.42

0.997

297

0.392

0.146

0.373

0.85

0.993

1.15

ZK1603

333.75

1.30

0.998

160

0.257

0.097

0.377

0.90

0.995

1.10

0.082

5.160

ZK1604

312.07

1.11

0.996

39

0.190

0.089

0.470

0.72

0.961

1.28

ZK1605

265.85

1.04

0.996

26

0.146

0.120

0.821

0.81

0.980

1.19

ZK1608

514.00

1.13

0.992

38

0.220

0.278

1.264

0.78

0.942

1.22

ZK2001

374.25

1.28

0.995

136

0.218

0.073

0.338

0.92

0.982

1.08

ZK2401

760.50

1.29

0.997

96

0.189

0.066

0.348

0.78

0.968

1.22

ZK2404

608.55

1.21

0.994

69

0.191

0.068

0.355

0.70

0.960

1.30

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx Table

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx xxx

Table 1 ( continued )

5

Zones (from south to north)

Borehole

Depth

B d

B d

N

Cu grade (%)

Hurst

Hurst exp.(R 2 )

D

Bifractal

 

(m)

(R

2 )

Mean( μ)

Std. dev.( σ)

CV

exp.

B i .(D1)

B i .(D2)

 

(

σ / μ)

Potential exploration target in complex II Line 58, Line 66, Line 74

ZK5816

224.00

1.07

0.991

20

0.180

0.119

0.658

0.82

0.950

1.18

0.370

2.000

MZK0001

152.41

1.10

0.991

59

0.327

0.156

0.478

0.73

0.9887

1.27

0.090

3.840

 

ZK6616

360.38

1.31

0.997

87

0.022

0.021

0.957

0.75

0.946

1.25

1.230

-

ZK6628

301.08

1.01

0.999

36

0.056

0.039

0.702

0.82

0.985

1.18

0.254

1.81

ZK7424

434.48

1.29

0.999

99

0.034

0.020

0.605

0.70

0.985

1.30

0.139

2.999

ZK7432

347.98

1.13

0.989

75

0.018

0.013

0.761

0.84

0.983

1.16

1.203

-

provides a measure of long-term nonlinearity. The values of H lie be-

the cumulative behavior is a random walk

and the process produces uncorrelated white noise. Values of H b 0.5 represent anti-persistent behavior whereas values of H >0.5 repre- sent fractional Brownian motion with increasing persistence strength as H 1. The rescaled range analysis ( R /S), implies the ratio of the rescaled range ( R) to the standard deviation ( S), and can be used to estimate the Hurst exponent ( Mandelbrot and Wallis, 1969) as follows. An or- dered data sequence is divided into d contiguous sub-series of length n, such that d × n = N is the total number of samples. For each of the sub-series m, where m = 1,, d, the following analyses are performed.

tween 0 and 1. If H = 0.5,

(i)

(ii)

(iii)

(iv)

(v)

(vi)

(vii)

Determine the mean, E m , and standard deviation, S m , of data in each sub-series.

Normalize each data point ( Z i,m ) in each sub-series by sub- tracting from it E m :

X i; m ¼ Z i ;m E m

ðform ¼ 1; 2 ; ; nÞ

ð5Þ

Create a cumulative series by consecutively summing the nor- malized data points:

n

Y i ;m ¼ X

i ¼1

X i ;m

ð6Þ

Use cumulative series to nd the range as:

R m ¼ max

Y i: m ; ; Y n; m

min

Y i : m ; ; Y n;m

ð7Þ

Rescale the range by dividing the range by the standard devia- tion (i.e., R m /S m ).

Calculate the mean of the rescaled range for all sub-series of length n :

ðR =SÞ n ¼ 1

d

d

X

m¼ 1

R m =S m

ð8Þ

The length of n must be increased to the next higher value,

where d × n = N , and d is an integer value. Repeat steps (i) to

(vi) until n = N /2.

(viii) Finally, estimate the value of H as the slope of the regression line for log ( N ) versus log ( R /S ).

In general, for a one-dimensional prole, the fractal dimension D is related to Hurst exponent by H =2 D. The practical signicance of D is the local discontinuous distribution of a variable. For a one- dimensional prole in two-dimensional space, the range of possible fractal dimensions is from 1 to 2, with corresponding H values of 1 to 0. Therefore, values of H outside this range do not appear to have a physical interpretation.

3. Geological setting and datasets

The Pulang copper district (ca. 35 km 2 ) is situated in the Sanjiang copper belt in southwestern China. The Cu reserve in the district is more than 4.3 Mt, and the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit represents more than 75% of the total Cu reserve (Li et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2009). The Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit is one of the most important copper deposits discovered in China in the last ve years. Four intrusive complexes (labeled as I, II, III, and IV; Fig. 1), surrounded by hornfels, exist in the Pulang copper district. The intruded country rocks consist of volcaniclastic rocks of the Late Triassic Tumugou Formation (T 3 t). The strata of T 3 t are inclined (68°82°) to the south and to the north in the northern and southern parts, respectively, of the study area (Li et al., 2011). Intrusive complex I hosts the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit and asso- ciated hydrothermal alterations. The geological features of the Pulang

alterations. The geological features of the Pulang Fig. 4. Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit semivariograms of Cu

Fig. 4. Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit semivariograms of Cu borehole data: (A) horizontal omni-directional semivariograms, for azimuths of 0, 45, 90, and 135; (B) vertical omni- directional semivariogram.

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porphyry-Cu deposit, which outcrops in an area of ca. 1 km 2 , have been studied in detail by Pang et al. (2009) and Li et al. (2011). Intrusive complex I consists three stages of intrusions: quartz diorite porphyry formed in the rst stage, quartz monzonite porphyry in the second stage, and granodiorite porphyry in the third stage. The crystallization ages of intrusive complex I, around 211.8±0.5 Ma, have been deter- mined using the single-grain zircon UPb method (Pang et al., 2009). Porphyry-Cu mineralization is associated mainly with the quartz mon- zonite porphyry (Fig. 1). Intrusive complex II consists of the same lithologies and similar hydrothermal alterations as intrusive complex I. Intrusive complexes

III and IV are comprised only of quartz diorite porphyries.

The Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit consists of intensely altered rocks comprising a quartzK-silicate (biotite, K-feldspar) zone, a phyllic (quartz-sericite) zone, an albite zone, and a propylitic (chlorite, epidote) zone (Fig. 2). The orebody (i.e., based on a cut-off grade of 0.3% Cu) is lo- cated mainly within the phyllic and quartzK-silicate alteration zones in the quartz monzonite porphyry, which intruded into the quartz diorite porphyry. Outwards form the quartzK-silicate alteration zone, Cu miner-

alization weakens and chalcopyrite occurs as disseminations and veinlets

in phyllic zones in the quartz monzonite porphyry. In general, the quartz

K-silicate zone is dominated by high-grade mineralization (0.401.56% Cu), the phyllic zone by low-grade mineralization (0.200.40% Cu), and

the propylitic zone by weak mineralization (0.050.20% Cu). The basic datasets from the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit include 1:2000 scale geological map, borehole logs, 1:2,000 scale topographic maps, 19 cross-section maps of 1:2000 scale and 8145 assay samples

from 77 boreholes, which were provided by the Yunnan Diqing Mineral Resources Limited Company, 2007. The borehole spacing varies from 80 m×60 m to 320 m×240 m according to the standard of copper de- posit exploration in China. Of the 77 boreholes, 73 intersected mineral- ization whereas the other four boreholes intersected non-mineralized rocks only. Of the 77 boreholes, 69 were sunk into intrusive complex I for evaluation of the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit whereas the other nine boreholes were sunk into intrusive complex II, 12 km farther to the north, to explore for undiscovered porphyry-Cu deposit(s) (Fig. 1). Using the available datasets, a 3D orebody model of the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit, based on a cut-off grade of 0.3% Cu, was created (Fig. 3). The model delineates the continuous and block characteristics of the orebody. Note that the orebody depth is not limited only to the borehole data, but the model was limited to a maximum depth of 1050 m as simulated and calculated using neural network method (Wang et al., 2009). The properties of the model and results of analyses of the borehole datasets are summarized in Table 1. Figs. 1 and 2 show, respectively, that alteration zones on the surface and subsurface are as- sociated with intrusive complexes.

4. Results

On basis of the borehole datasets in Pulang ore district, the mean (μ), standard deviation (σ), and coefcient variance (CV= σ/μ) of Cu assay data were calculated respectively and are listed in the Cu grade (%) column in Table 1. To model the Pulang porphyry-Cu grade distribution in 3D, we calculated the semivariogram for all the borehole data

we calculated the semivariogram for all the borehole data Fig. 5. Histograms of Cu assay values

Fig. 5. Histograms of Cu assay values in selected boreholes (ZK6628 and ZK7424 are non-mineralized boreholes).

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Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx 7 Fig. 6. Log-log plots of N

Fig. 6. Log-log plots of N (δ ) versus δ (see. Eq. (1) ) for Cu values in selected boreholes (Fig. 5 ): (A) the Cu values lines with a vector to a raster to calculate B d , (B) the result of Log-log plots of N (δ ) versus δ.

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pertaining to the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit using S-SEMS software with GSLIB data format (Deutsch and Journel, 1998; http://sgems. sourceforge.net). Fig. 4 shows the horizontal and vertical semi- variograms for the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit borehole datasets. Six semivariograms corresponding to six different directions in the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit show similar behavior with direction, and they can be considered as identical, the continuity of the ore is thus the same mineralization in all directions (Fig. 4). The south-north (azimuth=0, dip=0) directional semivariogram (Fig. 4A) and vertical directional semivariogram (Fig. 4B) both exhibit cyclicity features, im- plying that multiple ore-forming periods/stages were involved in the for- mation of the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit. Fig. 5 shows positively skewed distributions of Cu along selected representative mineralized and non-mineralized boreholes. The lower Cu grades in non-mineralized boreholes show non- multifractal dimension features, which mean that they have single mineralization from later magmatic and hydrothermal functions.

4.1. Box-counting dimension of Cu distribution

A variety of methods are used to estimate fractal dimension, each having its basis in one or more of the scale-dependent properties of a fractal. In this paper, the Cu values lines per borehole were converted from vector to raster format (Fig. 6A). Different cell sizes were used to for rasterization and the grid cells were counted per cell size used. Then, for every borehole, a log-log plot of cell size versus count cell was made (Fig. 6B) in Excel with a trend line tted using a power func- tion to determine box-counting fractal dimensions (B d ) and coefcients of determination (R 2 ) (Table 1). The values of B d range from 1.01 to 1.43 with R 2 greater than 0.99, indicating aproximate irregularity of the vertical distributions of Cu. Mineralized boreholes have higher B d values compared to non-mineralized boreholes (Table 1), indicating that mineralization makes the vertical distribution of Cu values more concentration. The quartzK-silicate zone has higher B d values com- pared to the phyllic zone (e.g., a maximum B d (ZK0005) of 1.31 in Line 0 pertains appriximately to the center of porphyry-Cu orebody (Fig. 2)), implying that metal-bearing uid spread from the central

portion of the intrusive complex toward the country rocks. The differ- ences in Bd values for mineralized and non-mineralized boreholes and for the quartzK-silicate and phyllic zones suggest multiple miner- alization stages/periods.

4.2. Power-law frequency distribution of Cu values

The results obtained by the power-law frequency model for bore- holes are listed in the last two columns of Table 1 and shown in Fig. 7 for the selected boreholes. The log-log plots of cumulative num- ber of samples versus Cu grades show that the vertical distributions of Cu in mineralized boreholes exhibit bifractal properties. Note that in Line 15 (represented by boreholes ZK1501 and ZK1513), which is near the southern boundary of the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit in the southern part of the Pulang district (Fig. 1), the average Cu grades are low but the vertical distributions of Cu values exhibit bifractal proper- ties. Likewise, the vertical distributions of Cu values in boreholes ZK5816, ZK6628, ZK7424, and MZK0001 in complex II in the northern part of the Pulang district have fractal properties, as in Line 15 (Table 1). However, the vertical distributions of Cu values in non- mineralized boreholes (e.g., ZK6616 and ZK7432) in complex II exhibit monofractal properties (Fig. 7; Table 1). Therefore, the bifractal proper- ties of the vertical distributions of Cu values in the Pulang copper district are likely due to the multiple ore-forming stages/periods or the complex setting of porphyry intrusions in the district.

4.3. Hurst exponent

Based on the semivariograms of the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit borehole datasets (Fig. 4), we used the R/S method to calculate the Hurst exponents of the vertical distributions of Cu values in each of the 77 boreholes. Hurst exponents with high goodness of t using R/S were obtained for 73 mineralized boreholes and four non-mineralized boreholes (Fig. 8; Table 1). The Hurst exponents of the vertical distribu- tions of Cu data for continuous mineralized boreholes in quartz-K- silicate alteration zone are >0.5 with R 2 mostly greater than 0.94, and the N is generally greater than 10. These results indicate vertical

generally greater than 10. These results indicate vertical Fig. 7. Log-log plots of cumulative number versus

Fig. 7. Log-log plots of cumulative number versus Cu grade in selected boreholes (Fig. 4). Logarithms are base e (2.732) (ZK6628 and ZK7424 are non-mineralized boreholes).

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Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx 9 Fig. 8. Log-log plots of R

Fig. 8. Log-log plots of R/ S versus number (N ) of samples in selected boreholes (Fig. 4). Logarithms are base 10 (ZK6628 and ZK7424 are non-mineralized boreholes).

persistence and vertical continuity of mineralization mainly within the intrusive complex. There is at least one borehole wherein the Hurst ex- ponents of the vertical distribution of Cu data are >0.85 in every exploration line in intrusive complex I (Table 1, Fig. 1). In contrast, the vertical distributions of Cu data in boreholes in the mineralized zone (Line 15) and potential targets in complex II (Lines 58, 66, 74)all have Hurst exponents of b 0.85. Therefore, the complex I should be the ore- forming center compared to the complex II corresponding to the geo- logical facts in Pulang ore district. The Hurst exponents obtained for individual boreholes (Table1) have Pearson's correlation coefcients of 0.12, 0.10, 0.27, and 0.96 versus mean Cu grade, CV of Cu grades, B d and D, respectively. These show that the Hurst exponent, mean Cu grade, CV of Cu grades, B d and D can be regarded as independent variables. Note that both D and B d are one-dimension variables, and all the one-dimension values lie between 1 and 1.5, but they have different sample lags and have dif- ferent geological meaning/interpretation. Generally, the frequency-size fractal model focuses on the frequency distribution of data, and the fractal dimension of this distribution is related with the ratio of high values. The box-counting fractal dimensions measure the complexity of the spatial distribution of Cu grade along boreholes. Therefore, D pertains to the degree of local discontinuous distribution of a variable, and for the present study high values of D imply that Cu grades are

discontinuous whereas low values of D imply that Cu grades are contin- uous. Values of B d pertain to the intensity of distribution of ore-forming elements, and for the present study high values of B d imply that concen- tration of Cu whereas low values of B d imply dispersion of Cu.

4.4. Predictive mapping of potential exploration targets

To interpret the different parameters (mean Cu grade, CV of Cu grades, B d , D, Hurst exponents, and bifractal/multifractal properties) as- sociated with the Cu mineralization, we calculated all those parameters for every borehole along exploration Line 0, which is a complete cross- section of geological bodies (e.g., country rocks, alteration zones, and intrusive rocks) in the Pulang ore district (Fig. 2; Table 1). Although the boreholes ZK0017 and ZK 0008 at each end of exploration Line 0 generally have lower Cu values compared to the boreholes in the cen- ter orebody, all boreholes along exploration Line 0 are mineralized and the vertical distributions of Cu grades exhibit bifractal properties. High Hurst exponents (equivalent to low D) and high mean Cu grades but low B d values generally represent continuous vertical Cu distributions in mineralized boreholes within the quartzK-silication alteration zone (represented by boreholes ZK0005, ZK0009, ZK0013, and PLD001). In contrast, low Hurst exponents (equivalent to high D) and high CV of Cu grades apparently represent wall rock (e.g., in borehole

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/ Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx Please cite this article as: Wang,
G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx 11

G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx xxx

11

of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx – xxx 11 Fig. 9. Predictive mapping for porphyry-Cu exploration

Fig. 9. Predictive mapping for porphyry-Cu exploration targets based on statistical analysis and fractal modeling of borehole Cu data: (A) average Cu grades; (B) coef cients of variance; (C) box-counting dimensions (B d ); (D) Hurst exponents; (E) D; and (F) sum of H and B d .

ZK0017), and low Hurst exponents, low CV of Cu grades and and low B d values represent intrusive rocks without hydrothermal alteration (e.g., boreholes ZK0003, ZK0002, and ZK0004, each with depth of b 160 m) in mineralized boreholes. Therefore, mean Cu grade, CV of Cu grades, B d , D, and Hurst exponents of Cu in borehole data allow distinction between mineralized and non-mineralized zones, and the integrated analyses of those variables allow identication of potential exploration targets. Both B d and Hurst exponent are positively correlat- ed to the Cu mineralized in Pulang ore deposit, and therefore high B d (>1.25) and high Hurst exponent (>0.85) are favorable for prediction of potential exploration targets at depth. Accordingly, B d and H can be utilized together to predict potential mineralized target at depth. In order to demonstrate the proposition above that fractal modeling can used to identify potential exploration targets, the statistical parame- ters and fractal properties of Cu data in each of the 77 boreholes were cal- culated. The calculated values were then used to interpolate values of the same parameters and properties at unvisited locations within a total area of 5.45 km 2 (1.47 km×3.71 km) (Fig. 9). All interpolated maps shown in Fig. 9 were created by kriging with spherical semivariogram model (using a search radius covering a minimum number of three data points) and 1/2 standard variance classications in ArcGIS. The results show that the zone of intrusive complex II is a potential exploration target in the northern part of the Pulang district (Fig. 9C, F). In addition, the zone be- tween Line 7 and Line 15 in the southern part of the Pulang district has potential Cu targets, which delineate the known potential continuous orebody at depth (from 750 to 1050 m) (Fig. 9C, D, F). These results are similar to earlier prediction results obtained by applying neural net- work and 3D GIS modeling methods to geological, geophysical, and geo- chemical datasets (Wang et al., 2007, 2009).

5. Discussion and conclusions

The Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit has typical characteristics of low grade, large tonnage, and continuous mineralizations both in vertical

and horizontal directions. The continuity of mineralization is a key issue in district-scale mineral exploration of porphyry-Cu deposits, and it can be recognized by characterizing the vertical distributions of geochemical data along boreholes. Although there are differences in styles of porphyry-Cu mineralization in terms of intrusive lithology, presence/ absence of breccias, alteration assemblages, and mineralization geome- tries, the district-scale continuity of porphyry-Cu mineralization can be delineated using fractal modeling of district-scale borehole datasets. Therefore, characterization of the vertical distributions of elements is essential for mineral exploration. In this paper, three fractal models, including box-counting dimen- sion ( B d ), power-law frequency and Hurst exponent/fractal dimen- sion (D), were used to investigate the irregularity or continuity of Cu mineralization in the Pulang ore district. The vertical distributions of Cu data in 73 mineralized boreholes and four non-mineralized boreholes in the Pulang copper district (China) were characterized using those fractal models. Conventional statistical and geostatistical methods can be utilized to analyze the basic ore-forming features using borehole data and knowledge of specic geological setting (e.g., porphyry-Cu alteration model and metallogenic model). How- ever, the simple fractal models demonstrated in this paper is an ef- cient methodology to predict and assess mineral targets from sufcient borehole datasets, whereas the multifractal/bifractal prop- erties can be utilized to predict potential targets using sparse bore- hole data. Fractal models of borehole datasets in a porphyry-Cu district can be used in geologically similar surrounding areas for map- ping of potential targets. The results of the present study can be summarized as follows:

(1) The box-counting method shows that the vertical distributions of Cu values in mineralized and non-mineralized boreholes ex- hibit self-similarity, with B d values ranging from 1.01 to 1.43. The B d values of the vertical distribution of Cu in mineralized boreholes are greater than those in non-mineralized boreholes,

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indicating that mineralization processes make the vertical dis- tribution of Cu more irregular. (2) The power-law frequency analysis reveals that the vertical dis- tributions of Cu in mineralized boreholes exhibit bifractal properties, and monofractal properties are associated only with non-mineralized boreholes. Therefore, the frequency power law model can be utilized to directly identify the pres- ence of mineralization using a single or few borehole data sets in a region permissive for porphyry-Cu mineralization, which generally comprises multiple ore-forming stages and complicated mineralization factors. (3) In the present study, Hurst exponents of vertical geochemical data distributions from continuous mineralized boreholes are >0.5, indicating that the Pulang porphyry-Cu deposit has good vertical continuity of mineralization. This implies that the development of orebodies was relatively stable in this geo- logic setting, which is consistent with current knowledge of geological evolution of the Pulang ore district. Therefore, high Hurst exponents (>0.85 in the present study) can be utilized to identify ore-bearing/mineralized targets. (4) The Hurst exponent, mean Cu grade, CV of Cu grades, and B d are independent variables. The interpolated maps of mean Cu grades, CV of Cu grades, B d , D, Hurst exponents, and combina- tion variable ( H+ B d ) were utilized to compare and analyze the potential porphyry-Cu targets between the known orebody in intrusive complex I and the other intrusive complexes. The results show that mean Cu grades and CV of Cu grades can be uti- lized to predict potential exploration targets at the surface, whereas high B d (>1.25) and high Hurst exponent (>0.85) favor prediction potential exploration targets at depth. This meth- odology is convenient, simple and direct for mineral resource pre- diction and assessment without processing multiple geological, geophysical, and geochemical datasets. (5) Based on the geological setting and the 3D Cu grade model of the Pulang ore district ( Figs. 1 and 3), the zone between Line 7 and Line 15 in the southern part of the Pulang district has a potential Cu target, which is likely a continuation of the Pulang porphyry-Cu orebody at depth. The depth of the potential porphyry-Cu target is from 750 m to1050 m, which is consis- tent with earlier research results using neural network and 3D GIS modeling methods to geological, geophysical, and geo- chemical datasets ( Wang et al., 2007, 2009). (6) In the Pulang ore district, if a mineralized borehole has a higher B d value compared to other boreholes, that borehole is general- ly likely to have a high Hurst exponent and bifractal properties of the vertical metal distribution. Therefore, high box-counting fractal dimensions, high Hurst exponents, and the frequency power law (bifractal model) fractal model can be utilized to identify potential mineral targets. Both B d and Hurst exponent are single-value parameters that can be utilized together to identify potential targets with sufcient borehole data, where- as the bifractal/multifractal model is effective and reliable when the borehole data is sparse.

Acknowledgements

We thank two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments, and Prof. C.V. Deutsch and J. Boisvert (University of Alberta, Canada) for calculating the semivariograms and for discussion to interpret the re- sults. The research was jointly supported by the 12th Five-Year Plan(No. 2010BAB04B06), Ministry of Land and Resources Public Service Sectors Fund (No. 201111007), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40972232), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), and the State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources (Grant No. GPMR0941), the Fundamental Research Founds for National

University, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41002118).

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