Today we are highlighting our new, industry-led, research consortium focused on delivering software and methods that make the use of advanced geophysics a day-to-day, practical reality for industry.

“It’s a significant innovation in how industry can approach pre-competitive technology development,” says John McGaughey, President of Mira Geoscience. “Industry uptake of academic research tends to be slower than it should be because, even though university-industry partnerships exist, it is difficult for academics to focus on their essential function of research advancement and education while simultaneously providing industry with the robust software environment, documentation, and support required for day-to-day practical use.”

From 2012 to its completion in 2019, the University of British Columbia Geophysical Inversion Facility (UBC-GIF) ran a successful industry-sponsored R&D project to create GIFtools, providing an extensive system of user interfaces to set up, execute, and interpret the results of the advanced geophysical forward modelling and inversion codes developed at UBC-GIF.

"As a company, we are committed to interoperability, because the barriers to it imposed by proprietary software vendors serve neither the interests of technology advancement nor the customers who just need to get things done."

John McGaugheyPresident - Mira Geoscience

In the spirit of continuing the effort to make advanced geophysics accessible to everyday practitioners, Mira Geoscience created a commercially-supported version of GIFtools that could be run from Geoscience ANALYST. The resulting product is Geoscience ANALYST Pro Geophysics.

The purpose of the new consortium is to continue the work inspired by the GIFtools project, broadening the scope beyond UBC-GIF codes to include VP Geophysics Suite and codes developed by other researchers, including open source geophysical codes. VP codes are complementary to UBC-GIF codes, offering geological model parameterization with direct inversion for 3D geological contact geometry in addition to conventional grid parameterization. Substantial work is now being done by numerous researchers on open source geophysical code projects such as SIMPEG. We will evaluate relevant open source codes and, where useful, provide the ability to use them from the same interface, with the technical support, documentation, and training that will make them usable by industry as standard tools. This includes an API allowing Python codes to use the same robust 3D geoscience interface provided by Geoscience ANALYST, providing the capability of connecting open source codes as well as a general scripting environment. The consortium will deliver a platform that other researchers may use as a common set of tools for development of new methods so that the basics of data and model handling and visualization do not have to be re-invented. It will focus on interoperability with other software, including standard geological, geophysical, and geochemical interpretation software.

“As a company, we are committed to interoperability,” says John, “because the barriers to it imposed by proprietary software vendors serve neither the interests of technology advancement nor the customers who just need to get things done.”

The primary deliverable of the consortium is corporate licences to software, along with workshops, training, technical support, and annual meetings to share innovation. The founding members of the consortium are the major sponsors Anglo American, Barrick, Glencore, Rio Tinto, Teck, and Vale. The consortium now includes additional members including major sponsor Cameco and BHP.

For inquiries concerning the consortium or its primary software deliverable, Geoscience ANALYST Pro Geophysics, contact info@mirageoscience.com.

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