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GEXPLO05026; No of Pages 13
Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect
Journal of Geochemical Exploration
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jgeoexp
Mapping of districtscale 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 GeoInformation 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
Boxcounting dimension
Powerlaw frequency
Hurst exponent
PorphyryCu deposit
abstract
The Pulang porphyryCu deposit is one of the most important copper deposits discovered in China in the last ﬁ 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 boxcounting dimen sion ( B _{d} ), powerlaw 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 boxcounting model shows that the vertical distributions of Cu in both mineralized and non mineralized boreholes exhibit selfsimilarity, with values of B _{d} ranging from 1.01 to 1.43, and mineralized boreholes have values of B _{d} higher than those of nonmineralized boreholes. The resulting powerlaw frequency model shows that the vertical distributions of Cu in mineralized boreholes are bifractal whereas they are monofractal in nonmineralized boreholes. The bifractal vertical distributions of Cu values are generally associated with multiple oreforming stages/periods or complicated oreforming functions of geological background. The Hurst exponents of Cu data from all continuously mineralized boreholes are >0.5, indicating that the Pulang porphyryCu 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 porphyryCu deposit near country rocks. Based on calculated values of average Cu grade, coef ﬁ 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 porphyryCu orebody in the south of the Pulang district. In addition, the Complex I has a potential porphyryCu 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. Email 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 surﬁcial materials (Cheng et al., 1994), the distributions of geochemical elements in bore holes also exhibit fractal properties, which assume powerlaw 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
03756742/$ – see front matter. Crown Copyright © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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 classiﬁcation of mineralized and barren zones within a study area. Various loglog plots in fractal modeling are proper methods for separation and classiﬁcation 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, powerlaw 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) deﬁne potential targets for further evaluation of porphyry Cu resources. 

strong basis for the proposed application of fractal modeling to identify 
2.1. 
Boxcounting method 

and map various zones in porphyryCu deposits (Afzal et al., 2011). PorphyryCu deposits usually display consistent, broadscale zoning patterns comprising of sodiccalcic, potassic, chloriticsericitic, 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 porphyryCu 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 boxcounting method, the relation between the number of boxes and the side length of the boxes follows a powerlaw: 

phyllic zone. Therefore, various alteration zones in a porphyryCu 
N ðδÞ∝δ ^{−}^{B} ^{d} ; 
ð1Þ 

deposit are expected to exhibit selfsimilarity fractal characteristics, whereas mineralized and nonmineralized zones are expected to exhib it distinct selfsimilarity fractal characteristics. Yu (2006) researched 
which can be rewritten as 

the fractal features of some porphyryCu 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 districtscale 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 boxcounting 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 loglog graph and linear regression is applied to ﬁt 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 proﬁle in twodimensional space, the range of possible B _{d} is from 1 to 2. 

objects ( Mandelbrot, 1983). Ore deposits are examples of natural ob 
2.2. 
Powerlaw 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 powerlaw frequency model was used to measure the fre quency distribution of element concentration data. This model has 
Fig. 1. Transparent 3D model of geology and boreholes in the Pulang district.
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx –xxx
3
Fig. 2. Geological cross section along exploration Line 0 in the Pulang porphyryCu 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 ð≥c Þ∝c ^{−}^{P} ^{d} ;
which can be rewritten as
log ½ N ð≥c 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 selfafﬁne re cord, which measures the longrange dependence in a time series and
Fig. 3. 3D model of the Pulang porphyryCu deposit (based on Cu cutoff grade of 0.3%).
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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 nonmineralized (bold and underline) boreholes in the Pulang porphyryCu 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 
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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 longterm 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 antipersistent 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 subseries of length n, such that d × n = N is the total number of samples. For each of the subseries 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 subseries.
Normalize each data point ( Z _{i}_{,}_{m} ) in each subseries 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 ﬁnd 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 subseries 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 onedimensional proﬁle, the fractal dimension D is related to Hurst exponent by H =2 − D. The practical signiﬁcance of D is the local discontinuous distribution of a variable. For a one dimensional proﬁle in twodimensional 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 porphyryCu deposit represents more than 75% of the total Cu reserve (Li et al., 2011; Wang et al., 2009). The Pulang porphyryCu deposit is one of the most important copper deposits discovered in China in the last ﬁve 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 porphyryCu deposit and asso ciated hydrothermal alterations. The geological features of the Pulang
Fig. 4. Pulang porphyryCu deposit semivariograms of Cu borehole data: (A) horizontal omnidirectional semivariograms, for azimuths of 0, 45, 90, and 135; (B) vertical omni directional semivariogram.
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx –xxx
porphyryCu 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 ﬁrst 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 singlegrain zircon U–Pb method (Pang et al., 2009). PorphyryCu 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 porphyryCu deposit consists of intensely altered rocks comprising a quartz–Ksilicate (biotite, Kfeldspar) zone, a phyllic (quartzsericite) zone, an albite zone, and a propylitic (chlorite, epidote) zone (Fig. 2). The orebody (i.e., based on a cutoff grade of 0.3% Cu) is lo cated mainly within the phyllic and quartz–Ksilicate alteration zones in the quartz monzonite porphyry, which intruded into the quartz diorite porphyry. Outwards form the quartz–Ksilicate 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–
Ksilicate zone is dominated by highgrade mineralization (0.40–1.56% Cu), the phyllic zone by lowgrade mineralization (0.20–0.40% Cu), and
the propylitic zone by weak mineralization (0.05–0.20% Cu). The basic datasets from the Pulang porphyryCu deposit include 1:2000 scale geological map, borehole logs, 1:2,000 scale topographic maps, 19 crosssection 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 nonmineralized rocks only. Of the 77 boreholes, 69 were sunk into intrusive complex I for evaluation of the Pulang porphyryCu deposit whereas the other nine boreholes were sunk into intrusive complex II, 1–2 km farther to the north, to explore for undiscovered porphyryCu deposit(s) (Fig. 1). Using the available datasets, a 3D orebody model of the Pulang porphyryCu deposit, based on a cutoff 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 coefﬁcient 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 porphyryCu grade distribution in 3D, we calculated the semivariogram for all the borehole data
Fig. 5. Histograms of Cu assay values in selected boreholes (ZK6628 and ZK7424 are nonmineralized boreholes).
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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Fig. 6. Loglog 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 Loglog plots of N (δ ) versus δ.
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx –xxx
pertaining to the Pulang porphyryCu deposit using SSEMS 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 porphyryCu deposit borehole datasets. Six semivariograms corresponding to six different directions in the Pulang porphyryCu 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 southnorth (azimuth=0, dip=0) directional semivariogram (Fig. 4A) and vertical directional semivariogram (Fig. 4B) both exhibit cyclicity features, im plying that multiple oreforming periods/stages were involved in the for mation of the Pulang porphyryCu deposit. Fig. 5 shows positively skewed distributions of Cu along selected representative mineralized and nonmineralized boreholes. The lower Cu grades in nonmineralized boreholes show non multifractal dimension features, which mean that they have single mineralization from later magmatic and hydrothermal functions.
4.1. Boxcounting dimension of Cu distribution
A variety of methods are used to estimate fractal dimension, each having its basis in one or more of the scaledependent 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 loglog plot of cell size versus count cell was made (Fig. 6B) in Excel with a trend line ﬁtted using a power func tion to determine boxcounting fractal dimensions (B _{d} ) and coefﬁcients 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 nonmineralized boreholes (Table 1), indicating that mineralization makes the vertical distribution of Cu values more concentration. The quartz–Ksilicate 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 porphyryCu orebody (Fig. 2)), implying that metalbearing ﬂuid spread from the central
portion of the intrusive complex toward the country rocks. The differ ences in Bd values for mineralized and nonmineralized boreholes and for the quartz–Ksilicate and phyllic zones suggest multiple miner alization stages/periods.
4.2. Powerlaw frequency distribution of Cu values
The results obtained by the powerlaw 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 loglog 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 porphyryCu 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 oreforming stages/periods or the complex setting of porphyry intrusions in the district.
4.3. Hurst exponent
Based on the semivariograms of the Pulang porphyryCu 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 ﬁt using R/S were obtained for 73 mineralized boreholes and four nonmineralized boreholes (Fig. 8; Table 1). The Hurst exponents of the vertical distribu tions of Cu data for continuous mineralized boreholes in quartzK 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
Fig. 7. Loglog plots of cumulative number versus Cu grade in selected boreholes (Fig. 4). Logarithms are base e (2.732) (ZK6628 and ZK7424 are nonmineralized boreholes).
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx –xxx
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Fig. 8. Loglog plots of R/ S versus number (N ) of samples in selected boreholes (Fig. 4). Logarithms are base 10 (ZK6628 and ZK7424 are nonmineralized 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 coefﬁcients 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 onedimension variables, and all the onedimension values lie between 1 and 1.5, but they have different sample lags and have dif ferent geological meaning/interpretation. Generally, the frequencysize 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 boxcounting 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 oreforming 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 quartz–Ksilication 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
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx –xxx
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
G. Wang et al. / Journal of Geochemical Exploration xxx (2012) xxx –xxx
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Fig. 9. Predictive mapping for porphyryCu exploration targets based on statistical analysis and fractal modeling of borehole Cu data: (A) average Cu grades; (B) coef ﬁcients of variance; (C) boxcounting 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 nonmineralized zones, and the integrated analyses of those variables allow identiﬁcation 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 classiﬁcations 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 porphyryCu 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 districtscale mineral exploration of porphyryCu deposits, and it can be recognized by characterizing the vertical distributions of geochemical data along boreholes. Although there are differences in styles of porphyryCu mineralization in terms of intrusive lithology, presence/ absence of breccias, alteration assemblages, and mineralization geome tries, the districtscale continuity of porphyryCu mineralization can be delineated using fractal modeling of districtscale borehole datasets. Therefore, characterization of the vertical distributions of elements is essential for mineral exploration. In this paper, three fractal models, including boxcounting dimen sion ( B _{d} ), powerlaw 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 nonmineralized 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 oreforming features using borehole data and knowledge of speciﬁc geological setting (e.g., porphyryCu alteration model and metallogenic model). How ever, the simple fractal models demonstrated in this paper is an efﬁ cient methodology to predict and assess mineral targets from sufﬁcient 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 porphyryCu 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 boxcounting method shows that the vertical distributions of Cu values in mineralized and nonmineralized boreholes ex hibit selfsimilarity, 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 nonmineralized boreholes,
Please cite this article as: Wang, G., et al., Mapping of districtscale potential targets using fractal models, J. Geochem. Explor. (2012), doi: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.06.013
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indicating that mineralization processes make the vertical dis tribution of Cu more irregular. (2) The powerlaw frequency analysis reveals that the vertical dis tributions of Cu in mineralized boreholes exhibit bifractal properties, and monofractal properties are associated only with nonmineralized 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 porphyryCu mineralization, which generally comprises multiple oreforming 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 porphyryCu 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 orebearing/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 porphyryCu 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 porphyryCu orebody at depth. The depth of the potential porphyryCu 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 boxcounting 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 singlevalue parameters that can be utilized together to identify potential targets with sufﬁcient 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 “FiveYear 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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