Based on analyses of aeromagnetic data from known oil and gas fields in China, aeromagnetic anomalies have been classified according to their genesis into three types: (1) structure-associated anomalies related to volcanic rocks, (2) anomalies related to magnetic basement fault blocks, and (3) structure-associated anomalies related to weakly magnetic sedimentary strata.

The most successful applications of aeromagnetic data for locating favorable oil and gas structures are in the following kinds of areas: (1) areas where basement fault blocks of inhomogeneous lithology and magnetization are developed; (2) areas of weakly magnetic layered strata with a considerable thickness, either effusive or clastic deposits; and (3) areas where magnetic layers have undergone tectonic deformation with faulting and dip angles larger than 30 degrees. For reliable detection of such structures in sedimentary rocks and associated oil and gas traps, an integrated interpretation of geological and geophysical data is necessary.

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