Prof. Pengda Zhao is one of the pioneers in the fields of mathematical geology and mineral exploration in China and an honorary member of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG). During the 29th International Geological Congress, held in Kyoto, Japan, in August 1992, Prof. Zhao was awarded the William Christian Krumbein Medal, the highest award bestowed by IAMG. He was the first recipient of the William Christian Krumbein Medal in Asia. He was accredited as the father of mathematical geology in China (Editorial Department of Mathematical Geology, 1993). Prof. Zhao has made and keeps on making key scientific contributions with new initiatives in the frontier of mathematical geosciences.
For decades of systematic research on digital geology, Prof. Zhao had published some representative and far-reaching papers. For example, in his paper of "On the mathematical characteristics of geological bodies" published in Earth Science (Zhao, 1982), three basic tasks of mathematical geology were firstly put forward: (1) figuring out the mathematical characteristics of geological bodies for establishing mathematical models of geological bodies; (2) studying the characteristics and interrelationships of relevant factors related to geological processes for establishing mathematical models of geological processes; and (3) developing the mathematical analysis and quantitative theory for establishing the mathematical models of geological working methods. The mathematical features of geological bodies, including geometric, statistical, spatial, temporal, and structural features were firstly elucidated, which were the foundation of three-dimensional visualization of orebodies. Subsequently, he put forward a framework of statistical prediction of mineral deposits with principles of similarity-analogy, differences and anomalies, and ore-forming factors in his paper of "The theory and practices of statistical prediction for mineral deposits" (Zhao et al., 1983). In his paper of "Theories, principles, and methods for the statistical prediction of mineral deposits" published in Mathematical Geology (Zhao, 1992), he further proposed and promoted the concept of geological published in Earth Science (Zhao and Chi, 1991), He defined anomaly for the statistical prediction of mineral deposits. In the paper of "A preliminary view on geological anomaly" the geological anomaly as a geological body or a combination of geological bodies with obvious differences from the surroundings in terms of texture, structure, or genetic sequence.
At the beginning of the new century, Prof. Zhao published a paper entitled "On diversity of mineralization and the spectrum of ore deposits" in Earth Science (Zhao et al., 2001). It was claimed that the metallogenic diversity was the fundamental manifestation of metallogenic events. It not only showed the diversity of ore bodies in genesis, morphology, scale, type, ore combination, favorable, and unfavorable factors, but also in deposits, ore fields, ore belts, metallogenic provinces, metallogenic domains, and metallogenic periods. The metallogenic diversity was controlled by the geological anomalies of ore sources in metallogenic substances, the migration of metallogenic substances controlled by the geological anomalies of ore-transporting channel, and the accumulation of ore controlled by the environmental geological anomalies. The changes after mineralization were controlled by the preservation of geological anomalies. Therefore, the specific characteristics of ore-forming diversity can be revealed by the study on geological anomaly. The ore deposit spectrum is closely related to the ore-forming diversity in time, space, and genesis, which plays an important key role in the evaluation and prediction of new types of mineral deposits. This paper provided a theoretical basis for the "Three-Component" (geoanomaly-mineralization, diversity-mineral, and deposit spectrum) quantitative mineral resources prediction and assessments. In "Quantitative mineral prediction and deep mineral exploration" published in Earth Science Frontiers (Zhao, 2007), he viewed that metallogenic prediction was the process of making optimal decision under uncertain conditions due to diversity of mineral deposit types, complexity of mineral deposits genesis, implicitness of ore-controlling factors, and multiple understanding of the prospecting information. This paper discussed the concept, type, target, and benefit of deep prospecting with emphasis on studying of deep crustal structure and economic considerations.
Recently Prof. Zhao has co-authored a book entitled "Ore-forming geodynamics background, process and quantitative evaluation of large-superlarge deposits" published by Geological Publishing House (Zhao et al., 2019). Prof. Zhao discussed the essential attributes of mineral deposits including multidisciplinary prospecting information in deep prospecting. He elucidated the characteristics of the "Three-Component" digital prospecting method including the concept of geological anomalies, the basic characteristics, and the relationship of geological anomalies with tectonic units at different scales. In his new paper in the current issue entitled "Digital geosciences and quantitative mineral exploration" (Zhao and Chen, 2021), Prof. Zhao reiterated the three basic elements of mineral exploration: what to find, where to find and how to find. The concepts, methods, and technology of mineral exploration evolve with the development of these three elements. In addition, he also discussed the concepts and associations of mathematical geology, digital geology and geological data science as well as application of digital geology in mineral exploration.
On the special occasion of celebration of Prof. Pengda Zhao's 90th birthday, the Journal of Earth Science publishes this special issue to express our appreciation and great respect to Prof. Zhao's long-term dedication to scientific study of mineral exploration and the outstanding contribution to the field of quantitative geosciences. This special issue contains 17 research papers and 1 report. The topics of these papers range from fundamental mathematical geoscientific studies to mineral exploration such as geochemical anomaly recognition, deeply seated prospecting information mining, and multiple prospecting information integration. Some of these topics reflect the state-of-the-art research of mathematical geosciences. We thank Prof. Xulong Lai, the editor-in-chief, for publishing this special issue in the Journal of Earth Science. Prof. Shuhua Wang and Ge Yao are thanked for handling and reviewing the submission of papers. We also give our sincere gratitude to all the authors for their contributions to this special issue, and the reviewers who did peer reviews and provided important and constructive comments and suggestions. The final publication is available at Springer via https: //doi.org/10.1007/s12583-021-1460-9.
Preface to the Special Issue on Digital Geosciences and Quantitative Exploration of Mineral Resources
- Received Date: 2021-03-11
- Accepted Date: 2021-03-20
- Publish Date: 2021-04-01
|Citation:||Qiuming Cheng, Yongqing Chen, Renguang Zuo. Preface to the Special Issue on Digital Geosciences and Quantitative Exploration of Mineral Resources. Journal of Earth Science, 2021, 32(2): 267-268. doi: 10.1007/s12583-021-1460-9|