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Magnetic Exploration Methods: 75th Anniversary: The historical development of the magnetic method in exploration

By
M. N. Nabighian
M. N. Nabighian
1Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Golden, Colorado 80401–1887. E-mail: mnabighi@mines.edu;ygli@mines.edu.
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V. J. S. Grauch
V. J. S. Grauch
2U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, Federal Center MS 964, Denver, Colorado 80225. E-mail: tien@usgs.gov;jeff@usgs.gov.
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R. O. Hansen
R. O. Hansen
3PRJ Inc., 12640 West Cedar Drive, Suite 100, Lakewood, Colorado 80228. E-mail: rohansen@prj.com.
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T. R. LaFehr
T. R. LaFehr
4Colorado School of Mines (retired), 1500 Illinois Street, Golden, Colorado 80401–1887. E-mail: lafehr@bresnan.net.
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Y. Li
Y. Li
1Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Golden, Colorado 80401–1887. E-mail: mnabighi@mines.edu;ygli@mines.edu.
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J. W. Peirce
J. W. Peirce
5GEDCO, 1200, 815-8th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3E2, Canada. E-mail: jwpeirce@gedco.com.
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J. D. Phillips
J. D. Phillips
2U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, Federal Center MS 964, Denver, Colorado 80225. E-mail: tien@usgs.gov;jeff@usgs.gov.
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M. E. Ruder
M. E. Ruder
6Wintermoon Geotechnologies, Inc., 280 Columbine Street, Suite 301, Denver, Colorado 80206. E-mail: meruder@wintermoon.com.
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The magnetic method, perhaps the oldest of geophysical exploration techniques, blossomed after the advent of airborne surveys in World War II. With improvements in instrumentation, navigation, and platform compensation, it is now possible to map the entire crustal section at a variety of scales, from strongly magnetic basement at regional scale to weakly magnetic sedimentary contacts at local scale. Methods of data filtering, display, and interpretation have also advanced, especially with the availability of low-cost, high-performance personal computers and color raster graphics. The magnetic method is the primary exploration tool in the search for minerals. In other arenas, the magnetic method has evolved from its sole use for mapping basement structure to include a wide range of new applications, such as locating intrasedimentary faults, defining subtle lithologic contacts, mapping salt domes in weakly magnetic sediments, and better defining targets through 3D inversion. These new applications have increased the method’s utility in all realms of exploration — in the search for minerals, oil and gas, geothermal resources, and groundwater, and for a variety of other purposes such as natural hazards assessment, mapping impact structures, and engineering and environmental studies.

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Contents

Geophysical References Series

Geophysics Today: A Survey of the Field as the Journal Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Sergey Fomel
Sergey Fomel
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
16
ISBN electronic:
9781560802273
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

GeoRef

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