Why Use Aeromagnetic Surveys?

Why Use Aeromagnetic Surveys?


Aeromagnetic surveys are an efficient geophysical prospecting tool for many mineral and petroleum exploration companies and government agencies. A fixed-wing airplane or helicopter is extensively modified to be magnetically quiet and equipped with wingtip pods, a tail stinger, or a towed bird to house magnetometers for acquiring magnetic data. This type of survey is cost-effective, safe and time efficient because of the large areas of land that can be quickly covered.


Who Uses Aeromagnetic Surveys?


There are many benefits of aeromagnetic surveys, including mineral and petroleum exploration, geological mapping, tectonic studies, groundwater, geothermal, archaeological and engineering projects. Most mining companies now rely on aeromagnetic surveys as the first stage of prospecting and to determine where to focus detailed studies.   


Applications of Magnetic Surveys

1. Prospecting for magnetic ores or host rocks.


  • magnetic iron deposits
  • chrome- or PGE-bearing ultramafic rocks
  • some massive sulphide bodies (usually nickel)
  • diamond-bearing kimberlites
  • tin-tungsten or rare-earths associated with granites

2. Geological mapping

  • lithologic and structural mapping in weathered or covered areas
  • sedimentary basin geometry and structure, mapping intrasedimentary sources
  • regional studies for tectonic purposes (e.g. crustal studies)
  • exploration for favourable ore environments

3. Depth to basement mapping

  • hydrocarbon exploration
  • ยทnon-metallic mineral exploration
  • exploration for minerals associated with buried basement surfaces (e.g. gold and unconformity uranium)

4. In conjunction with electromagnetics and induced polarization

  • to help discriminate between metallic and non-metallic conduction
  • to assist in interpretation of conductive or polarizable body geometry
  • to determine geological environment of source

5. Engineering, groundwater, hazard and archaeological studies

  • mapping faults and buried valleys
  • depth determination to the Curie point isotherm
  • mapping geothermal energy potential
  • searching for metallic objects

Specialists in Aeromagnetic Surveys


Terraquest was established in 1984 and since then, our dedicated team has flown over 1,500 airborne geophysical surveys using both fixed wing and helicopter platforms.  Our professional crews provide significant experience having carried out airborne magnetic, gravity, gamma ray spectrometry, and electromagnetics on five continents.  Our quality data sets have been utilized in the exploration for base and precious metals, kimberlite, hydrocarbons, uranium, rare earth minerals and water. The company has performed exemplary surveys for both small and large exploration groups as well as many government agencies.  References can be provided upon request.    Visit www.terraquest.ca.

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