Muon Tomography applied to geological structures
IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2019
2019 / 2020
Universidade de Évora
Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas
Muons are deeply penetrating particles which are naturally present at the Earth's surface, as a consequence of the interaction of cosmic rays with the atmosphere. By measuring the attenuation of the open air flux through different directions, they can be used to radiograph, or better said, muograph the interior of large volumes of material like geological structures, volcanoes, mines or archaeological sites. Muon Tomography is a direct application born from particle and astroparticle physics, and it is rapidly growing towards civil engineering applications, geotechnics, geophysics, monitoring of materials, and homeland security. This thesis project is about exploring the capabilities of Muon Tomography for geological applications from the interior of a well surveyed mine. Muographies are obtained by comparing the flux of the atmospheric cosmic ray muons with those attenuated by the passage of the large structure arriving from different directions. The student will collaborate in designing, building, operating and analysing the data of a muon telescope prototype, based on Resistive Plate Chambers (RPCs), to be installed in the Lousal mine at Alentejo. In order to control the results of the Muon Tomography, the student will participate in the production of a high-definition three-dimensional geophysical model of the mine structures. Is a model made from the crossing of Georradar, Seismic and Gravimetric data, obtained from a geophysical campaign specially prepared for this purpose. The sensitivity of to find cavities, mineral deposits, aquifers, bedrock or fragmented rock and humid or dry soil which are important in geotechnics and mining applications will be tested. The results will be used to develop a solution to get insight on the volcanic activity in the Azores islands.
January 01, 2020