The mangetotelluric geophysical method has been used effectively as a hydrocarbon exploration tool in the intracratonic Parana basin of South America. The 1-2 km thick surface basalts and buried diabase sills pose no problem for the magnetotelluric method because the natural electromagnetic fields used as the energy source pass easily through the basalt. Data for the regional study were taken on six profiles with sounding spaced 8 to 15 km apart. The magnetotelluric sounding data outline a linear uplift known as the Ponta Grossa arch. This major structural feature cuts across the northeast-trending intracratonic basin almost perpendicularly, and is injected with numerous diabase dikes. Significant electrical contrasts occur between the Permian sediments and older units, so that magnetotelluric measurements can give an indication of the regional thickness of the Permian and younger sediments to aid in interpreting hydrocarbon migration patterns and possible trap areas. Refs.