Remote sensing assisted geological mapping of a salt diapir with geostatistical extrapolation to improve mine planning.

Remote sensing technologies such as LiDAR scanners and photogrammetry are now predominant tools in engineering and geosciences. The present project aims to apply color-enhanced topographical mapping for efficient modelling of complex geological structures within a salt diapir deposit. The project is for a thesis-based Master student in the department of Construction Engineering at ÉTS.

The project described here is to be carried in collaboration with industrial partner Windsor Salt Ltd. The overarching goal of this research project is to model the geology of an existing salt mine to help guide decision making steps in short and medium term mine planning. The MSC student will be tasked with mapping the observable geological structures along mined out tunnels. The student will have to investigate different remote sensing tools available and processing techniques to determine the optimal technology to use. The student will survey a topographical and color enhanced three-dimensional model of the excavations. Various indicators such as color and reflectivity will be analyzed to determine the optimal data set for mapping observable geological features and ore grade.

Geostatistical processing will be carried to extrapolate the collected information along future mining horizons. The three-dimensional model will be transferred to a geostatistical tool to generate a complete geological model. Parametric analysis of the geostatistical inputs will be carried to evaluate uncertainty associated with extrapolation carried on future planned mine levels. 

The student will be expected to spend several weeks onsite to collect the necessary data and implement research results on site CAD tools. This project is part of ongoing research and development initiatives lead by the Tunnel and Mines research group at ÉTS. In this context, the student will have to collaborate closely with other graduate students as part of a complementary group effort towards collective research.

Required knowledge

The candidate must be fluent in English (written, oral, and reading). Knowledge of AutoCAD or similar CAD software is an asset. Candidates should be expected to demonstrate strong capabilities in problem solving, critical thinking and autonomous decision making. Such skills are essential for research and development venues in mining environments.  

Desired program of studies

Masters with thesis

Research domains

Infrastructure and the Built Environment


  Research funding and internship opportunities will be made available to the student as part of the project.

Additional information

Partner involved : Windsor Salt Ltd. 

Starting : 2022 May - Summer 2022