Abstract

A 40 nanoTesla (nT) magnetic anomaly identified in an aeromagnetic survey over southern Illinois contours as a localized magnetic high on the west flank of a regional magnetic low. This magnetic anomaly is generally coincident with the Omaha Oil Field in northwest Gallatin County, Illinois. It was initially assumed that cultural sources of steel associated with this oil field were the primary source of the magnetic feature; however, similar oil fields overflown by the survey do not exhibit magnetic anomalies in the data set. The Luther Rister et ux well, drilled near the apex of the Omaha structural dome, encountered two zones of ultramafic intrusive rock containing 9.0 percent by volume magnetite. These intrusives were identified to be alnoites which are a class of mantle-derived ultramafic rock that can be associated with the incipient stages of crustal rifting.A ground magnetic survey verified the presence of the anomaly, and provided detailed data for 3-D modeling of the source. Petrophysical evaluations, magnetic susceptibility measurements and thin section modal analysis were made on drill cuttings from the ultramafic intrusives encountered in the Luther Rister well. These measurements were made to constrain the 3-D magnetic modeling by the petrophysical characteristics of the source.After removal of the regional magnetic field, the resulting 140 nT residual magnetic anomaly was successfully modeled using two ultramafic sills with an igneous feeder plug. The two igneous sills adequately account for the structural closure exhibited in the Omaha Oil Field and raise the interesting possibility of other hydrocarbon trapping structures generated by intrusives emplaced into the sedimentary section.

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