Science Blog: MPM Online Tool – find ore deposits smartly with geodata

Vesa Nykänen, Research Professor
Maarit Middleton, Senior Scientist
Niina Ahtonen, Head of the Digital Products and Services Unit
Tero Niiranen, Senior Scientist
Juha Strengell, Systems Specialist
Janne Kallunki, Specialist Planner
Kimmo Korhonen, Geophysicist
Merja Janhila, Geologist
Ilkka Lahti, Geophysicist

Have you ever thought it would be cool to spot the best places for a deposit type of your interest in Lapland? Many people have, especially exploration managers in junior mining companies or anybody involved in mineral exploration. Lapland is one of the most active mineral exploration areas in Europe, not least because of the geodata provided by the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK). These data have been available to the mining industry and acted as key driver for exploration success for some decades already. Now, GTK has taken a further smart step by adding a new tool on the web at gtk.fi, namely the MPM Online Tool (http://gtkdata.gtk.fi/mpm/). To run this tool, you do not need to install any additional software onto your computer. All you need is a web browser with a decent screen size and an Internet connection, and you are good to go.

Try to be an exploration geologist for a day. Or even half a day. Integrate various types of exploration data into a mineral prospectivity model utilizing fuzzy logic geoprocessing functions with this easy-to-use graphical interphase, which outputs a regional-scale treasure map indicating the potential areas for desired commodities in a breeze. Or, if you represent academia, perhaps you would like to introduce the concept of mineral prospectivity mapping to your students with this tool. With no costs.

All this has been made possible by a project called Mineral Prospectivity Modeller – MPM (http://projects.gtk.fi/mpm/index.html), which total budget of 508,000 euros was 90% funded by Business Finland – European Regional Development Fund and 10% by the industry in 2016–2018. The input data for the MPM Online Tool are open source spatial geological, geophysical and geochemical data provided by GTK. The tool can be operated with any modern web browser (e.g. Chrome, IE, Firefox). The MPM Online input data and modelling tools are stored and outputs are run on GTK servers. At this stage, only GTK-provided data can be used in modelling.

Three types of input data are available for modelling and visualization in the MPM Online Tool. The most essential data package comprises the raster data sets used as inputs for the modelling. These are the above-mentioned open source geodatasets. In addition, this tool includes various background datasets by GTK and other sources for visualization purposes. These include basemaps, land tenure maps and mineral deposit data. The same data have been used in other web map services at GTK (http://gtkdata.gtk.fi/mdae/index.html).

Information for GIS geeks: We use ArcGIS for Server as a geoprocessing server and ESRI JavaSrcipt API to send data to the geoprocessing tools, which have been created by using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst functions (Fuzzy Overlay and Fuzzy Membership). In addition, we have implemented an in-house built receiver operating characteristics (ROC) validation tool, which can be used to measure the performance of a spatial predictive model. The CMV.io mapping framework is used to display various widgets and maps in the browser (https://cmv.io). The Model Builder canvas is implemented by using the MxGraph diagramming library (https://github.com/jgraph/mxgraph).

We consider this MPM Online Tool as a proof of concept by making geodata smarter and also as a showcase to promote the exploration potential of Lapland. We are inviting user feedback so that we can improve and develop the system to meet user demands. There is a link to a feedback form on the web page. Please be adventurous, explore Lapland and let us know how we succeeded in your opinion. You do not need to tell us your exploration findings, though.

Figure 1. MPM Online Tool (http://gtkdata.gtk.fi/mpm/).

Vesa Nykänen

Text: Vesa Nykänen

Dr Vesa Nykänen is a Research Professor in Geoinformatics, specializing in spatial data analysis, spatial data mining, and geological modeling. He has been at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) since 1998, using GIS as a tool for bedrock mapping and mineral exploration. He is currently focusing on the further utilization of GIS in geoscience applications, and is responsible for scientific and competence development in geoinformatics at GTK.

Maarit Middleton

Text: Maarit Middleton

Dr Maarit Middleton is a Senior Scientist at the Environmental Geology Unit of GTK, based in Rovaniemi. She is specialized in remote sensing, spatial analysis and biogeochemistry.

Niina Ahtonen

Text: Niina Ahtonen

Niina Ahtonen (M.Sc.) is the Head of the Digital Products and Services Unit at GTK. She has 14 years’ experience in the development of geological data management, data processes, enterprise architecture and GIS.

Tero Niiranen

Text: Tero Niiranen

Dr Tero Niiranen is a Senior Scientist in the Ore and Industrial Mineral Unit of GTK. His main interests are orogenic gold and IOCG deposits, 3D modelling and GIS-based prospectivity analysis. He has been working at GTK since 2008, based in Rovaniemi.

Juha Strengell

Text: Juha Strengell

Juha Strengell (M.Sc.) is a Systems Specialist at GTK. His main task is the development and maintenance of GIS solutions such as map services and interface services, including database designing, programming and implementation. He has been working at GTK since 2002.

Janne Kallunki

Text: Janne Kallunki

Janne Kallunki (M.Sc.) has been working as a software developer since he arrived in GTK in 2012. Janne is interested in geoprocessing, cloud computing and IoT. He has been busy designing and implementing GIS-related tools and services.

Kimmo Korhonen

Text: Kimmo Korhonen

Kimmo Korhonen (M.Sc. Tech.) is a geophysicist working at the Engineering Geology and Geoenergy Unit of GTK in the Espoo office. He is a Python enthusiast and uses Python on a regular basis to solve research problems.

Merja Janhila

Text: Merja Janhila

Merja Janhila (M.Sc.) is a geologist in Digital Products and Services at GTK. Her main task is the production of digital data and information services for internal and external customers. She has over 13 years’ experience of GIS and processing geological data at GTK. She uses ArcGIS and FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) for data processing and ArcGIS tools for map production.

Ilkka Lahti

Text: Ilkka Lahti

Ilkka Lahti (Ph.Lic) is a geophysicist in the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), Rovaniemi. He has 13 years experience on GTK’s projects and consultation projects for the mining industry. His work includes survey planning, processing and 3-D inversion of geophysical data. He is specialized in deep electromagnetic techniques such as magnetotellurics with emphasis on mineral exploration.