Most existing techniques for potential field data enhancement and interpretation require data on a horizontal plane. Hence, when observations are made on an irregular surface, reduction to a horizontal plane is necessary. To effect this reduction, an equivalent source distribution that models the observed field is computed on a mirror image of the observation surface. This irregular mirror image surface is then replaced by a horizontal plane and the effect of the equivalent sources is computed on the required horizontal level. This calculated field approximates the field reduced to a horizontal plane.The good quality of this approximation is demonstrated by two-dimensional synthetic data examples in which the maximum errors occur in areas of steep topographic gradients and increased magnetic field intensity. The approach is also applied to a portion of a helicopter-borne aeromagnetic survey from the Gaspe region in Quebec, Canada, where the results are a horizontal shifting of anomaly maxima of up to 150 m and changes in anomaly amplitudes of up to 100 nT.

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