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Muon detection as geophysical prospecting method: a barite ore modeling

F. Coren, E. Caffau and S. Spagnul


In 1995 a joint INFN-OGS experiment named ╬╝GA successfully applied the muon detection method to geophysical prospecting. Taking into account the results of this experiment, we model the possible applications and limits of this method in a real case constituted by a schematic barite ore deposit embedded in a sandstone matrix. A muon detector similar to that used in the 1995 experiment was simulated at the bottom of the ore (100 m depth) and the received muon flux modeled. The expected muon flux was spread according to a Poisson distribution in order to simulate a real measurement. The simulated acquisition provided the input data for the solution of the inverse problem. The target of the modelling was to reconstruct the density distribution of the rock volume as seen by the muon detector in its surroundings. This enables us to outline capabilities and limits of such a method in imaging the barite ore and at the same time its geophysical prospecting potential. Modelling results indicate that the method can be positively addressed to a real case.