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Funded Projects / details

Cofinanciado por:

FCT 
República Portuguesa 

Project
Muography as a new tool for geophysics

Code EXPL/FIS-OUT/1185/2021

Beneficiary Entity

LIP - Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas


Project summary

Muography is an imaging technique that uses natural cosmic muon radiation, produced at high rate by cosmic rays impinging on the Earth atmosphere. Muons can transverse large depths, the flux attenuated  is measured in cross integrated depths of the order order of kg/cm². They are thus powerful probes for imaging large structures. The use of muography has seen a substantial development in the last years. Our team joins different expertise in particle detectors and cosmic ray analysis from LIP, and long tradition in geophysical surveys and analysis from ICT-UÉvora. With a strong support from the Lousal Science  Centre, which will house the final tests in our project. Our goal is to establish the use of RPC-based muography for Earth subsurface surveys. In this exploratory project we will benchmark it in an accessible but realistic setting. It will significantly boost the preparation of the instrument and methods for future use in a number of applications on subsurface geophysics. There are three fundamental pieces for this project: 1) the instrument - which already exists but will be full characterized and optimized in the laboratory; 2) the analysis methods - which are being developed  together between particle physicists and geophysicists; 3) the test site, at Lousal - which needs to be well characterized with independent geophysical techniques, to provide a reference for the first subsurface muographic survey by the team. At the end of the exploratory project, we will have a better knowledge of the geology of Lousal and a direct assessment of the potential of muography for subsurface geophysics. Both the instrument and the  methods will be ready for larger scale projects. Our instrument, the muographer, is a muon telescope composed of four planes of one square meter Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs) operating with low gas flux, readout by low-power front-end-electronics.  They were developed by the LIP team for application in large open air cosmic ray observatories, where the detector needs to have high autonomy and reliability as for geophysical application. The muographer is now operating in the LIP detector laboratory. The data acquired there will be used for characterization of the instrument, guiding future upgrades, and to optimize image reconstruction  methods. Testing the full muography machinery in the controlled environment of a building is a first step, before the challenging move to Lousal. Integrating particle physics and geophysics techniques is key in this project. Using particle physics tools we will create a full simulation chain which can include all the details of muon propagation over a  detailed geophysical model. Conversely, we will make the geophysical model inversion starting from the typical coordinate system of muography, which better accounts for the particle physics aspects. At Lousal there is an underground gallery providing a diversity of well-controlled geological structures to analyse at the meter scale. The local setting includes Paleozoic age sedimentary and volcanic rocks and the regional Corona fault. We will first construct a detailed model from existing large scale information and specific local knowledge gathered during the project, with surveying methods independent of  muography. It will be used to guide our muographic survey, configuring different scenarios for observation. The first 2D muographs will be confronted with the one expected from the full simulation, including all the available density information. The full geophysical analysis will be done using only other constraints, in  order to independently obtain the 3D density mapping from the muographic data. We aim at identifying independently the geological structures we already know about, providing an end-to-end test of muography. The muographic data will then be used to increase the precision of the density  mapping at Lousal, in a first real case application. These results will pave the road for future scientific projects and also industrial applications. The test in an underground gallery opened to the public mimics the usage of muography in an operating mine, for  example to prevent accidental explosions from inadverted perforation of gas pockets in salt explorations. This and other uses will become possible by the experience in the use of the instrument and methods  gained in this project.


Support under

Reforçar a investigação, o desenvolvimento tecnológico e a inovação

Region of Intervention

...

 

Funding

Total eligible cost

€ 49203


EU financial support

€ 0.00


National public financial support

€ 49.203¤ (OE)

 

Dates

Approval

2021-10-15


Start

2021-10-15


End

2023-04-14

 

Acknowledgements

Versão Extensa: Este trabalho é financiado por fundos nacionais através da FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., no âmbito do projeto EXPL/FIS-OUT/1185/2021

Versão Resumida: OE,FCT-Portugal, EXPL/FIS-OUT/1185/2021



Publications


Muografia e a sua primeira aplicação em Portugal, na Mina do LousalArticle in national journalpublished
Muography applied in Underground Geological Surveys: ongoing work at the Lousal Mine (Iberian Pyrite Belt, Portugal)International Conference Proceedingssubmitted
Muography for Underground Geological Surveys: Ongoing Application at the Lousal Mine (Iberian Pyrite Belt, Portugal) International Conference Proceedingspublished
Muography in the University and in the Museum International Conference Proceedingspublished
Muon tomography with Resistive Plate Chambers for geological characterizationInternational Conference Proceedingspublished
Resistive Plate Chambers in Muography Book/Chapterpublished

Presentations


Muography for Underground Geological Surveys: ongoing application at the Lousal Mine (Portugal) Oral presentation in international conference
Muography in the university and in the museum Oral presentation in international conference
Muography: Simulation of Muon Telescope SensitivityStudent presentation in advanced training event
Outdoor systems performance and upgrade Oral presentation in international conference
A Física da Muografia aliada à Geofísica do LousalOutreach seminar
Advancements in the LouMu Project – Muography for Geological SurveysPresentation in national conference
Avanços no Projeto LouMu – Muografia para Levantamentos GeofísicosPresentation in national conference
Calibração de detetores RPC para muografiaStudent presentation in advanced training event
Cosmic Rays OutreachStudent presentation in advanced training event
LouMu e os detetores de partículasOutreach seminar
Muões Cósmicos na MinaOutreach seminar
Muões Cósmicos na MinaOutreach seminar
Muões Cósmicos na MinaOutreach seminar
Muografia - Raios Cósmicos para análise de estruturas geológicasPoster presentation in national or international meeting
Muografia de um edifícioStudent presentation in advanced training event
Muografia e o Projeto LouMuOutreach seminar
Muografia e o Projeto LouMuOutreach seminar
Muografia e o Projeto LouMuOutreach seminar
Muografia para Reconhecimento Geológico: aplicação em curso na Mina do Lousal (Faixa Piritosa Ibérica, Portugal)Oral presentation in national or international meeting
Muography and the LouMu projectSeminar
Muography and the LouMu projectOral presentation in national or international meeting
Muography and the LouMu projectSeminar
Muography and the Project LouMuSeminar
Muography applied in Underground Geological Surveys: ongoing work at the Lousal Mine (Iberian Pyrite Belt, Portugal)Oral presentation in international conference
Muography for Underground Geological Surveys: ongoing application at the Lousal Mine (Portugal)Student presentation in advanced training event
Muography of a buildingPoster presentation in national or international meeting
Muography of a water-Cherenkov detector of the Pierre Auger ObservatoryStudent presentation in advanced training event
Muon TomographyOral presentation in national or international meeting
Muon tomography at LIPOral presentation in national or international meeting
Muon Tomography for Underground Geological Surveys: ongoing application at the Lousal Mine (Portugal)Student presentation in advanced training event
Muon tomography from Coimbra to LousalStudent presentation in advanced training event
Muon Tomography Seminar – From Cosmic Rays to the Lousal MineSeminar
Muon tomography with resistive plate chambers for geological characterizationOral presentation in international conference
Projeto LouMu – Muografia no LousalOral presentation in national or international meeting
Simulação da sensibilidade do telescópio de muões e optimização da muografiaStudent presentation in advanced training event
Tomografia de Muões na Mina do Lousal (Muões Cósmicos aplicados em Prospeção Geofísica)Oral presentation in national or international meeting

Theses


Development of high-resolution, three-dimensional muographies
Raios Cósmicos: desenvolvimento de módulos de divulgação através design participativo
Tomografia de Muões com RPCs na Mina do Lousal

Team


Alberto Blanco Castro
André Miguel Narciso Morais
Bento António Fialho Caeiro Caldeira
Bernardo António Neto Gomes Baptista Tomé
Isabel Maria Jaló Alexandre
João Costa
João Pedro de Carvalho Saraiva
João Xavier Matos
José Fernando Borges
Lorenzo Cazon Boado
Luís Alberto Vieira Lopes
Luís Filipe Pereira Franco Afonso
Magda Mendes Duarte
Marco Gui Alves Pinto
Mário João Martins Pimenta
Mourad Bezzeghoud
Paolo Dobrilla
Pedro Jorge dos Santos de Assis
Pedro Manuel Machado Teixeira
Raul Cambraia Lopes Sarmento Pereira
Rui Jorge Braga de Oliveira
Sofia Andringa Dias
Vanessa Pais
Yanhan Zhou