University of Bucharest SEG Student Chapter - SGS Berlin & Potsdam Joint Field Camp 2008
In 2008, students from the University of Bucharest SEG Student Chapter (UB) coordinated a small-scale, geophysical field camp for fellow students from Bucharest and from the German SEG Student Chapter of the Student Geoscientific Society Berlin & Potsdam at Freie Universitaet Berlin (SGS). The project was a continuation of a previous cooperation with the Student Chapter of the Stanford University Geophysical Society and the intention to pass on the knowledge gained in the past. Two Romanian fellow students as well as one German student participated in a following joint field camp in 2009 which has been carried out in Germany.
In summer 2008, four students from Berlin traveled to Romania to participate with twelve UB fellow students the joint field camp supported by UB teaching assistants who provided mentorship during the implementation of the project. The field camp comprised several near-surface surveys at four Romanian mining waste deposits sites. By the measurements campaign’s end, the participants acquired comprehensive hands-on training as well as multiple data sets which have been processed in future theses. Overall, the joint field camp has been a successful approach for a SEG Student Chapters collaboration and it exposed many undergraduate to their first practical geophysics training.
The area where the field camp has been carried out is the Zlatna mining region where mining deposits as well as the pollution represent widespread problems. It is located in Alba County where former metalliferous minerals mining led to a certain prosperity before 1990. Not far from there, volcanic activities in the Apuseni Mountains occurred during the Neogene in the Badenian-Pliocene interval. The results of these geologic process were an extensive metallogenesis manifestation with hydrothermal genesis specificity and qualitative features like copper porphyries. For the field camp four different spots were selected to emphasize the similarities and differences of the investigation of the two main types of metalliferous dumps: exploitation and ore processing dumps.
Geoelectrics – The electric resistivity surveys were conducted by using an ABEM SAS 1000 resistivity meter. The vertical electrical sounding with a Schlumberger electrode configuration allowed a maximum penetration depth of 50 m. The objectives were to constrain the depth and geometry of the dump base and the elevation of the water table.
Ground-penetrating radar – The ground-penetrating radar surveys has been carried out by using a GSSI SIR – 2000 unit. The 200 MHz antenna allowed a penetration depth of about 10 m. The survey objectives were to delineate the dump geometry, especially its base, and to provide further complementary information on the surrounding geology.
Geomagnetics – The device to conduct the magnetic surveys was a proton precession magnetometer. The main survey objective was to map the distribution of iron oxides in the subsurface.
Seismics – The seismic surveys were implemented by using three Geometrics Geode with 72 geophones and a 10 kg hammer as seismic source. The objectives were to gather structural information about the dump and its contact with the natural bed.
The survey data were individually processed and jointly analyzed to achieve a better integrated and more interpretable result.
Due to the topographies, occasional technical difficulties or experiences of previous on-site measurements the combination of the geophysical methods varied from survey site to survey site. The results did so too. On the one site the GPR results were useless because of the high conductivity of the waste material and on the next site this application delivered good results such as the display of the boundary between waste material and the geological rock layers. These results were reinforced by the seismics surveys. Unfortunately, an experiment in which a seismics survey on a steep slope was tried to conduct failed. By applying a rectangular setting for the resistivity surveys in some spots the main orientation of the heterogeneity of the waste material was emphasized and the magnetics survey detected several spots with significant anomalies due to iron oxides in the subsurface.
- Iacob, C. et al. (2008): SEG Project of Special Merit Report: University of Bucharest and Freie Universitaet Berlin Field Camp.
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Personal experience written by a Field Camp participant