5 u pporting Geo.cI.

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The Australian Institute of Geoscientists

AIG Handbook 5

Structural Logging of Drill Core

Roger Marjoribanks

Economic and Structural Geology Consultant Perth Western Australia

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Cllil ~

First published 2002 by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists Revised Printing

Copyright © 2002. 2003

Roger Marjoribanks

Consultant Structural and Economic Geologist Telephone: 08 94501612 Facsimile: 08 9450 3319

e-mail: marjex@ozemaiJ.com.au

and

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists PO Box 606

West Perth WA 6972

e-mail aig@aig.asn.au

ISSN 1038·7641 ISBN 0-9750047-0-0

This book is copyright. All rights reserved. No pilrl 01 1I11~. publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval ~y~.li!1tl 01 transmitted in any form or by any means, electrom« nnx.h.mn oil, photocopying. recording or otherwise, without the prior IHHITlI'.',hHI III writing of the copyright owners.

Produced by The Australian I nstitute of GeosclI~IIII~,I~. II' ,llIq Microsoft Publisher 2002. Printed by Swift Print and Copy, 1'411111

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t- 'I. AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Preface

This handbook is written to offer geologists ways of extracting useful structural knowledge from their diamond drill core. It is not a structural geology text, but a "how to" manual. It explains the practical procedures that enable structural observations from oriented and non-oriented core to be effectively observed, measured, recorded and plotted on section.

The handbook is about diamond drill core. Rotary-percussion drilling such as RC or RAB produces rock chips in which structure can sometimes be observed. However, this is very limited structural information, and there is no way of obtaining any information on the orientation of the structures.

Good structural logging is an invaluable tool in the prediction and definition of ore bodies. One of the main reasons for testing a prospect with expensive diamond drill holes is to obtain solid rock from which good structural information can be obtained. Yet identifying, recording, plotting and interpreting structure in diamond drill core IS not always easy, and requires special procedures and techniques. In the author's experience, many exploration geologists do not do this well, and potentially valuable information from the core is either never acquired or not used as effectively as it might. The aim of this handbook is to help address these problems.

Roger Marjoribanks Perth WA

AI G Handbook 5~Structurul LOgglllg lJl 1)1111 ( \ >I"

Acknowledgements

It has been drawn to my attention that a number of tnrll1~. 11~,l!d III some earlier editions of this manuscript (Marjoribanks 1 !Iq~ '. 1 !Ill f) were in fact developed and first used by Bill Laing. Speciticallv Ihll~,11 terms are "smart mapping", "fertility of outcrop" and "propollor plallo" In the interests of geoscience, I would like to take this Opportlllllty 10 acknowledge that the first use of these terms was by LIIII!I (1 all1l1 1989; 1991) and to unreservedly apologise to Bill Lainy alld 10 thu scientific community for any apparent breach of the prlllC1plo~; 01 scientific research, publication and attribution.

I am grateful to Kluwer Academic Publishers tor thun kuul permission to reproduce a number of diagrams thai proVIOllsly appeared in my 1997 book: Geological Methods IfI Mil II 1/111 Exploration and Mining. The diagrams in question are Figuros B. 1 1 15,17,18,21,23,25-29,39 and 40

Finally, this text has greatly benefited from many constnn ;lIvo comments and criticisms offered by Gary Arnold and Julum Vearncombe. All remaining weaknesses and biases are howovur my own.

Roger Marjoribanks Perth, Western Australia

I would like to express thanks to Roger on behalf of the Aust: ;1110111 Institute of Geoscientists for the effort devoted to cornpilinq 1I11~, handbook.

A1G's handbook series of publications are an important means hy which the Institute fulfils its responsibility to provide members Willi ongoing continuing education resources. A1G's handbooks afO 1';11 ticularly targeted at young geoscientists establishing a foothold III the profession.

I encourage other experienced geoscientists to contribute 10 1110 Handbook series and thereby support its important objectives

Andrew Waltho

President, The Australian Institute of Geoscientists

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AIG Handbook 5~Structural Logging of Drill Core

Table of Contents

1,

Oriented Holes and Oriented Core Some Definitions

When Should Core be Oriented?

Structural Observations on Non-Oriented Core Single Holes

Multiple Holes

The Three Point Problem

Solution Using Structure Contours Solution Using a Steronet

An Elegant So/ilion to Determining the Attitude of Planes

2.

3.

How Drill Core is Oriented Non-Mechanical Means Mechanical Means

The Down Hole Spear

The Core Stub Template Tool Marking Out Oriented Core

Checking the Driller's Orientation Mark Transferring the Orientation Mark Down the Core Cutting Oriented Core for Sampling

How to Recognise Structures in Core

Planar Structures

Faults

4.

5.

Linear Structures

Folds

The Scale Problem Vergence

1 1 2 4 4 5 5 6 7 9

13 13 13 14 16 18 18 19 22 24 24 25 26 30 30 33

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6. How In Mlld.urG Hlrllc;llll.lr, Url.nted 0.,. ~
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USlnU a COI~I I '11I1U, ..
Using lntum.rl (;0111 AnUI""
Internal COIU /\lIyio.'. WI,Ir./. I )ufillrl ",_"., -
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How to Measure IntO/llil1 (:()IU /\IIU1m;
Reducing Internal Com /\fJ~Jlo.·, 10 /\/J.'" Jlllirt Oll"tlI",lnn -
Problems Making lnternal Coru MO .. ~.'IIO"'lIl1hl I' ~' -
Discussion on the Best Core M(!d~.lHIIH' lol.hl1lq"u ,,:1
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7. Recording Structural Observations 5&
Types of Log Forms ~ I ~ I f!' -
Graphical Scale Logging ~ ~ ~ I
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Analytical Spreadsheet Logging ~,H
Discussion ~ ) ( . ~ -
8. How to Plot Data on the Drill Section 62 f!" -
Discussion f')
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How to Show the Attitude of Planes on a Drill Section Ii:! ~ -
9. How to Use a Stereonet to Convert Internal Core 68 f!" -
Angles Into Geographical Coordinates
t'" -
The Solution for Planar Structures bH
The Theory till t" -
Don't Panic! fill ~ -
Stereonet Solution for Lineations /1
10. References ~ -
74
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C - AIG Handbook 5-Structurollogging of Drill Core

1. Oriented Holes and Oriented Core

Some Definitions

The azimuth of a non-vertical hole (usually referred to as an angle hole) is the horizontal direction in which it is drilled and is usually expressed as a compass bearing .

The inclination of a hole is the angle that it makes with the horizontal. Inclination is a negative number if the hole is drilled below the horizontal, and a positive number if above. Since holes collared at surface are almost invariably ang led downwards, the negative sign is usually omitted. However, the inclusion of a plus or minus prefix is important when dealing with holes collared underground, since such holes are as likely to be angled up as down.

Deviation is the amount by which a hole swings away from its initial azimuth and inclination during the course of drilling. The amount of deviation depends upon many factors, most notably the nature of the rocks being drilled, but also on the type of drill bits and rods being used, and the amount of down-hole pressure applied to the drill string. Drillers use many techniques to control the amount and direction of deviation of a hole. Details of this specialised process, known as drill hole deflection, can be found in Cumming & Wicklund 1985 or Hartley, 1994 (Figure 1).

The Core Axis (CA), sometimes called the Long Core Axis (LCA), is the imaginary line running along the centre of the cylindrical drill core.

An oriented hole is one in which a survey has been conducted to determine the exact azimuth and inclination of the core axis at a number of points down the hole. This survey determines the amount that the hole has deviated from its starting azimuth and inclination and would normally be carried out on all holes that are more than 50 metres deep.

Core recovered from a hole is only partially oriented by the down-hole survey. While the attitude of the core axis is determined, core removed from the hole will have rotated by some unknown

Oriented Holes and Oriented Core

1

AIG Handbook 5-Structurol Logging of Drill Core

HOLE DEVIATION

Drill hole azimuth

~ 0

Figure 1: Definition of terms describing the orientation of drill holes

amount about the core axis. To fully orient a piece of core, it I~ therefore also necessary to know the original attitude of a pomt on the recovered core. To do this a mark with a known orientation relative to the core axis has to be made on the top surface of the core itself before each barrel of drilled rock is pulled from the ground.

This type of survey is known as a core orientation survey and, if successful, provides oriented core. The way such surveys are carried out will be the subject of a later section.

When Should Core be Oriented?

A few years ago, orienting core was uncommon and a large amount of useful data on the orientation of structures was lost. Today, core is often routinely oriented, at considerable cost in time and money, even in cases where there is really no need for this procedure. It is

2

Structure! Observations on Non-Oriented Cow

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AIC Handbook )-Structural Logging of Drill Core

therefore useful to consider the circumstances when core orientation IS required.

When drilling in an area of good outcrop, where the rocks have a simple pervasive fabric of constant, known, attitude, it is generally not necessary to orient drill core. The orientation of known structures in the core (for example, regular bedding surfaces) can be used to orient the core, thus enabling other features whose orientation is not known (for example mineral veins) to be measured. How to do this is dealt with in Section 3.

When drilling in an area of poor or no outcrop, the first few drill holes may be all that is necessary to establish the orientation of a dominant fabric and make orienting subsequent holes unnecessary. However, where structure is complex and variable, it may be necessary to orient the core from every hole drilled in the area.

Core orientation is carried out on a drilled run or barrel of core. If the recovered rock is relatively-unbroken, with little core loss, and the broken ends of the core pieces can be matched and reassembled across several barrels of core, it may only be necessary to orient every second or third run of core. Where there is broken core, core loss and difficulty in achieving good orientation marks, it is necessary to attempt to orient every barrel of core. However, since the decision to orient a run of core has to be made before it is pulled from the ground, and the condition of the core is generally only known after it has been extracted, it is always better to err on the safe side and attempt orientation of as many barrels as possible. Once a few holes have been drilled, knowledge of the condition of the core should enable a decision to be made on how frequently it will be necessary to attempt orientation of subsequent holes.

Structural Observations on Non-Oriented Core

3

AIG Handbook S-Structural Logging of Drill Core

2. Structural Observations on Non-Oriented Core

Single Holes

Even where core is not oriented, it is still possible to make a large number of useful structural observations and measurements. For example:

• Qualitative observations on the style and nature of structures.

• The relative ages of structures and their relationships to lithology, veining and alteration.

Determination of vergence, however, requires the core to be oriented. The use of vergence will be treated in a later section.

The only quantitative structural measurement possible III non-oriented core from a single hole, is the angle which a surface or lineation in the core makes with the core axis (CA). This anqln I~; usually recorded as the acute angle. In the case of a planar structure (such as a bedding plane, fault, joint, vein etc.) the acute angle IS generally known as the alpha (a) angle' (Figure 2). In the case or " linear feature (Figures 15, 26) the angle is referred to as the garnrn,j (y) angle (Marjoribanks, 1997). Lineations in a rock can be defined by fold axes, bedding/cleavage intersections, long axes of boudins or the preferred orientation of elongate minerals or mineral aggregates (Cloos, 1946).

By using simple core protractors (see Figure 27), measurement or the u angles in core is quick and easy. Taking and recording these angles should be routine. From the a angle it is possible to calculate the true thickness of any tabular bed or vein intersected by the com How to do this is illustrated in Figure 2.

1 A more formal definition of the alpha angle (a) can be found in a discus sian of planar structures (p 24) and using internal core angles (p. 44)

4

Structural Observations on Non-Onentoii C()W

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D: Bed thickness measured down core.

T: True thickness

a: Acute angle between core axis and bed

Core

T=Dsina

I

Figure 2: How to calculate the true thickness of beds in core, Multiply the length of the down-hole intercept with the sine of the intersection angle ct. It is not necessary to orient the core, or even to know the hole azimuth or inclination.

Multiple Holes

The Three Point Problem

Where a number of adjacent holes are drilled into a prospect, preparing composite drill sections and correlating sequences between adjacent holes can enable details of the large-scale structure to be deduced.

The need to determine the strike and dip of a planar structure from a number of drill intersections is one that occurs very frequently - this is the three-point problem and every geologist should be familiar with the simple solutions to it.

The attitude of any plane is fully defined if the position of three or more points on that surface is known. Where three separate holes intersect the same marker bed, they provide three points of known

Structure! Observations on Non-Oriented Core

5

AIG Handbook 5-Structurallogging of Drill Core

position on that surface. From the intercept data, there are two ways of calculating the strike and dip. The first makes use of structure contours. The second involves the use of a stereonet. In these solutions it is assumed that the bed to be measured has the same attitude in all three holes.

Solution Using Structure Contours. Proceed as follows (see Figure 3). Step 1:

Determine the absolute position coordinates (i.e. northing, eastinq and height above a common datum) of each intersection of the marker bed in the holes. At least three intersections are necessary

Step 2

Plot the intersections points on a map. Write the depth (the Relative Level, or RL) of the intersection beside each point.

Step 3

Draw a line joining any two pairs of intersections on the map. TIll!

8400m@

Figure 3. Using structure contours to determine the strike and (lip of a bed. On the left, three drill intercepts into a common planar surface are projected onto a plan. The numbers indicate the hl:Jlqht of each intersection above a common datum. On the right, hy constructing lines between each pfotted intersection, the position of different depths along the lines can be scaled off. Structuto contour lines (dashed) are then constructed by joining points of equal depth. These lines define the strike of the plane. From tiu: map scale, the horizontal distance between lines of known depth can be measured ~ simp'e trigonometry then a'iows the dip to bu calculated.

6

Structural Ooservetions on Non-Oriented COli!

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heiqht of the intersection at the beginn.ing and the end of the line is already marked. Using a ruler scale off along the line to identify the positions of all intermediate depths along the line. Mark even number depth divisions on to the line. Carry out this same procedure for all other pairs of lines, marking on to the lines the same set of depth divisions as were marked on the first line.

Step 4

Draw contour lines joining points of equal depth on the surface. These lines mark the strike of the bed. The orientation can be measured on the map using a protractor.

Step 5

Measure the horizontal distance (h) between two widely spaced contour lines according to the scale of the map. Since the vertical separation (v) of the contour lines is known, the dip of the surface (d) can be calculated according to the formula:

Tan d = vlh

Solution using a Stereonet

Proceed as follows (see Figures 4a and 4b):

Step 1

Determine the absolute position coordinates (i.e. northing, easting and height above a common datum) of each intersection of the marker bed in the three holes.

Step 2

Plot the three intersection points on a map. Use a protractor to measure the trend (bearing) of the lines joining the three points. Use a ruler to scale off the horizontal distance between the points.

Knowing the horizontal and elevation difference between any pairs of intersection points, simple trigonometric formulae (see step 5 above) will provide the angle of plunge (the angle which the line makes with the horizontal) for the line that joins any two pairs of points.

Step 3

We have now calculated the trend and plunge of three lines lying on the surface of the marker bed. Mark these lines on to a stereonet overlay. They plot as three points (Figure 4b).

Structural Observations on Non-Oriented Core

7

AIG Handbook 5-Structvral Logging of Drill Core

DD1397

Apparent dip 1 270102830

[)DI134('

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12(,-/ til

Apparent dip 2 510 to 2230

Apparent dip 3 350 to 1620

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DDIl3490

1133 m

Figure 4a. How to use a stereonet to calculate the strike and dip of a marker bed intersected in three adjacent drill holes. In the oxample, three vertical holes intersect a bed at 1208 m RL (Re/afivo Level) in DOH 397; 1264 m RL in DDH346 and 1133m RL in OD/I 349.

The map shows col/ars of 3 vertical drill holes and height abovo sea Jevel of the intersections that they make with a marker bed

The line joining any two intersections is an apparent dip on thn surface - it is a line described by its trend and plunge

Since the vertical height difference (v) and the horizontal sepnu, tion (h) between the DOH intersections are known, the apparunl dip angle, or plunge, (a), can be calculated for the line joining any two DO holes. TIle calculation is based on the trigonometric ratio

Tan a =v / h

The direction of the line joining any two holes {the apparent (flp direction or trend) IS measured from the map with a protractor

For the stereonet solution to the apparent dip data see Figure 4lJ

Structural Observations on Non-Otiontoc: Clift)

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All, HunLlLJUok _J -Structural Logging of Drill Core

Stup 4

Rotate the overlay so as to bring the three points to lie on a common great circle. There is only one great circle that will satisfy all three POints. This great circle represents the trace of the bed that was intersected by the drill holes.

Step 5

From the net, read off the strike and dip of the surface (or dip and dip direction, or apparent dip on any given drill section).

An Elegant Solution to Determining the Attitude of Planes in Non-Oriented Holes

Where there is no Single marker bed that can be correlated between adjacent holes, it is sometimes stili possible to determine the orientation of a set of parallel surfaces (such as bedding planes. a cleavage. or a vein set) provided that the surfaces have been cored by a minimum of three nonparallel drill holes (Mead, 1921. Bucher, 1943). The same technique can even be extended to a single hole, provided that the hole has sufficient deviation along its length for the differently-oriented sectors of the same hole to be considered in the same way as three separate holes (Laing, 1977).

In the example shown in Figure 5, three adjacent angle holes have intersected the same set of parallel, planar quartz veinlets. None of the core is oriented, but the alpha angle between the veins and the core axis has been measured in each hole. Considering anyone hole, the orientation of the vein set could lie anywhere within the range of orientations which is produced as the core is rotated 3600 about its axis. This range defines the surface of a cone, centred on the Core Axis, with an apical angle of 2 x alpha.

On a stereonet a drill hole plots as a point. About that point on the net, the range of ali possible orientations for the vein set measured in that hole will plot as a small-circle girdle centred around the hole. Since planes on a stereonet are best plotted as their poles", the small-circle girdle around the drill hole point is drawn at an angle of

2 The pole to a plane is the line at right angles, or normal, to the plane and enables It to be plotted as a single point on the net. The pole makes an angle of gO-a to the core axis (see Figure 25)

Structural Observations on Non-Oriented Core

9

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1320 strike of bed

Figure 4b. Stereonet plot of the 3-point problem of Figure 4a If th» position of any two lines on the surface of a plane is known, OJU plane can be defined. From figure 4a, the trend and plunge of threu lines are known. The three apparent dips are plotted on to an over Jay on the net. As lineers they pJot as three points, Jabel/ed " 2 and 3. The net overlay is then rotated so as to bring all three points to lie on one great Circle of the net. This girdle is the plot of the bed. its strike and dip can now be easily read off from the siereonei. TIm plane intersected by the three holes strikes 1320 and dips 5011 to tho Sw.

10

Structural Observations on Non-Orientorl C(J/II

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Small circle girdle at 90'c a (40") about Hole 3

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Small circle girdle at 90': IX (34") about Hole 2

HOLE l' 50' to 270' . Ii = 10" HOLE 2' 6Y to 090" . 'I = 56' HOLE 3' 60 to 345' . u = 50'

SOLUTION:

Plane has strike of 1350 and dips 48010 SW

Figure 5. If a set of planar surfaces (such as a penetrative cleavage, or a vein set) is intersected by three non-parallel holes, it is possible to calculate the orientation of the surface using a stereonet. All that is necessary are the angles made by the sutface with the core axis (a angle) in each hole (see text).

Structural ObservaiJons on Non-Oriented Core

11

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

90-u to the hole (see Figure 5).

The same procedure is now carried out for the other two holes Three small circle girdles, centred about each drill hole, are now on the stereonet overlay. Since all the measurements are of one vein set with a constant orientation, the single point (P) where the three small girdles intersecf must represent the pole to the plane that is common to all three drill holes.

From the pole to the surface, the strike and dip (or dip and dip direction, or apparent dip on drill section) of the vein set can be simply read off from the net.

3 Of course, with a real set of measurements it is highly unlikely that tho three lines would meet at a single point. Rather, the intersecting tine« will define a triangle whose size reflects the accuracy of the measurements (and the assumptions made that we are dealing with a Single parallel sill of surfaces). The true pole position (if there is one) will lie somewhero within this triangle of error.

12

Structural Observations on Non-Oriented Com

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3. How Drill Core is Oriented

Non-Mechanical Means

Very often rocks being drilled possess a well-developed structure of known orientation, such as a regular bedding or cleavage. Since these surfaces can be seen in the core, they provide a ready means of orienting it. When choosing a structure to use in orienting the core, it is important that it have a constant attitude throughout the hole. In this regard, a cleavage will have a more constant attitude than bedding, and so provide a more reliable surface to use in orienting the core (Figure 6). If more than one cleavage is present (for example, S1, S2, S3 etc.) then the youngest cleavage will have the most constant orientation throughout the hole (Annels & Hel/ewell, 1987) .

Once a structure of known attitude has been identified in core, it is easy to measure the attitude of any other structure of interest. The best way is to place the piece of core in a core frame that has been set up at the appropriate azimuth and inclination, and then rotate the core In the frame until a geological compass indicates correct orientation of the known structure. It is then relatively easy to measure the attitude of any other structure present in the rock. More detail on the use of core frames is given in Section 6.

Mechanical Means

Where little is known about the attitude of structures in the rocks being drilled, it is necessary to orient the core using mechanical means. Mechanical orientation of core is a relatively easy and routine procedure, and should be standard practice when drilling in any unknown or structurally-complex terrain. A large number of methods have been used to orient core", but the two most commonly used tools are the down-hole spear and the core-stub template. These techniques are based on gravity, and depend upon marking the position of the bottom of the hole on to the rock exposed at the hole base. The methods only work effectively on holes with inclinations of less than 800. Vertical or steeply-inclined holes

4 For a complete description of all these methods see Hartley (1994)

flow Drill Core is Oriented

13

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Figure 6. Drill hole intersecting folded bedding with an axial plano cleavage. Where structures of several ages are present in a deformed rock, the youngest structure present will have the most constant orientation. When using the known orientation of iI surface to orient core, it is therefore better to use later generation surfaces (such as cleavage) than earlier formed surfaces (such as bedding).

cannot be mechanically oriented with the methods described here. The Down-Hole Spear

This is the simplest device for orienting core (Figure 7). It consists 01 a heavy steel spear (sometimes called a core marking punch) with a sharp point (Zimmer, 1963). The spear is attached to the overshot assembly on the end of the wire line and lowered down the hole after a barrel of core has been pulled from the ground and before commencing the next drill run. As it descends, the weight of the spear keeps it pressed against the lower surface of the drill rods. The spear is allowed to strike the rock stub projecting into the

14

How Drill Core is Oriented

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Top of Hole

Axis

Heavy steel speap

Spear

or spear point

Drill \ bit

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Figure 7. Orienting core using a spear. The spear is lowered inside the rods after the core barrel with a run of core inside has been extracted from the hole.

bottom of the drill bit and (hopefully) leaves a percussion mark on the stub. The mark locates the Bottom Of Hole (BaH) position on the stub. The rock stub becomes the top surface of the next run of core, and the percussion mark can be located when the core is extracted from the barrel.

Problems with the spear arise when the rock is either too hard, or too soft and crumbly, to take a mark from the impact of the spear. With very hard material, the spear will either not leave a mark, or bounce across the surface leaving a number of marks that can be hard to interpret. Most spears have an attachment that allows for a wax pencil or crayon to be SUbstituted for the spear point and this will often make a better mark on hard material than a steel point. Consistently achieving successful orientation marks requires skill

How Drill Core is Cuiemed

15

AIG Handbook 5~Structural Logging of Drill Core

and experience on the part of the driller. The driller has to know when to use the point or the pencil, and how to judge and control the speed of impact of the spear with the core stub.

The Core-Stub Temp/ate Too'

This tool orients the core by taking an impression of the shape of the top surface of the core stub. The system is sometimes known as the Graelius System and was first described by Roxtrom in 1961. Different proprietary models are now available: this text aims to describe the common features of these devices, and is not based on any specific model.

Like the spear, the orienting tool is lowered down the hole on the end of the wire-line overshot after a barrel of core has been extracted from the hole (Figure 8). A small weight is free to find Its position at the bottom of the tool. When the tool reaches the core stub at the bottom of the hole, a number of spring-loaded steel pins press against the rock stub at the hole base and so take an impression of its shape. The action of pulling the tool from the hole locks the steel pins (which record the shape of the core stub) and

16

How Drill Core is Oden/ad

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t; .. I i I.: wClq lit (which records the bottom of hole position). W hen the ,'ext run of core is drilled and pu lied from the ground, the tem plate pitlS ceil I be matched to the core end, thus enabling the BOH position to be marked on to the core.

Template tools eliminate many of the problems with spears detailed above and have a generally higher success rate in orienting core . T hey work best on irregular core stubs, particularly those that I ie at a low angle to the core axis. If the core stub is smooth and at a high angle to the core axis, a spear will usually provide a better result than a template. As with spears, template tools will not orient very broken or crumbly core .

• * *

In recent years, proprietary core orienting systems have been developed in Australia which offer improved core orientation. They do this by combining both the impact mark and pin-template methods. In addition, these tools are designed to be inserted inside the core barrel, thus obviating the need for a separate core orienting procedure following each drill run. This saves considerable time and money.

. ..

/low /)ull Core ($ Oriented

17

Ale Handbook _':,--Slructurul Logging at Dnll CUI(_!

4. Marking Out Oriented Core

Oriented core requires special handling procedures that have to tJp carried out before the core is ready to be structurally logged. These are the generally the responsibility of an experienced fi()ld technician.

Checking the Driller's Orientation Mark

Most drillers will place a mark on the cylindrical surface of the cow at the top of a run to indicate the BOH (Bottom Of Hole) position Where a spear has been used, this is done by projecting a line from the core centre through the impact mark (or wax pencil mark) to intersect the core circumference. There are a number of potential problems in this procedure, which if they are not recognised and allowed for, can lead to considerable error in placing the BOH mark on the core surface. For this reason, the driller's mark should always be checked.

Some Gammon problems in interpreting the marks made by spears are:

• Because of the narrow core diameter, accurate BOI i positioning should not be expected on core sizes with a diameter less than NO.

• The spear can bounce or "chatter" on the core surface thus making a number of impact points. The first impact pOint (usually the correct one to use in determining the BUH) IS often the one that is best defined.

• Sometimes the spear, having hit the core, will slide sideways across its surface and make an elongate mark The first impact point will usually be the mark that is furthest from to the hole centre.

• A spear impact will often take a chip out of the edge of the core. The notch on the core edge is commonly taken as the BOH, but this is only correct if the missing chip IS symmetrical about the impact point, and this is not always the case. Once again, it is necessary to check the first impact point on the top surface of the core in order to

18

Marking Out Oriented COlO

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determine the BOH.

Transferring the Orientation Mark Down the Core

1 OJ do this accurately, core pieces have to be first removed from the core tray and reassembled in a channel by carefully matching the broken ends of the core to form a continuous run. The channel used should be as long as practicable but should not be shorter than a standard core barrel (usually 3 or 6 meters). Channels are often made from vee-section lengths of metal or wood. One made by bolting two lengths of 50mm poly-pipe edge to edge has been found to be very effective, and is light enough to be easily moved (Figure 9) If the core pieces cannot be fitted together in their original orientation, then core has been lost, and the orientation line cannot be transferred past this point.

When assembling the core, commence at the top end of a run by placing the BOH orientation mark against one of the long edges of the channel. After re-assembly of as much of the core as possible,

Spear impact mark

Bottom Of Hole (BOH) orientation line

Figure 9. A run of broken core is carefully reassembled in a channel with the BOH mark against a long edge. Ideally, the channel should be as long as a standard core barrel (3 or 6 meters). The edge is then used to draw the BOH line along the length of the core run. An arrow pointing down-hole is then drawn on to each core piece. If a split-tube core barrel has been used, mark the BOH line Of! to the core before removal from the barrel, using the edge of tlu: barrel as a straight-edge guide (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1~~1)

M;l/ill/lf} Out Orwnted Core

19

AIG Hondbook 5-Srructurol Logging of Drill Core

the straight channel edge can now be used to transfer the mark by drawing a line with a felt-tipped pen along the whole length of core (Figure 9). This line is referred to as the BOH line. It marks the intersection of a vertical plane (or drill section plane) with the lower surface of the core",

With very broken core the use of a split tube core barrel is often used to improve core recovery. In this case, the BOH line should be drawn along the length of the core, using a long straight edge, before removing it from the core barrel.

Wherever possible, the orientation mark on the top of one core run should be transferred (by matching broken core ends) to the bottom of the core from the preceding run. The BOH line can then be drawn both up-hole and down-hole from the mark. The longer the channel in which the core is being reassembled, the easier and ITlOW accurate this process becomes. When two adjacent core runs carry orientation marks, the degree to which the projected BOH Iilw::; match provide a good measure of the accuracy of the cor c orientation process. Considering the way these lines have tJe(~1l constructed, a slight miss-match between the two lines is only to h(~ expected, however, a discrepancy of over 10° would indicate a significant handling error. If this occurs, the whole process of determining the BOH line from the core orientation mark should b(~ repeated. If, after checking, the discrepancy remains, this section of core should be considered uri-oriented, or, at the least, a note should be made on the drill log, and any measurements taken treated with caution.

Once the BOH line is drawn, it is recommended that the down hole direction be marked with a small arrow (pointing down the hole) on to each separate piece of core. Where large continuous pieces of core have been recovered, an arrow should be marked at least every 25 cm along the core (Figure 10). The arrows should be

5 Some geologlsls prefer to transfer the mark to the top surface of the core and to draw a Top Of Hole (TOH) line along the core. The reason is that core is normally viewed from above, so a TOH line permits quicker and easier orientation of core pieces. If this system is adopted, to evoia POSSIble confusion, the line should be clearly labelled "TOW.

20

Marking Out Oriented Core

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NOll oriented Core

Figure 10. When marking out onented drill core, it is recommended that continuous lines be used for the Bottom Of Hole line and the down-hole arrows (right diagram). When marking out sectors of the hole that are not Oriented (left diagram), use dashed lines.

placed on the half of the core that will be retained after core is cut for assay (see Figure 11). This practice ensures two things:

• It identifies the core half to be subsequently taken for assay .

• Orientation marks are preserved in the retained core.

In most cases it is not possible to orient the entire core from a hole. However, it is recommended that the non-oriented sections of the hole be marked using a down-hole line and arrows, in a similar way to that described for oriented core. If a dashed line and dashed arrow are used for marking out the non-oriented sectors of the hole, and a continuous line and arrow for the oriented sectors", the two categories of core can be distinguished when it comes to logging (Figure 10). The down-hole line drawn on non-oriented core should be positioned to correspond, as nearly as can be judged, to a true BOH position, making use of internal structures in the core whose orientation is known from adjacent oriented sections of the hole. If no information is available as to the correct BOH position, then the dashed down-hole line should be drawn so as to lie at the highest angle possible to any dominant planar structure in the rock .

fi Tins IS probably a better solution than the alternative technique of using different coloured lines. The distinction between two colours may become ()!JsGUred with time and dirt, and in any case, in the absence of a separate tjllido, It is not intuitively obvious which colour might represent which type ()f r:orc .

M:I/k"!~} Oul Orronted Core

21

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Core sawn into halves lengthways

-··--··r---~-

Figure 11. When taking a half core sample for assay, it is recommended that the saw cut correspond to the drill-section plane. The sawn surface of the half-core retained should correspond to the viewing direction of the drill section (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997),

Cutting Oriented Core for Sampling

Structural logging of drill core should ideally be carried out on whole core prior to cutting. This however is not always possible. Sawing or splitting core lengthwise to produce a half-core sample for assay should therefore always be done so as to preserve the BOH line and down-hole arrow, and leave a surface that will assist in interpretation of the structure of the retained half-core. How to do this is explained below.

The normal method of sampling diamond drill core is to saw the core into two halves lengthways with a diamond-impregnated saw. One half of the core is taken for assay, the other half returned to the core tray. It is recommended that the saw cut be made along the BOH line marked on the core - in other words; the saw cut corresponds to

22

Marking Out Oriented Core

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1I1!~ onqmal vertical plane through the cora" The same half of the (OIP should be taken for assay so that the sawn surfaces of the retamed half core in the trays have a constant orientation. The sawn surface of the half-core retained in the tray should correspond to the normal direction of viewing a drill section (Figure 11). For example, In an east-west hole (whose drill section would normally be viewed looking towards the north) the north half of the core should be retained. Cutting core this way greatly aids in interpreting structures seen on the cut surface, since these relate directly to the standard sectional models that the geologist constructs for the rocks that he or she is drilling.

! Some geologists prefer to cut the core a few degrees off the marked line .

Iho preserves the line after cutting, but has the disadvantage that the cut IIII(! docs not exactly correspond to the drill section plane.

M,uklrrr/ Dill Oriented Core

23

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

5. How to Recognise Structures in Core

Observing structure in core requires a strong, bright, direct, and preferably natural, light. Large-scale structure can be observed in a first-pass scan along the core tray, but in order to see the subtler, small structures, core has to be removed from the core tray and rotated and tilted in the light. Having identified a structure, the core should then be approximately oriented in the hand so that a qualitative idea of the orientation of the structure can be gained.

Geologists are familiar with the appearance of rock structure where it is intersected by a flat, or relatively-flat surface such as that provided by an outcrop, a map or a section (or an illustration in a structural geology text book). The same structure can often be difficult to recognise, or correctly interpret, where it is exposed on the cylindrical surface of a piece of drill core.

Another problem inherent to drill core is that of scale. It can be difficult to see large structures, even of the order of a few metres across, when dealing with a piece of core only a few centimetres across.

This section examines how common structures appear in core, and how to interpret them.

Planar Structures

The trace of a planar structure (such as a bedding plane, cleavage, joint or mineral vein) on the surface of cylindrical drill core outlines an ellipse. This referred to as the intersection ellipse.

An ellipse is defined by a long axis and a short axis at right angles to each other. The long axis of the intersection ellipse is marked on the surface of the core by inflection points (points of maximum curvature) in the trace of the plane. If a set of close-spaced parallel surfaces, such as regular bedding or a penetrative cleavage, are intersected, the inflection points for each individual surface can be joined to form a line running along the core length. This line is known as the inflection line (Marjoribanks, 1997) for that set of surfaces. The acute angle between the ellipse long axis and the core axis is

24

How to Recognise Structures in Core

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kl H )WII dS angle alpha (a ).

T he more oblique the intersection of the plane with the core (low alpha angles), the more elongate the intersection ellipse, and the better the definition of the inflection points which define its long axis un the core surface. There are two limiting cases. In the first, where the core intersects the surface at right angles (a '" 90°) - the intersection of the plane with the core is a circle and no unique axis can be defined. In the second case, where the core has been drilled parallel to the surface (n. = 0°) the intersection trends along the length of the core; in theory for ever: but in practice only for as long as this particular geometry holds good. In this latter case, the ellipse long axis is of infinite length, and there are no inflection points on the core surface. These three cases are ill ustrated in Figure 12.

Faults

Minor faults, or micro-faults, are often well exposed in core. Where the fault intersects an earlier structure at a high angle, the displacement across the fault is easily observed (Figure 13). It is often tempting to ignore such small-scale faults during logging on the grounds that the structure, and amount of displacement, are

r race of mncctinn pointE

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Two nonparallel surfaces

Figure 12. The appearance of planar structure in core (reproduced ttcnu Marjoribanks, 1997)

flow 10 Nocogmse Structures in Core

25

AIG Handbook 5-Structurol Logging of Drill Core

insignificant. However, the displacement of small-scale faults frequently mirrors that of adjacent, associated major faults. Since it is seldom possible to directly determine the displacement vectors of major faults in drill core, all data on associated structures can have great relevance, and should be recorded.

Large brittle faults are normally cored as zones of broken core and clay, often with significant core loss (Figure 13). Their nature as major fault zones is often not recognised unless associated with significant mineral veining. Large brittle fault zones usually carry significant water, and show the effects of supergene alteration to anomalous depths. It is generally not possible to directly measure the attitude of large brittle faults in core, but the displacements across them can often be deduced by observing the displacement across minor associated structures (see above). Another way of deducing fault displacement is by correlating the fault trace between adjacent holes and looking for displacement of interpreted rock sequences across the fault line.

Small ductile faults in core are generally rather obvious as planar zones of intense alteration and high strain (Figure 14). However, ductile fault zones can be very wide structures - sometimes several kilometres across - and the margins of the zone may be gradational. Identifying the true nature of such a deformation lone on the basis of one drill hole (let alone a small piece of core from such a hole) can be difficult.

Linear Structures

Linear features can have very different appearance in core dependant upon the rock structures that define them. There are four possibilities (Cloos, 1946):

1. A lineation may be defined by the line of intersection of two surfaces such as bedding and cleavage. If the core has broken along one or other of the surfaces, the trace of the other surface may be present as a lineation on the exposed surface (Figure 15a). However, generally intersection lineations cannot be directly observed, but only deduced by

26

How to Recognise Structures in Core

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Ale, Hundbook 5-Structurol Logging of Drill Core

\IIICRO-FAUL TS

MAJOR FAULTS

Figure 13. Typical appearance of brittfe faults in core (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

Strong planarfabric: Early structure progressively deformed and destroyed by intense alteration and high strain

Figure 14. The appearance of ductile faults in core (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

t tow If) Nuc()~lntS8 Structures in Core

27

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

CA

CA

b. Lineation caused by tectonic Hattening and stretching of beds

a. Lineation on a bedding surface caused by the

intersection of an oblique cleavage

A

CA

c. Lineation defined by the alignment 01 elongate minerals or mi neral aggregates The appearance varies around the core

depending on the angle of intersection 01 the core surface with the rru ne rals

Figu_re 15. How lineations look in core. Lineations caused by intersectmg planes (a) can only be readily observed when the core breaks along one of these planes. More penetrative linear features, such as those caused by boudinage (b) or the preferred alignment of elongate minerals or mineral segregation (c) has a distinctive appearance on the core surface, depending on the intersection angle of the surface with the lineation. (Reproduced, with modification, from Marjaribanks, 1997).

observing the surface trace of the two surfaces that define it. The orientation of the line of intersection could then be determined by separately measuring the orientation of the two surfaces, plotting them as great circles onto a stereonet, and reading off the orientation (the trend and plunge) of the point where the two great circles intersect.

2. The long axes of elongate ellipsoidal bodies in a strained rock, such as deformed clasts, isolated boudins or metamorphic mineral aggregates, often define a nonpenetrative lineation. Although such bodies may have a constant orientation, they will appear on the core surface in a variety of cross sections, depending upon the variable angles of intersection which their long axes make with the cylindrical core surface (Figure 15b). High angle

28

How to Recognise Structures in Core

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AI(J Handbook 5-Structurol Logging of Drill Core

intersections will show circular, or relatively squat ellipsoidal shapes; low angle intersections will display more elongate shapes.

3. A parallel alignment of elongate minerals throughout the body of the rock produces a penetrative mineral lineation. This lineation will show continuously variable patterns of intersection around the cylindrical core, depending upon whether the core surface is parallel to, or at a high angle to, the mineral lineation. This gives the core a distinctive appearance, with bands of differing colour, texture or mineral reflectivity, each representing a different range of surface to lineation intersection angles, running along the length of the core (Figure 15c). Those lineations that have the smallest cross-sectional area on the core surface (line A, Figure 15c) represent the lineations that pass through the core axis. Often when a penetrative mineral lineation is not well developed, or the defining minerals are fine grained or not otherwise distinctive, it can be detected by looking at a low angle along the core surface, while slowly tilting it back and forward below a bright light (Figure 16). As the core is moved, the crystal faces of mineral grains whose long axes are parallel to the core surface, will often give a glint or flash of reflected light, thus revealing their preferred orientation.

Sunlight

) \ :

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Figure 16. Looking for a cryptic penetrative mineral lineation in core. As the core is slowly tilted at a low angle to a strong direct light source, crystal faces of elongate minerals that parallel the core surt.ice will often reflect a flash of light, thus revealing their preferred onontetior: (see also Laing, 1991).

II"w to Fu(;oqrlise Structures in Core

29

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

4. The axes of cylindrical folds are a non-penetrative linear structure. Because folds are such important structures, their appearance in core is treated in a separate section.

Folds

Fold axes are defined by the line joining points of maximum curvature (an inflection line) on the folded surface. The surface of a drill core cuts the fold axis to expose two fold inflection points - one where the fold axis enters the core, and one where it exits. Since the two limbs of the fold (if planar) also are each defined by two inflection points on the core surface (marking the ends of the long axis of the intersection ellipse for each limb), the trace of a folded bed on the surface of core can have quite a complicated appearance. Identifying the position and orientation of the axes of folded surfaces in drill core therefore requires some care.

The simplest case comprises those folds whose axes are oriented at right angles to the core axis. Here the inflection lines for the two fold limbs and for the axial-plane cleavage (if any is present) all coincide and lie at right angles to the fold axes (Figure 17). By looking along the fold axis, the true profile shape of the fold can be observed.

In the more general case, where fold axes are not normal to the core axis, the inflection lines for the two fold limbs and the axial-plane cleavage do not coincide. This produces a complex asymmetric fold shape on the core surface (Figure 18). In order to distinguish the fold axes from the inflection points for the two fold limbs, it is necessary to carefully trace the folded bed right around the core. No view of the core gives the true profile of the fold, although, by looking along the fold axis, and allowing for the effects of foreshortening, some idea of the true fold profile shape can still be obtained.

The Scale Problem

In a small piece of drill core it is relatively easy to see small or closespaced structures, but the large structural pattern of the rocks being drilled can be hard to recognise. For example, a strong axial-plane cleavage may be very obvious in core, but this may obscure a folded bed that lies at a high angle to the cleavage (Figure 19). I n outcrop,

30

How to Recognise Structures in Core

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POint E for limb 1

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PointE for cleavage

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Figure 17. The appearance of folds when the fold axes are normal to the core axis (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

VIEW LOOKING ALONG CLEAVAGE

VIEW NORMAL TO FOLD AXIS

CA

Point E for limb 1

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Point E' for cleavage

Point E for limb 1

Figure 18. The appearance of folds in core where the fold axes are not normal to the core axis (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997) .

II{)w t() Rucoqnlse Structures in Core

31

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Drill hole coring large-scale structure

Core axis

scale of the core, the large structure may notbe very obvious

Figure 19. Because of the small size of drill core, identifying largescale structure requires great care and careful observation.

the solution to this problem is to step back, let the busy foreground detail go out of focus, and view a larger area of the outcrop. In drill core, this is not so easy, but so long as the geologist is aware of the problem a solution can be attempted. One method is to observe the structures present in the less-deformed sections of the core, and examine the nature of the transition to the more deformed parts of the core. Another way is to do what one would do at an outcrop, standing back from the core and attempting to see any larger-scale structure that may be present. Sometimes the large-scale structure is only apparent when a detailed log for the entire hole is plotted on to the drill section, and comparisons made with adjacent holes. When a large-scale fold structure is suspected, detailed re-examination of the core will often yield the subtle direct evidence for its presence, missed in the first pass logging.

Small-scale structures often give a reliable indication of the style and attitude of associated larger structures. This relationship, long known to geologists as "Pumpelly's Rule" after the geologist Who first enunciated it (Pumpelly et ai, 1894) is now appreciated as a

32

How to Recognise Structures in Com

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tund.unental feature of all non-linear systems, and is referred to as "scale-dependent self-similarity", or more simply as a fractal r elatinnahip. Whatever it is called, such relationships can provide very valuable clues for resolving large-scale structure from the evidence of small-scale structures seen in drill core or outcrop .

As a general rule, and this applies to any type of observation, the best way to recognise subtle features in a rock is to be aware of the possibility that such a feature might be present, and then actively look for it. Louis Pasteur put this idea well in 1854 when he famously said: "Where observation is concerned chance favours only the prepared mind" .

Vergence

Vergence is the name given to the systematic changes in symmetry of small-scale structures about the axis of a large-scale fold". Recognising and recording small-scale structural asymmetry in outcrop or drill core can allow deduction of the approximate position and geometry of the larger structure (see Wilson, 1961) ..

Structures from which vergence information can be gained are fold pairs (either S-shape or sinistral; Z-shape or dextral) or the sense of angular relationship between bedding and cleavage (once again described as dextral or sinistral). Note that, by convention, the terms dextral and sinistral refer to an angular relationship as it appears looking down on the structure. When viewed from below, the sense of asymmetry is reversed. For example, a sinistral (S-shape) fold pair becomes dextral (Z-shape) when viewed from below.

Structures showing vergence relationships are readily seen in drill core and, if the core is oriented, can be used to provide valuable delta on the style, position and geometry of larger-scale folding. Even If the core is not oriented, changing vergence relationships down the hole can indicate that a major fold has been crossed. For example, cleavage at a high angle to bedding indicates a position on a fold hinge: cleavage at a relatively-low angle to bedding indicates a

n f or a discussion of the use of vergence in structural geology, the reader

/s referred to any good structural geology texctbook, such as Wi/son, 1901 Of Hobbs. Means & Williams, 1976 .

IIi)w Ir' Nccoqnise Structures in Core

33

AIG Handbook 5-Structurol Logging of Drill COle

position on the fold limb. However, if the core is oriented, HIe vergence observations can also indicate whether the large fold that has been crossed is an antiform or a synform, as well as providing data on the geometry of the fold itself (Figure 20).

Once a vergence determination has been made, it can be recorded on the log or drill section as a vector (an arrow) pointing up-hole or down-hole towards the adjacent large antiform. Arrows pointing towards each other on the hole trace will indicate the position of a large-scale antiformal axis. Arrows pointing away from each other will then indicate the position of a synformal axis".

9 An antiform is any upwards-closing folded surface. A synform is any downards-closing folded surface. The terms antic/ine and syncline can strictly only be used when describing sedimentary sequences where the top and bottom of the sequence are known. In an anticline the beds become older towards the centre of the fold. In a syncline, beds become older away from the centre of the fold.

34

How to Recognise Structures in Core

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f /(lW III l{u(.()(}I1ISC Structures in Core

35

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

6. How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

Before You Measure

Examine the Gore to identify what structures are present and the relationships between them. This qualitative examination is a vital part of gaining an understanding of the history of the rock. The geologist should consider the following sorts of questions (this is not an exhaustive list):

• What structures are present?

• What rock elements define the structure?

• What are the relationships between the structures, lithologies, alteration and veining?

What sectors of the core have constant attitudes of structure and what sectors show variability?

Is the cleavage steeper than the bedding?

• Is the asymmetry sinistral or dextral?

• Is the hole being drilled at a low angle or high angle to particular structures?

• How do the structures seen in the piece of core fit with the larger-scale mental picture of the prospect that is evolving in the geologist's mind?

Once this qualitative examination of the core is complete the geologist is in a position to measure some of the structures that have been identified. By this stage it should be known what structures need to be measured, and a context established in which the measurements made can be interpreted. What is more, the geologist is now in a position to decide how many, and from which parts of the core, measurements need to be taken.

Measurement Conventions

To fully define and understand the attitude of a planar surface, a geologist needs to know its strike, its dip and the direction of the dip towards one of the principal compass quadrants. Of these measurements, the strike is usually the most important, because it is that which defines the potential continuity of the surface in the

36

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

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tIlHI/(JlltClI plane of a geological map, or between the adjacent ~>CLtl()IlS of a drilling program. When measurements are recorded diqitally (as opposed to analog recording as a strike and dip symbol Oil a map) the most common traditional way has been in the form of xxx I yy I A, where xxx (the strike) is a 3-digit compass bearing (000°-180°), yy (the dip) a two digit number representing the angle from the horizontal (00°_90°) and A is the direction of dip towards a principal compass direction or quadrant (i.e. N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W or NW). As an example: 042/23 NW is a surface with strike of 42° that dips at 23° to the northwest. Because this method requires three data fields (strike, dip and dip direction) the advent of computer-based databases has lead to a variety of other ways, utilising only two data fields, being employed for digital recording of the measured attitude of planes. These involve recording attitude as dip and dip direction, or as a simple strike and dip with the dip direction qualifier according to a convention in the way the strike number is expressed'", These different methods are described and discussed in detail in Vearncombe & Vearncombe (1998). For logging core, it is recommended that the attitude of planes be recorded either as dip and dip direction, or as strike/dip/dip direction. Any computer software used should be capable of accepting and presenting data in all the above formats.

The attitude of linear structure is measured and recorded as its trend and plunge. Trend is defined as the horizontal direction of a vertical plane through the line and is expressed as a compass bearing between 0000 and 360°. Plunge is the angle that the line makes with the horizontal, measured in the vertical plane. A measurement of 761067 represents a plunge of 76° to 067°. If a lineation lies in a plane, then it can be measured as its pitch in that plane. A pitch is the angle that a line makes with the horizontal, measured in the plane that contains the line. If the attitude of the plane is also known, then the pitch enables the trend and plunge to be calculated. The Simplest way to do this is by means of a stereonet.

1 () Ttu: most common of these conventions is the so-called "right-hand rille" Imagine grasping a strike/dip symbol with the right hand, palm down and fingers pointing in the direction of dip. The thumb then indicutes (fie strike direction to be recorded. For example: an east-west s(nko (090°270°) with 60° dip to the north would be recorded as 270/60. A rocon] of 090/60 would indicate a dip to the south.

II, 'W I" MlJilslIro Structure in Oriented Core

37

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

How Many Measurements Are Needed?

Once a qualitative idea is gained of the structure present in the core, significant or representative examples of these structures are selected for accurate measurement of their attitude. These measurements are then used to construct accurate drill sections and maps and facilitate the precise predictions that are necessary to target additional holes. The purpose of measuring structures is not to compile impressive tables of numerical data, but to help provide answers to specific questions that arise as the core is being logged and interpreted.

The number of measurements that need to be made depends upon the variability of the structures present. If the attitude of a structure is relatively constant through a hole, then a representative measurement every 10-30 metres or so down hole, would be quite sufficient to define it. As well as obtaining an even spread of measurements down the hole, at least one measurement should be obtained for each major lithology in the hole, with particular emphasis on features of economic interest such as vein orientations, or any banding or linear structure in ore.

Where the attitude of a structure is rapidly changing, more measurements are required to define this change - perhaps as many as one measurement of the structure every 3-5 metres. Such detailed measurement would only normally be taken over limited sections of the core. The point is, as painted out by Vearncombe & Vearncombe (1998), that routinely collecting hundreds of measurements from each hole according to some invariable rule, generally adds nothing to understanding. It is always far better to collect a small number of high quality measurements than a large number of low quality measurements. By "high quality" is meant that each measurement is carefully selected to be representative of a section of core, and the nature of the structure, its position and relationships with other structures, with mineralisation, alteration, host lithology etc. are all carefully observed and noted. A high quality measurement is also one that can be understood and recorded in geologically meaningful terms (i.e. as a strike and dip or a trend and plunge) at the time that it is made. Numbers that have meaning only after subsequent computer processing, when memory of the rock

38

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

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tll,11 WdS measured has faded, are, in this context, considered to be I(IW qualily measurements.

Measuring the attitude of structures in oriented core requires the use of simple tools and techniques. How to make these measurements are described in the section that follows.

There are two basic techniques:

1. By using a core frame and geologists' compass; and,

2. By measuring internal core angles then digitally or graphically crunching the numbers.

Using a Core Frame

Core frames offer the simplest and most readily-understood way to measure structure in oriented core. For most applications, they also offer the most accurate and useful technique.

"Core frame" is used here as a generic term for a number of devices - some of these are illustrated in Figure 21. They are all basically simple tools that allow a piece of core to be positioned in the same orientation as it was when in the ground. Once core is set up in the frame, structure can be measured using a geological compass 11, in much the same manner as the same structure would be measured in outcrop .

The core frame should be set up near to the trays of core being logged, but in a position where a compass will not be affected by magnetic disturbance. The frame should be placed on a low wooden or plastic box or table so that it is possible to easily view the frame trorn all sides, and from above .

Before placing core in the frame, the channel (or clamp) which holds the piece of core is oriented to match the azimuth and attitude of the drill hole at the depth from which the core was taken (the Coremap ™

11 With the Coremap, the strike and dip, trend and plunge, are read directly (Iff Ihe scales of the instrument ~ a geological compass is not required. A dutil/led description of using the Coremap can be found in Vearncombe to: vunrncornbe. 1998.

I h IW In MUilSUfU Structure in Oriented Core

39

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

COni support b-ames can be sflCur6d at any "1191910 matr:h bois lncNnatlon.

bese

Geological coaosss

The "COREMAP" m_1 byCombar Englflooring. Perth. WA

Figure 21. Some simple, and not so simple, core orientation devices. A: the author's homemade wooden model set using a geologist's compass (for another example of a home-made frame, see Figure 22). B: an aluminium model with built-in compass and inclination scale. Designed and made by James Cook University of North Queensland. C: a sand box - a quick and readily available device for measuring planes or lineations exposed on the top surface of core. o is a commercially available frame. This is a beautifully engineered solution in which strike/dip or trend/plunge can be read directly off the built-in scales without need of a compass. (Reproduced, with modifications from Marjoribanks, 1997).

~o

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d", ", I H It Il()~d to be oriented with a compass, but it may be a good Id!:.! til do this anyway, to reinforce the mental image of the core as II would lie ill the ground). The oriented core is then placed on the dldlrrlCl with the BOH (bottom-of-hole) line facing down, and the down-hole arrow pointing down. Structures within the core can now be observed and measured.

Sometimes a structure is exposed either as or on the top broken surface of the core and so can be measured directly with a compass. However, in the more general case, the structure to be measured can only be seen as its trace on the surface of the core. If the surface is steep dipping its trace on the core surface is relatively easy to measure by sighting onto the surface with a geology compass. However, with shallower dipping surfaces (say with a dip of less than 50°). it becomes increasingly more difficult to make an accurate compass measurement using this technique. The solution lies in the use of extension planes and rods, as described below.

To measure a plane within a piece of core oriented in a core frame:

• An assistant aligns a small oblong of plastic or card to lie parallel with the structure in the core - a notch cut in the card will enable it to fit over the core.

• The strike and dip of the extension plane is then measured with a geological compass in the usual way, by sighting on to the card (Figure 22).

James Cook University of North Queensland has a developed a way of using extension planes and rods with drill core which enables accurate measurement to be made without the need for an assistant (l.ding 1989). This is how it is done (Figure 23):

.. Attach a small oblong of plastic to the outside of the core using Blu-Tac1M (Figure 23). A piece of plastic the size, weight and stiffness of a credit card is ideal.

• By sighting onto the extension plane from several directions, it can, with great accuracy, be pushed into alignment with the internal plane of the rock that is being measured.

• It a trickle of coloured liquid is allowed to run down the face

1/(l1IiI /(1 MUilsllrc Structure In Oriented Core

41

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Figure 22. Using an extension plane as an aid in measuring the attitude of planar structure in oriented core set up in a core frame. In a similar manner, a small rod (i.e., a pencil) can be used to extend a linear structure. It is best if an assistant holds the extension plane or rod while the geologist takes the measurement Frame design by the author.

of the extension plane it will provide a guide for a very accurate measurement of dip and dip direction (Marjoribanks. 1997). A small dropper bottle of coloured liquid (use food colouring) should be kept for this purpose.

Measuring a linear feature in a piece of oriented core is done in a similar manner to measuring a plane, only in this case, extension rods are held at (or attached to with Blu-Tac™) the core surface at the points where a single chosen linear feature enters and leaves the core. In this case, the rods attached to the core surface are tilted so as to lie on a single straight line when sighted from a number of different directions (Figure 23). Once aligned, the compass is used to measure the trend and plunge of the linear by sighting down on to the extension rods.

42

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

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EXTENSION PLANE

Core oriented in core orientation frnme(rlot shown)

Penetrative miner-oJ lineation

[ Not« . atstmcuv« appearance of lineation on CDre surfaca.

Fold axes

Note :Using a core frame and extension rods are the Q[!fi! way non.penetrative lineations, such as fold axes can be measured in oriented core .

Figure 23. Using adhesive putty to attach extension planes and rods to the core surface. This technique, first developed by James Cook University (Laing, 1985), leaves both hands free to use the geologists' compass. Allowing a few drops of liquid to run down the extension plane (as shown) ensures accurate measurement of dip dnd dip direction. (Reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

flow 10 MUdSlire Structure in Oriented Core

43

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Using Internal Core Angles

Internal Core Angles Which Define Planar Structure

The angle which structures make with internal reference lines and planes in oriented core can be used to calculate the attitude of these structures in the standard geographic reference planes and lines (that is, the horizontal plane and north-south-east-west axes (Goodman, 1976, 1980. Reedman, 1979). The core reference lines used are the core axis and the BOH line. The core reference planes are the vertical plane and the core circumference plane. The geographic orientation of these lines and planes are known from the down-hole surveys. The angles that a structure makes with these reference lines are measured and then converted to the normal dip and strike, or trend and plunge coordinates by mathematical or graphical calculation. A computer program normally carries out mathematical reduction. The graphical solution makes use of a stereonet (A full discussion on how this is done will be found beginning on page 68). The internal core angles method of determining the orientation of structures in core can be considerably quicker than using a core frame - but although this is a considerable advantage, there are many problems associated with this technique, discussed later in this section.

As explained previously, the intersection of cylindrical drill core with a plane is an ellipse (Figure 24). The long axis of the ellipse is marked by points of maximum curvature (inflection points) on opposite sides of the trace of the plane on the core surface. The inflection points of a number of closely-spaced parallel surfaces defines an inflection line on the surface. The ends of the long axis of the intersection ellipse are labelled E-E', where E is the lower end of the axis when the core was in the ground, and E' the upper end. The acute angle between the core axis (CA) and E-E' is the angle alpha (<1) (Figure 25).

Alpha is the first of the internal core angles that have to be measured in order to determine the orientation of the plane.

The geometric plane at right-angles to the core axis is the

44

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

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urcumference plane 12 and its hypothetical trace on the core surface 'S, of course, circular. A point defined on the trace of the CIrcumference plane is its intersection with the BOH (Bottom Of Iiole) line of the core. This is known as the SOH point. The angle, measured in a clockwise direction, around the circumference plane from point SOH to point E, is known as angle beta (B).

Angle beta is the second of the two internal core angles that have to be measured in order to determine the orientation of the plane.

Armed with angles a and r~, and the azimuth and inclination of the core axis at the depth where the measurements on the plane were taken, the strike and dip and dip direction of a plane can be determined. How to do this is discussed in pages 47-51 .

The Internal Core Angles Which Define Linear Structure

The only linear structure capable of being readily measured by the method of internal core angles are those linears that pass through the core axis (Marjoribanks, 1997). In practice, this means only finely-penetrative mineral lineation (Figure15c), or an intersection lineation which is exposed where one of the defining surfaces forms the top of a core piece (Figure15a), will meet this criteria. AI! other linear elements, such as fold axes, or the long axes of boudins, can only be measured using a core frame .

Where a fine penetrative mineral lineation is intersected by drill core, those lineations that pass through the core axis are the ones with the smallest cross-section on the core surface. The set of similar intersections can form a distinctive band running along the length of the core (see Figure 15c and Figure 23, bottom left diagram).

A lineation passing through the core axis is labelled T-T'. T is the point where the lower end (when in the ground) of the lineation cuts the core surface; TI is the upper end of the lineation (Figure 26). The acute angle between T-T' and CA is known as angle gamma (y). In the circumference plane, the angle between the BOH line and point T, measured in a clockwise sense, is known as angle delta (0).

II Tllo "prooetter plane" of Laing, 1989

I tow II) Measure Structure in Oriented Core

45

AIG Handbook S-Structural Logging of Drill Core

Trace of verlical plane - the drill section plane

Point E - the intersecUon of the lower end of the /ong axis with the surface of the drUi

core ')6

P ( beta) angle measured In clockwise direction from bottom of hole line around circumference to PointE

CORE AXIS

The in tersection of tho upper end of the long axis with the drill core

core circumference

Bottom Of Hole orientation line

Figure 24. Definition of internal angles that define a planer surface in oriented drill core! three dimensional view (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

a (alpha) angle - the acute angle between E - E rand the core axis

Note: The pole to the surface ( P) lies at an

angle of 90- a from

the core axis ( CA ) as measured towants E I in the plane containing

CAand E-E'.

E

p Normal, or pole to surface

Down Hole

Figure 25. Definition of the internal angles that define a planar sur face in oriented core - cross-section through core axis and long axis of intersection ellipse (E-F) (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997)

46

How to Measure Structure in Oriented C()W

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II,IW t~) MUilsure Internal Core Angles .

/\ n.unbor of simple protractors can be made to simplify this job. :;( line of the designs, and how to use them, are shown in Figures 27 10 jO. In view of the accuracy with which the reference lines are detmed In core, accuracy in measuring the internal angles of 1-2 dewees will be found quite sufficient.

{-<uducing Internal Core Angles to Absolute Orientation

Before any discussion of how internal core angles are converted into the familiar strike-dip measurement, it is worth pointing out that some sets of core angles can be converted by simple mental arithmetic. This point may seem rather obvious, but it is not unknown for geologists to mindlessly enter alpha/beta measurements into a computer for processing, where a trivial mental effort could have provided the answer. As a corollary, if such angles have been entered into the program, they provide a quick way of checking the accuracy of the computer program, or of the data entry process .

It the measured beta angle is within a few degrees of 00 or 1800 then the drill hole at that point must be at right-angles, or close to right angles, to the strike of the surface. This means that the hole azimuth (which is known) corresponds to either the dip direction of the measured surface, or the reciprocal of the dip direction. In most cases, a quick look at the core after roughly orienting it in the hand Will indicate which alternative to choose. Simple mental arithmetic will then quickly correct the measured alpha angle for the hole mclination (also known), to provide the true dip of the bed.

(1) Mathematical reduction

This process involves spherical trigonometry or rotation of axes in three dimensions - it would not normally be attempted manually. However, geologists can simply key the measured alpha and beta angles into a software proqram'" that will calculate the strike and dip of the plane (see Hoeks and Diederichs, 1989 ).

t h·;lllg a computer to process alpha/beta measurements is appropriate if a very large number of measurements have been

Ii Several such programs are avaiJable commercially

I low 10 Measure Structure in Oriented Core

47

AIG Handbook 5-Structurol Logging of Dnll COle

TOH

Longitudinal section through T- T'

BOH

T

View Iookl(~g down CurtI /1.(/.'>

T. Upper interoection ci lineation passing through the core axrs with core surface T : LCMler intersection of lineation passing thmugh the core axis With core surface E'. Upper intersedion at lang aJ()S ci intersection ellipse wth core surface

E : LOINaI" IntersedlOr1 of long axis of mtersecuon e.ipsa with core surface

TOH Top at hole -trace of vertical dnll secbon on upper side of core.

BOH Bottom of hole - trace ci vertical drill section on lower Side of cora

r angle gamma - the angle between the core axrs and T - T

6 . angle della - the angle between BOH and T, measured clockwise around the core circumference

Figure 26. Definition of the internal core angles that define a penetrative lineation in oriented core. The lineations mayor may not lie on a plane surface. (Reproduced, with modifications, from Marjoribanks, 1997).

Any standard protractor will do this job but a device such as this makes the task quicker and mOIB accurate

I SECTION I

Rubber washer

TIle in"eclian line of the plene to be meJJ5Uted is placed on sppropria/B co", diameter Nne

inscribed on COle guid ...

Figure 27. A simple homemade core goniometer for measuring alpha and gamma angles on core (reproduced from Marjoribanks 1997).

48

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Com

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Using ,a core protractor to measure an alpha angle

Figure 29. Measuring internal core angles (reproduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

Figure 28. Some circumference protractors for measuring beta and <lelta angles in core. The rigid plastic protractor and the tape protractors are described by Annels & Heflewell, 1987. The semi-circular inotroctor (cut from readily available standard school protractors) was first developed by James Cook University (Laing, 1989) (lUfllOduced from Marjoribanks, 1997).

11.,w tc I MUilsure Structure in Oriented Core

49

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Corc

IW

271)

IW

Use this scale to measure beta angles

so

Figure 30. Template for measuring alpha and beta angles on core. The temp/ate is printed on transparent film at a size to match the core circumference and is wrapped around the core as a sleeve Angles on the temp/ate can generally be estimated to nearest 2-3 degrees. Developed by Barry Tay/or of Newcrest Mining, reproduced with permission.

taken and have to be processed as a batch for statistical plotting or analysis.

To the best of the author's knowledge, there is no currently available computer program that can reduce the gamma/delta angles of a linear structure into a trend and plunge measurement.

(2) Reduction using a stereonet

In the author's opinion, where internal core measurements have been taken, it is in most cases preferable to convert the measurements using a stereonet. If gamma/delta measurements have been made, until such times as someone writes and makes available a suitable program, the only option is to reduce the angles with the net.

50

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Con.'

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III,' .ulvautaqes the stereonet solution, compared to using software .111:

• Plotting can be done on top of the core tray, as the core is being logged, thus allowing the geologist to fully understand and interpret the structures while they are still in view, and fresh observations can be easily made to check ideas or repeat/confirm key observations.

• When only a few measurements are involved in the course of core logging, using a stereonet is quicker than using a computer (allowing time to boot up, find the program and enter data).

• Plotting measurements on a stereonet provides a spatial visualisation of the data. This helps the geologist develop a three-dimensional picture of the rocks and so help solve structural problems.

• Plotting measurement on the stereonet is an invaluable tool in identifying any errors in the original measurements.

• Using a stereonet encourages a small number of quality measurements to be made. In structural geology, quantity seldom SUbstitutes for quality.

Details of the stereonet solution for both planes and lines will be found in Section 9.

Problems In Making Internal Core Measurements

Even where a planar structure is well defined on the core. measuring an accurate beta angle can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. To measure beta, the point E has to be identified on the core surface. This is easy where the plane being measured is at a low angle to the core axis (that is, the alpha angle is low) because then the intersection ellipse is elongate and has a well-defined inflection point. However as alpha approaches 900, so the intersection ellipse approaches a circle and E becomes increasingly harder to define (see Figure 31). For this reason, when making beta measurements, progressively increasing errors will occur for all planes with a > 500. If the planes being measured are very well defined, regular and close spaced an acceptable beta number might still be obtainable

Ilow If) MUdsure Structure in Oriented Core

51

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

a=24°

Figure 31. Examples of intersection e1/ipses for planes at various angles to the core axis. As the angle alpha (a) between the core axis and a plane increases, so the intersection ellipse approaches a circle. Defining the position of the ellipse long axis on the surface of the core becomes difficult for any a> ss', and a1/ but impossible for a > 65°. For this reason, it is recommended that the internal core angle method for calculating the attitude of planes, not be used where a > 65°.

but in all cases, where a > 65D, it is recommended that the method not be used.

Another common problem in measuring both beta and delta angles arises when the original dip (or plunge) of the structure is very low. In such cases, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish point E from point E' (or T from T') on the core surface. If the original true dip or plunge of the structure being measured was much less than say 200, then the only really certain way to differentiate E from E' or T from T', is to make use of a core frame". This problem is analogous to measuring a strike on a shallow-dipping bed in outcrop. However, the geologist on the outcrop will generally be aware of the problem and will take appropriate care in

14 Normally the two ends of the intersection ellipse are distinguished by picking up the piece of core and roughly orienting it in the hand. The hand thus becomes a crude orienting frame. For shallow dipping beds. however, this procedure is not accurate enough.

52

How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

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1I1,·.I·.II!'·IlH~lll the geologist dealing with a piece of oriented core 11 "III .Ill IIH.lU1Ud hole may not.

Discussion on the Best Core Measuring Technique

I 'If mos! applications, it is recommended that a core frame be used Ie I 1Il(:dSlJfC the orientation of structures. The main reason is that the I.OIl ~ lfillll€ permits direct visualisation of structures in their original 411 I. -ntations, and allows direct measurement of attitudes in q'~lll()qlC;jlly meaningful terms. If the method of measuring internal ( oW dl1~lles is chosen, then a Cafe frame must also be available in llllh;! to measure planes with high alpha angles, and to distinguish hdw.;l;1l E and E' and T and T" where original dips and plunges of till: structures are low. In addition, a core frame is the only way in whu.h lion-penetrative linear structures can be measured. Where the Illlt;II1<J1 core angle method is used. it is recommended that a ~;ll;1 eouet be employed for direct reduction of the data. at the core Iidy. as the measurements are being made.

111l; internal core angle technique does however have some .ulv.mtaqas:

Measuring alpha/beta angles is much faster than using a core frame.

• It the requirement is to make a very large number of measurements of a set of planar structures, whose identification and significance are otherwise well understood, with a view to a statistical treatment of the results, then the internal core angle technique, with computer processing of the results provides the quickest and most effective option. This situation can arise, for example, in a mine application, in geotechnical logging or in the advanced infill drilling stages of prospect exploration. In this case, the internal angles will be entered directly onto a spreadsheet-type log form (or directly into a portable computer) for subsequent processing. Presentation will usually be in the form of a computer generated section or map, a stereonet pole-figure or a histogram. However, even for these applications, the inherent limitations on the use of this method, for planes with particular orientations, need to

II, Hot- I" MUi/suru Structure in Oriented Core

53

AIG Handbook 5-Structurol Logging of Drill Core

be borne in mind.

• Measuring internal core angles may be the most efficient method of recording structure attitude onto analytical spread-sheet type logs during the advanced drilling stages of a prospect

• Combining alpha/beta measurements with conversion of results to strike and dip using a stereonet at the core tray, as the measurements are made, overcomes some of the objections to this technique. Geographic coordinates of the structure can then be added directly to the log form.

54 How to Measure Structure in Oriented Core

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7. Recording Structural Observations

Types of Log Forms

SIrllCtlJres can only be understood in the context of their relationship I() other features of the rock such as lithology, mineralisation, vouunq, weathering etc. It is important therefore that structural I[)qqillg be carried out at broadly the same time as other types of !wologicClI observation, and all data types recorded onto the one log forlll A completely separate structural log of a diamond drill hole would have very little meaning and be hard to interpret. Logging tonus should record as many features of the rock as possible in a wily which is clear, simple and objective, yet preserves the r!!lallOflships between the different descriptive parameters used.

l lu: type of logging form that is used depends upon the stage of drJlllllq of a prospect. For this purpose, drilling goes through two broad stages.

r IH~ Initial holes into a new prospect are aimed at assessing its p()I()lItial to contain economic III ineralisation. At this early stage, .ilmost any geological observation could be relevant to making this .i-.sossrnent, and few geological features of the core can be safely l(jllowd. It is therefore important that the hole be logged in as much d()tilll as possible. There is a lot at stake in the early holes into a jJlOspect. and the geologist has to work hard for his living.

Wilell the first few drill holes into a prospect have outlined 1I()11~lltlally-economic mineralisation, the primary requirement of ·.IJII::,cquent drilling is to provide economic information on the are hody relevant to making a decision to mine. By this stage, a rl:d~;(lildble understanding of the important geological parameters of lile nuner alisation should have been achieved. Geological logging (1Ill.1tldiny structural logging) can now become more formalised and 1()IJIIlW Which is just as well, because at this stage extra rigs usually -IpP! !dr. and core awaiting logging has a habit of stacking up.

Graphical Scale Logging

h ulu r] stage drilling needs to make use of a logging system that

"",,, 'Jldlll(/ SllIiClllral Obsorvetions

55

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

permits and encourages detailed observation and presents the information in a manner that aids interpretation. Pre-eminently, the best recording system for this is graphical-scale logging. In such logs, a down-hole strip map is made of the core at some chosen scale, say 1: 1 00. Structures are simply drawn onto the map in the attitude that they appear in the core. For example a 50 cm vein, which cuts the core at 45°, will be drawn (on a 1: 100 scale) on the core map as a Smm wide vein at 4So to the core trace. Different columns of the log (different specialised maps) can be allocated for different features of the core, for example there could be columns for lithology, alteration, veining and structure. An example of this type of logging is shown in Figure 32. All the columns are linked horizontally on the log by being drawn to a common vertical down-page (down-hole) scale. When using such a log, different features can be given different down-hole depth ranges, and it is also possible to indicate gradational contacts in a simple graphical manner. A more detailed discussion of this type of logging will be found in Marjoribanks, 1997. An example of graphical scale logging (tailored for use in logging volcanic sequences) can be found in McPhie et al., 1993.

Obviously, not all observations or measurements that can be made on core can be shown graphically, so a graphical scale log sheet should also provide extra columns for recording digital data or for making verbal annotation, description or comment of the rock or structure. Data relating to the frequency of some structural feature (for example: number of fractures per metre or percent vein quartz per metre) can be shown as a down-hole histogram. If the core is oriented, individual structural measurements are recorded directly as strike and dip, as logging proceeds, onto a column of the form. If the core is not oriented, alpha angles can be shown graphically {analog

Figure 32 (opposite page). Example of a graphical scale geological Jog of core. Information is plotted according to a down-page scale. In the "Pictorial Log" column, structural information is shown as a down-hole map: in the "Graphic Log" column as a down-hole histogram. Measurements of structures are directly recorded in the "Comments" column as dip and dip direction (or trend and plunge) as the hole is logged. Use of colour in such logs greatly enhances information content

56

Recording Structural Observations

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57

AIG Handbook 5~Structural Logging of Drill Core

recording) in the mapping column, but can also be recorded digitally in a separate column. Important details of structures or structural relationships that are too small to be shown on the graphical core map, can be sketched into an unspecified, or "Comments" column.

Graphical-scale core log forms, with several mapping columns along with extra columns for recording digital data, sketches; verbal comment etc. can be as varied as the number of prospects that are being drilled. However, the important feature about all such logs is that they assemble many different types of geological observation on one form according to a single down-hole scale. All important relationships, but especially spatial relationships, can thus be seen at a glance.

Graphical scale logs such as described above are a powerful tool in helping to understand geology and correlate structures between holes. However, there is no doubt that such logs such are slow, even tedious, to prepare, and they are unsuitable for the intense drilling programs of more advanced prospect exploration. Once an understanding of the geology of a prospect has been gained (this may be after the first 1-2 holes or after the first 10 - 20 holes, depending on the complexity of the geology and the quality of the initial geological input), a simplified, more focussed and objective, logging process is appropriate.

Analytical Spreadsheet Logging

For advanced prospect drilling the logging requirements are for consistent and quick recording of a small but well-defined number of geological parameters in a manner that is suitable for direct computer entry. The descriptors selected are those which most-effectively define the are body and the mining environment, and are capable of objective and concise recognition and measurement. The ideal log form for an advanced project consists of a simple spreadsheet, where the columns are labelled for pre-defined descriptors and the rows for down-hole depth intervals. Within each descriptive category, entries are either numbers or symbols selected from a predetermined and codified range or scale. Logging systems of this sort are best described as Analytical

58

Recording Structural Observations

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: 'i'H'.IIt-,II.~d 1()~lSI~' (Marjoribanks, 1997). An example of such a log I'. '.hllwll III ~ l\jure 33.

(III ~,pll;;Hlsheet log forms, structural observations are usually rou II dnd by d symbol for the nature of the structure (for example SO, V, l . de) combined with a column(s) where the measured internal (()rl~ .I11Ulps for the structure (alpha, beta) are recorded".

: ;prl~<Jdslleet logs can be filled in manually, but they are also readily ~,d 11p ill a portable computer and the entries made by swiping in a 11I1lllhcr or symbol selected from a printed table with a barcode rcadm

Most analytical spreadsheet log forms will also provide an unstructured "Comments" column, where verbal annotation, ql1<lllilcation or comment about the structure can be added.

Discussion

An.ilvtica: spread sheet logging is appropriate where it is possible to d.!fllle, ill advance of drilling, a limited number of categories of Iw(}loQlcal observation, and the range of descriptive words, symbols r ir numbers which will be used in that description. A form of this kind I:, therefore typically used where there is a reasonable pre-existing knowledqe of the geology and mineralisation of the prospect. The knowledqe is usually gained as a result of using a less-restrictive IlIqqillg method in the early stages of prospect drilling .

I II tl(;gln logging diamond drill holes in a new and little-known terrain 1J<;I1I1j an analytical spread sheet type of log (particularly one d, ~vHloped for another unrelated prospect) could set back 1111{ jpr standing the prospect. At best, this might cost several uunocessary holes: at worst, an are body could be missed. The .urthor strongly believes that a graphical-scale based logging muthouoloqy is best for logging the early holes into unknown

1!1 I\nalysis IS the process of breaking a complex whole into simpler con.·;/I/llunt parts

I" I wl/wr discussion on the use of symbols for structural logging in spread''/wd formals can be found in Veamcombe & s/eemcombe. 1998.

1,',·, ",,1111'1 SlwctlJral Observations

59

AIG Handbook 5-Structural Logging of Drill Core

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Recording Structural Observations

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'iUIJl4I JJ (opposite page) An example of an Analytical Spread ',Ir"'" ·.IVI,' III ~W[)I()yical logging. The columns are allocated to a t u u : 1/" 'I "I I'/ L' dotenuined descriptive categories. The rows define dow" lilli" (/i'IJ(!J::;. Observations are recorded using a numerical or "/1'/1.1/111/11.11 coii«, This type of form facilitates objective, repeatable ''''IIliTlll .u u! IS suitable for direct computer entry of data. Recomr fill 11'/." l tc» nitvenced exploration projects and established ore bod-

1/1 "

PIIJ',p(,ds On the other hand, to continue using graphical logging Inl,) Iflt! advanced stage of prospect drilling where typically large IHJllllH~IS of drill holes and geologists are involved, leads to time W.r~,llIliJ and confusion.

I~'J( (I/!illll/ Structuret Observations

61

(

AIG Handbook 5-Strucrurallogging of Drill Core

9. How to Use a Stereonet to Convert Internal Core Angles Into Geographical Coordinates

The Solution for Planar Structures

The Theory

The stereonet procedure is based on the fact that the Core Axis (CA), the pole (P) to the planar structure being measured, and the long axis of the intersection ellipse (E - EI ) all lie on a single great circle of the stereonet. The line CA has a known orientation. The orientation of E - EI can be easily established by making use of the beta angle. With CA and E - EI plotted, there is sufficient data to define on the stereonet the plane (a great circle) that contains them. Once the great circle is defined, the unknown point P can be fixed because it lies on the great circle at an angle of 90-a from CA, in a direction from CA towards E' (see Figure 25).

Don~ Panic!

If the reader is not familiar with stereonets 18 the above summary of the theory may be hard to follow. But don't worry; it is not necessary to understand the theory - the step-by-step process for obtaining geographic coordinates from alpha/beta measurements is quite simple. After a few determinations have been made, the procedure becomes routine and, for anyone set of measurements, takes less than a minute to do. In fact, the procedure is considerably easier to carry out than the large number of words and diagrams necessary to explain it might suggest.

Here is how it is done (refer to Figure 39):

Step 1

Mark a point on the net overlay to represent the azimuth and inclination of the drill hole at the depth at which the measurements were taken. Label this point CA. It will only have to be plotted once for all structures measured within that particular surveyed section of the hole.

18 Details on the use of stereonets will be found in standard structural geology texts such as Hobbs at st., 1976, or in a specialist texts such as Phillips, 1960 or Leyshon & Lisle, 1996.

68

Converting Internal Core Angles to Geographical Coordinates

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(,,!lIvurllfl(linlernai Core Angles to Geographical Coordinates

AIG Handbook 5~StructuraJ Logging of Drill Core

Identify the two principal reference planes of the core on the stereonet. These are:

1. The vertical plane passing through the core axis. On the net, this is the straight line that passes through point CA and the centre of the net.

2. The circumference plane (the plane normal to the core axis).

On the net this is the great-circle girdle at 900 to CA.

Locate the point where these two reference planes meet. This is point BOH and the point from which angle beta will be measured.

Initially, it will be helpful to trace the reference planes, and mark point BOH, onto the net overlay. However, with practise these steps wilt be found unnecessary.

Measure the angle beta around the great circle representing the circumference plane. Make the measurement in a clockwise direction from the BOH point. If you reach the net circumference (~= 900) continue to count off the degrees above 900, from the diametrically opposite point of the net. The point reached is marked on to the overlay.

If the beta angle lies between 00 and 890, or between 271 ° and 360°, then the point marked on to the net is E. If beta lies between 91° and 2690, then point E' is plotted on the net. In the special case where beta is exactly 900 or 2700 then both E and E' will plot on the net, at diametrically opposite points of its circumference.

Step 4

By rotating the overlay over the stereonet, locate the great circle that contains the labelled points CA and E (or E'). Only one great circle will be found which passes through the two points. Trace this circle onto the overlay.

Step 5

Measure the angle 90-a by counting off degrees along the great circle marked on to the overlay at step 4. Begin the measurement from the point CA in the direction away from point E.

70

Convening Internal Core Angles to Geographical Coordinates

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II I" '1111 i ' 1.l111!·1 tildll E appears on the net this means that the angle 'Ii' ., 11111'.1 lit' "lulled from point CA towards the point E'. If both E .Illd I ' .Ippi ~.Ir Oil the net, then either construction will do.

(ill, ,. III!' IlI~W point IS located, mark and label it "P ". P is the pole to II j(' ""'1111,11 pl,Hlar structure measured in the core.

I I Ilil I pomt p. read off the orientation of the structure in whatever 1()1I1I.r1 I~, dl)s,red. for example as strike and dip, dip and dip direction 'JI oIl'PdH)llt dip on drill section.

Stcrconet Solution for Lineations

II Ii ~ ~;tcp by-step procedure for determining the trend and plunge of .. pCIH~lr<ltive lineation is the same as that for a plane as far as Step .loIhllVI) ln Step 3, the measured delta angle (0) is used to plot the 1)( Jilli I 01 TI in much the same way as the point E or E' was located Illi d ITII)ClSUred plane using beta.

I lOin II1IS point proceed as follows (refer to Figure 40):

I\y rotatinq the overlay over the stereonet, locate the great circle 'IlIdll~ which contains the labelled points CA and T (or TI) Only one ,,1<)<11 circle will be found which passes through these points - this Iqlll)sents the plane containing the core axis and the lineation.

MCdSLJrC the angle gamma (y) by counting off the degrees along the '111)<11 errcle plotted on to the overlay at step 4. Begin from CA and 111l)ilSLJre the angle towards point T. If rl rather than T is on the net, IIll)d~>IJre gamma from CA in the direction away from r'. If both T and II ilppear on the net, then either construction will do.

(lllc() the new point is located, mark and label it L. L is the plot of the IllIt:dtiofl measured in the core. The trend and plunge can now be ).lfllply read from the stereonet

All alternative method of determining the lineation can be used will ~r() the orientation of the surface containing the lineation has also

('''IIVilrlllliJ IlIlurnal Core Angles to Geographical Coordinates

71

AIG Handbook 5-Structurallogging of Drill Core

72

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Converting Internal Core Angles to Geographical Coordmates

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:,illJLtUlul Logging of Drill Core

In'"" 11,01"",,,,,,,,1 I", I'xdlllple, where a lineation is exposed on the .llillI' I' ,01 "1'1.,,,,, "'DIIlI which the core has been broken, the plane I lUI lut '"1101'"'''''' tlY Its u and fi angles, and the lineation by its I:) IIIIIUIII 11111',11 11111'" .11 '<l'es are sufficient to define both structures, To Ilnhllllllllll III" 'II" )(lr aphic coordinates, proceed as follows (Figure 411 II)

:';((11.' 1

"Inl tlu, 1'01., I" lilt: pia 118 on the stereonet as described above,

~(IJI) "

1'111.11 1110 'lit !ill r.ucle representing the plane onto the net. ~/tI/.'l

11'." ,111'11,' ,J 10 plot point T (or T') as described above

I r u .11,' IIII! qrcat-circle girdle containing T (or T')

I II," . .rt IIII~ Intersection of the two great circle girdles,

I ,'/IV, .111"'1 Ifllemal Core Angles to Geographical Coordinates

73

AIG Handbook 5-Structurallogging of Drill Core

References

Annels A.E. 1991: Mineral deposit evaluation: A practical approach. Chapman & Hall.

Annels A.E. & Hellewell E.G. 1987: The orientation of bedding, veins and joints in core - a new method and case history. International Journal of Mining and Geological Engineering. 5(3), pp 307-320.

Berkman DA 1976: Field geologists' manual. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Monograph 9, 295 p.

Bucher W. H. 1943: Dip and strike for three not parallel drill holes lacking key beds. Economic Geology, vol 38, pp 648-657.

Cloos E. 1946: Lineation, a critical review and annotated bibliography. Mem. Geol. Soc. Am., 18, pp 1-122

Cumming J.D. & Wicklund A.P. 1985: Diamond drill handbook. Smit & Sons, 541p, 3rd ed.

Goodman R. E. 1976: Methods in geological engineering in

discontinuous rocks. St Paul, Minn. West, 472 pages.

Goodman R .E. 1980: Introduction to rock mechanics. Wiley, 478 pages.

Hartley, J.S. 1994: Drilling - Tools and program management. AA. Balkeema, 150 p.

Hoeks E. & Diederichs M. 1989: Dips, Version 2.0 Users

Manual - Advanced Version. 117 pages.

Hobbs, B. E., Means, W. D. & Williams, P. F. 1976: An outline of structural geology. Wiley, 571 p.

Laing W. P. 1977: Structural Interpretation of drill core from folded and cleaved rocks. Economic Geology 72, pp 671-685

Laing W.P. 1989: Core Orienting Kit: description and instructions. James Cook University. (Unpublished).

Laing W.P. 1991: Structural Geology in Exploration and Mining. Workshop Notes. (Unpublished).

Laing W. P. 2000: Structural analysis of drill core. Cambridge University Press (in press).

74

Converting Intemal Core Angles to Geographical Coordinates


, r
.. ~
.. ~
II'
.. ~
..
.. ~
• ~
..
~ ~
~
~ r
.. ••
~ !.
~ !.
... !.
... !.
~ !.
• !.
f. !.
~ !.
... !.
, !.
t !.
I I· II· I ,It 0< "'~:' Structural Logging of Drill Core

I lIy .. llulI I' I{ s Lisle RJ., 1996: Stereographic projection tUl 1111111110', III ·,lflll.llnal geology. Heinemann (paperback and CD).

M1I'lIhl .1 . I )C)yll~ M. & Allen, R., 1993: Volcanic Textures. Centre for (1/" {)01'''',11 .u u] Fxploration Studies, University of Tasmania, 196 p .

MU"ollh,IIIIo.:. 1\ W. 1995: Geological Methods in Mineral Exploration lind MlillflCj lI/JpllhlJslJed manuscript .

MWIIlIlh.lllb, I~ W 1997: Geological Methods in mineral exploration ru ul mu nr n] Chapman & Half, 115 pages.

MOdd W .1 1921: Determination of the attitude of concealed h .. cldlll'l 111I11Idllom; by diamond drilling. Economic Geology, vol. 21, ppl/.11

I ' .. ·.It'III, IIHIIS 1854: Address given on the inauguration of the loll lilly (II SCience, University of Lille. (Translation by Oxford I lit 11(111, II Y of Ouotations, 3rd ed. 1979.)

1'1111111'" I c: 1%0: Siereographic projection in structural geology . I .tw.iu! iI'II0hl, 86p.

1'llIlIptdly 1\ ,Wolff J.E. & Dale T.N. 1894: Geology of the Green M"III d.IIII~. IISGS Memoir 23, 157p.

I~,', 'I Im.m .11 L 1979: Techniques in mineral exploration. Applied '. u rt n«: /'I//)/ishers, 533p.

I~"xllllill I Fl61. A new core orientation device. Economic Geology v',t,. PP 1:l1O ·1313.

\/, '.III It 1111 II H) J. & Vearncombe S. 1998: Structural data from drill ""I' hi More meaningful data in the mining industry. AIG Bulletin .'.', PI' hI HI.

WrI',1111 (; 1961: The tectonic significance of small scale structures .n u l 11)(:11 III I po rtan ce to the geologist in the field. Soc. geol. Belgique ilnn.l/w; vH4, pp 423-548.

IIIIHIIl:1 I'W 1963: Orientation of small diameter core. Economic t ;,,"luI/Y, v~H, pp 1313-1325,

75

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