High resolution aeromagnetic surveys are excellent tools for mapping geological structures in a wide range of tectonic settings and geographical areas. The improved mapping capabilities of these surveys are achieved by advanced data acquisition techniques which include lower altitudes, tighter line spacing, and broad-band frequency retention followed by advanced data processing and display techniques; such as pseudo-depth slicing, microleveling, and the application of sophisticated image processing techniques.
Several examples, supported by both surface and subsurface controls, are being used to demonstrate the exploration application of these new magnetic surveys. These examples include:
- Detection of prospective structures above and below the detachment level of fold and thrust belts.
- Recognition of subtle fault systems and related fracture plays in relatively tight carbonate sections.
- Identification of topographic features in the basement that exerted significant control on the distribution of potential clastic reservoirs.
The closing remarks include a discussion on possible mechanisms that cause detectable magnetic signatures in the sedimentary section and different imaging and interpretation techniques used to enhance and constrain these signatures. Potential pitfalls in the interpretation of this new magnetic data, particularly those which are related to high frequency-surface noise, are also presented and methods to alleviate related false interpretations are illustrated.
About the Author(s)
Dr. Zeev Berger is a remote-sensing specialist with 15 years of exploration research experience with Exxon Production Research Co. in Houston and Imperial Oil Resources in Canada. He is presently the president of Image Interpretation Technologies Ltd. and Paz Energy Ltd. Berger is presently a principal investigator of the government funded RADARSAT evaluation project and an instructor of a graduate remote-sensing/exploration course at the University of Calgary.
Ron Sheldrake is a geophysicist with over 20 years of experience in data collection and interpretation of potential field data. He is presently the Vice President of marketing for World Geoscience.
Foon Der is a geologist with over 20 years of experience in exploration in Western Canada Basin. He is presently working as a senior consulting geologist for Image Interpretation Technology Ltd.