Abstract

Aeromagnetic anomalies encountered in three areas, two in the western United States and one in Central America, are shown to arise from magnetic sedimentary formations. These examples are selected from a larger number of similar areas surveyed by Applied Geophysics, Inc. in various places in the U.S. Midcontinent and Rocky Mountain regions. The first area discussed is the northwest corner of Nebraska where the Miocene Arikaree formation, comprised of magnetic airfall and windblown tuffs, causes anomalies in areas of incised topography. The second area is located in south central Utah, where the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits sandstones contain detrital magnetite that causes large anomalies in tilted structures and over incised topography. The third area treated covers over half of southern Belize in Central America, including much of the offshore portion. Here, the Toledo formation of Paleocene-Eocene age contains a thick section of clastic detritus rich in lithic grains of volcanic rocks that produce magnetic highs over thrusted and folded anticlinal axes. These three examples of magnetic anomalies due to syngenetic magnetite in widely scattered areas and from different types of source materials bring into question the assumption of so-called 'diagenetic magnetite' (or other magnetic minerals) as a cause of magnetic anomalies in other petroleum basins. It is necessary in all cases to determine the magnetic source from surface or subsurface geology, as was done here, rather than making assumptions strictly from magnetic profiles or mathematical models.

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