New mapping technology to discover Earth’s resources


Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

For years, scientists have tried to understand the structure of the Earth. One such scientist is University of Twente geophysicist Dr. Juan Carlos Afonso (ITC College). He has recently developed a new method for analyzing the Earth’s continental crust that lays the groundwork for predictions of geothermal sources, as well as other vital resources of the Earth and other planets. Published his research in a scientific journal natural earth sciences.

To reduce the impact of natural hazards and support the transition to green energy technologies, it is necessary to understand how the continental lithosphere – the outer part of the Earth – and to predict the location of geothermal energy and mineral resources. Typically, Earth scientists look at one side of EarthPeel at a time using a specific data sets. But it’s the chemical composition of the crust and slight temperature differences that inform geologists about the origin and evolution of the planet and the location of the resources beneath our feet. However, combining multiple datasets for this purpose remains a major challenge.

In his research, Afonso was able to formally combine several satellite data Groups with terrestrial datasets to see more in the ground than was previously possible. “It’s a whole new way” to see “what’s below,” Afonso says. Previously, the only reliable method for prospecting for deep resources was to analyze rock samples brought to the surface by volcanoes (known as “xenoliths”). “When you rely on volcanoes, you can imagine that it’s hard to get such samples. They are scattered in space and time and still have a lot of uncertainty,” Afonso explains.

The research team focused on Central and Southern Africa. The Kalahari, Tanzanian and Congo bats – the ancient and stable parts of the two upper layers of the earth – have proven useful in the region. “Central and southern Africa is a natural laboratory that helps us answer basic questions about craton formation, and there are a lot of data sets on those xenoliths that are needed that helped us prove our method,” Afonso says.

“This study showed that our method of combining Earth and satellite data sets is working,” Afonso says. “We can now extend the search to areas where large inductions are not available.” According to the researchers, this approach adds to the development of next-generation planetary models and supports the development of cleaner technologies. It lays the foundation for innovative resource exploration frameworks for the Earth, as well as other terrestrial planets. “Maybe it could be Mars and/or the next moon.”

more information:
Juan C. Afonso et al., Thermochemical composition and evolution of the Crimson Lithosphere in Central and Southern Africa, natural earth sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41561-022-00929-y

Introduction of
University of Twente

the quote: New Mapping Technology for Discovering Earth’s Resources (2022, June 3) Retrieved on June 4, 2022 from

This document is subject to copyright. Notwithstanding any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.