An evaluation of the magnetic method of geophysical exploration in intermontane valleys is made through examples of magnetic properties, magnetic surveys, reduction of data, and analysis of magnetic anomalies from some valley areas. Measurements of magnetic properties of samples collected along valley margins or from drill holes indicate that the anomaly-producing rocks are mostly Tertiary volcanic flows in Nevada and mostly Cretaceous-Tertiary intrusives in southern New Mexico. Aeromagnetic data were compiled as both observed and residual anomalies from surveys at various flight-line spacings and intervals from ground surface. Theoretical anomalies from known models were analyzed to recover data on depth, width, and magnetization of models and thereby establish reliability of methods used by certain investigators. These methods were then applied to measured anomalies to obtain information about the igneous rock structures that are buried beneath nonmagnetic valley alluvium. Recommendations made for future valley studies include aeromagnetic surveys flown 150 m above ground surface and at 800 m spacing; measurement of magnetic properties from outcrop samples, drill-core samples, and magnetometer logging of uncased drill holes; and use of the interpretation from gravity surveys in the same area.
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USGS Numbered Series
Interpretation of magnetic surveys in intermontane valleys of Nevada and southern New Mexico