Preliminary aeromagnetic anomaly map of California

Open-File Report 99-440
By:  and 



The magnetization in crustal rocks is the vector sum of induced in minerals by the Earth’s present main field and the remanent magnetization of minerals susceptible to magnetization (chiefly magnetite) (Blakely, 1995). The direction of remanent magnetization acquired during the rock’s history can be highly variable. Crystalline rocks generally contain sufficient magnetic minerals to cause variations in the Earth’s magnetic field that can be mapped by aeromagnetic surveys. Sedimentary rocks are generally weakly magnetized and consequently have a small effect on the magnetic field: thus a magnetic anomaly map can be used to “see through” the sedimentary rock cover and can convey information on lithologic contrasts and structural trends related to the underlying crystalline basement (see Nettleton,1971; Blakely, 1995).

The magnetic anomaly map (fig. 2) provides a synoptic view of major anomalies and contributes to our understanding of the tectonic development of California. Reference fields, that approximate the Earth’s main (core) field, have been subtracted from the recorded magnetic data. The resulting map of the total magnetic anomalies exhibits anomaly patterns related to the distribution of magnetized crustal rocks at depths shallower than the Curie point isotherm (the surface within the Earth beneath which temperatures are so high that rocks lose their magnetic properties). The magnetic anomaly map has been compiled from existing digital data. Data obtained from aeromagnetic surveys that were made at different times, spacings and elevations, were merged by analytical continuation of each set onto a common surface 305 m (1000 ft) above terrain. Digital data in this compatible form allows application of analytical techniques (Blakley, 1995) that can be used to enhance anomaly characteristics (e.g., wavelength and trends) and provide new interpretive information.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Preliminary aeromagnetic anomaly map of California
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 99-440
DOI 10.3133/ofr99440
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Geology, Minerals, Energy and Geophysics Science Center
Description Report: 14 p.; Map: 31.90 x 39.58 inches
Country United States
State California
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y