Document Type : Research Paper
Faculty of Mining, Petroleum and Geophysics, Shahrood University of Technology, Shahrood, Iran
Lack of the existence of known mineral prospects in the preliminary stages of mineral exploration is the main problem of data-driven mineral potential modeling methods. On the other hand, applying the expert’s knowledge and judgment in different stages of mineral potential modeling, is the main difficulty of knowledge-driven mineral potential modeling methods. In addition, other difficulties in these methods can be mentioned such as determination of important variables, weighting to various classes of maps or information layers, and so on. Hence, the accuracy of the results of the knowledge-driven modeling methods is highly dependent on the amount of knowledge and experience of the expert. In this study, the principal component analysis (PCA) has been introduced as a knowledge-driven method with the least reliance on the expert’s knowledge for mineral potential modeling. In this method, the expert’s knowledge is only used in the interpretation of the results obtained from the modeling, and is not considered in the first stages of mineral potential modeling and definition of the conceptual model. In the introduced method, the interpretation of the results is conducted based on the positive and negative coefficients of variables in the eigenvalues table. Using these coefficients, it is determined that each principal component (PC) is associated with what type of mineralization. An advantage of this introduced method is to identify various types of mineralization in the area of interest using just one modeling effort. In order to evaluate the efficiency of this method, a region including two geological maps of Kadkan and Shamkan in the south of Neyshabur, northeast of Iran was selected. Two mineralization types including podiform chromite and epithermal gold-antimony mineralization types have been identified using the proposed method that presents more precise results than those of conventional univariate and multivariate geochemical studies.