The surface magnetic anomaly observed in unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance is mainly dipolar, and consequently, the dipole is the only magnetic moment regularly recovered in UXO discrimination. The dipole moment contains information about the intensity of magnetization but lacks information about the shape of the target. In contrast, higher order moments, such as quadrupole and octupole, encode asymmetry properties of the magnetization distribution within the buried targets. In order to improve our understanding of magnetization distribution within UXO and non-UXO objects and to show its potential utility in UXO clearance, we present a numerical modeling study of UXO and related metallic objects. The tool for the modeling is a nonlinear integral equation describing magnetization within isolated compact objects of high susceptibility. A solution for magnetization distribution then allows us to compute the magnetic multipole moments of the object, analyze their relationships, and provide a depiction of the anomaly produced by different moments within the object. Our modeling results show the presence of significant higher order moments for more asymmetric objects, and the fields of these higher order moments are well above the noise level of magnetic gradient data. The contribution from higher order moments may provide a practical tool for improved UXO discrimination. ?? 2008 IEEE.