The magnetic method, perhaps the oldest of geophysical exploration techniques, blossomed after the advent of airborne surveys in World War II. With improvements in instrumentation, navigation, and platform compensation, it is now possible to map the entire crustal section at a variety of scales, from strongly magnetic basement at regional scale to weakly magnetic sedimentary contacts at local scale. Methods of data filtering, display, and interpretation have also advanced, especially with the availability of low-cost, high-performance personal computers and color raster graphics. The magnetic method is the primary exploration tool in the search for minerals. In other arenas, the magnetic method has evolved from its sole use for mapping basement structure to include a wide range of new applications, such as locating intrasedimentary faults, defining subtle lithologic contacts, mapping salt domes in weakly magnetic sediments, and better defining targets through 3D inversion. These new applications have increased the method's utility in all realms of exploration - in the search for minerals, oil and gas, geothermal resources, and groundwater, and for a variety of other purposes such as natural hazards assessment, mapping impact structures, and engineering and environmental studies. ?? 2005 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved.
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The historical development of the magnetic method in exploration