Papers & Publications

Muography: Exploring Earth’s Subsurface with Elementary Particles

This textbook, published by The American Geophysical Union (AGU), explores the application of this imaging technique in the geosciences and how it can complement conventional geophysical observations. Chapter 16 —Muon Tomography for Underground Resources — was written by Ideonians and presents an overview of the relevant physics underlying muon geotomography, and case studies in mineral exploration within North America and Australia that demonstrate its efficacy for underground resource applications.

On the detectability of density change in steam-assisted gravity drainage reservoirs using muon tomography

The Leading Edge, published by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), introduces new geophysical theory, instrumentation, and established practices to scientists in a wide range of geoscience disciplines. This paper, co-authored by Ideon scientists, shows how muon tomography is applicable to monitor SAGD reservoirs across realistic reservoir depth ranges of several hundred meters and may provide a marked improvement in spatial resolution in detecting density changes. Applying muon tomography in this way can reduce monitoring costs and reduce overall environmental impact.

Cosmic-ray muon tomography

This issue reports the findings of a Royal Society Theo Murphy meeting on cosmic-ray muography with contributions from the leading research groups and commercial companies in the field. Cosmic-ray muography is one of the fastest growing fields in applied physics research. Ideon CTO Doug Schouten’s article addresses how muon attenuation in matter can be used to infer the average material density along the path length of muons underground. By mapping the intensity of cosmic ray muons with an underground sensor, a radiographic image of the overburden above the sensor can be derived. Multiple such images can be combined to reconstruct a three-dimensional density model of the subsurface. The article summarizes selected case studies in applying muon tomography to mineral exploration.

Muon Tomography Applied to a Dense Uranium Deposit at the McArthur River Mine

This article in The Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, published by The American Geophysical Union (AGU), reports on the application of muon tomography for imaging dense uranium deposits within the Athabasca Basin in Canada, including a qualitative assessment of the radiographic imaging and 3-D density inversion of a uranium deposit using muon tomography. The authors, including Ideon team members, demonstrate the validity of muon tomographic imaging with data acquired at a depth of about 600 m underground.

Muon Geotomography: A Novel, Field-Proven 3D Density Imaging Technique for Mineral Exploration and Resource Monitoring

The RECORDER is an online magazine published throughout the year by the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG), and includes articles from all areas of applied geophysics and the disciplines that impact it. This article, written by Ideon CTO Doug Schouten, is a review on muon geotomography as a novel density measurement technique based on the absorption of cosmic ray muons in the ground. By measuring the flux through muon sensors situated underground, the average density in the overburden above the sensors can be determined.