Geophysicists have long been able to use detailed maps of the earth's magnetic field to extract geologic information such as the depth to basement in sedimentary basins. Other features that can be identified from aeromagnetic data are the locations of possible salt dome structures, kimberlites, faulting, and zones of mineralization.

The magnetic data for large-scale surveys are usually collected by high-sensitivity magnetometers, such as optically pumped cesium or helium vapor magnetometers. The magnetometers are carried by either fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft in a “stinger” or in a “towed bird” configuration. Collecting these data is a very time consuming and expensive...

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