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Geomagnetism
and
Paleomagnetism

Book
PALEOMAGNETISM: Magnetic Domains to Geologic
Terranes
By Robert F. Butler

Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism


The primary objective of paleomagnetic research is to obtain a
record of past configurations of the geomagnetic field.

Thus, understanding paleomagnetism demands some basic


knowledge of the geomagnetic field.

In this chapter, we begin by defining common terms used in


geomagnetism and paleomagnetism.

What is Magnet ?
Amagnetis a piece of metal with a strong
attraction to another metal object. The attraction
amagnetproduces is called a "magnetic field."

What is Magnetism ?
In physics, magnetism is one of the phenomena by which
materials exert attractive or repulsive forces on
other materials.
Properties were known to the Chinese by 300 BC.

Types of Magnetism
Antiferromagnetic materials can be distinguished
from paramagnetic substances in that the value of
(magnetic susceptibility) increases with temperature,
Whereas shows no change or decreases in value as
temperature rises for paramagnetic compounds.
Ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic materials will lose
magnetic character and become paramagnetic if
sufficiently heated.
The temperature at which this occurs is defined as the
Curie
temperature
(Tc)
for
ferromagnetic
compounds and the Nel temperature (TN) for
antiferromagnetic compounds.
Some substances, particularly the later lanthanides, will
go
from
paramagnetic
to
antiferromagnetic
to
ferromagnetic as temperature decreases

Magnetic Methods/Survey
The natural
method

magnetic

field

of

the

Earth

is

measured

in

magnetic

Flow of liquid iron generates electric currents, which in turn produce


magnetic fields (Earths field).
The magnitude of the Earths magnetic field averages to about 5x10 -5 T (50,
000 nT).
Magnetic anomalies as small as 0.1nT can be measured in continental
magnetic surveys and may be of geological significance.
The magnetic methods, perhaps the oldest of geophysical exploration
techniques bloomed after the World War II.

Applications

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


Initially, we need to Understand
Magnetic moment, M
Magnetic field, H
Magnetization, J and
Magnetic susceptibility, .

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


The magnetic dipole moment
or more simply the
magnetic moment, M , can be defined by pair of magnetic
charges (Figure 1.1a).

For the pair of


magnitude of
infinitesimal
separates the
minus charge.

magnetic charges, the


charge is m, and an
distance vector, l,
plus charge from the

The magnetic moment, M, is

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


Magnetic moment, M , can also be defined by a loop of electrical
current (Figure 1.1b).
For a loop with area A carrying electrical current I,
the magnetic moment, M is

Where n is the vector of unit length perpendicular to the plane


of the loop.
The proper direction of n (and therefore M) is given by the right-hand

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


Any magnetic grain is a dipole. That is, it has two poles, P 1 and
P 2 of opposite signs diametrically linked. Charles Augustin de
Coulomb in 1785 showed that the force of attraction or repulsion
between electrically charged bodies and between magnetic poles
obeys an inverse square law similar to that derived for gravity by
Newton.
The mathematical expression for the magnetic force, Fm
experienced between two magnetic monopoles is given by:

Where is a constant of proportionality known as the magnetic permeability, P 1 and


P 2 are the strengths of the magnetic monopoles and r is the distance between the
poles.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


We can also define, from equation (1), the force per unit pole
strength exerted by a magnetic monopole, P1 or P2 . This is
called magnetic field strength or magnetizing force, H.
Thus

= Force per unit pole strength exerted by


The magnetic permeability/constant has
the exact (defined) value

magnetic monopole p2

0 = 4 107 H.

Unit measure - N/Amp.m = tesla (T)

H is magnetic analog of g
Use nanotesla (nT) = 10-9 T
Average strength of the Earths field is ~50,000
nT (ranges from 20, 000 to 70, 000 nT)

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


The magnetic intensity, or Magnetization, J, of a
material is the net magnetic dipole moment per unit
volume.
When a material is exposed to a magnetic field H, it
acquires an induced magnetization, Ji.
These quantities are related through the magnetic
susceptibility,
Thus, magnetic susceptibility , can be regarded as
the magnetizability of a substance.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


The constant of proportionality, is
the magnetic susceptibility and is a
unitless constant determined by the
physical properties of the magnetic
material.
The susceptibility, can either
positive or negative in values.

be

Positive values of imply that the field, Ji


is in the same direction as the inducing
field H.

Material

Susceptibility x 10^3 (SI)*

Air

~0

Quartz

-0.01

Calcite

-0.001 - 0.01

Pyrite

0.05 - 5

Hematite

0.5 - 35

Illmenite

300 - 3500

Magnetite

1200 - 19,200

Limestone

0-3

Sandstone

0 - 20

Shale

0.01 - 15

Schist

0.3 - 3

Gneiss

0.1 - 25

Granite

0 - 50

Gabbro

1 - 90

Basalt

0.2 - 175

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


In addition to the induced magnetization resulting from the
action of present magnetic fields, a material may also possess
a remanent magnetization, Jr.
This remanent magnetization is a recording of past magnetic
fields that have acted on the material.
Much of the coming Lectures involves understanding how rocks
can acquire and retain a remanent magnetization that records
the geomagnetic field direction at the time of rock formation.

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


Magnetic Field Nomenclature
Angle of Declination.
Angle of Dip or Angle of Inclination.
Magnetic Equator.
Magnetic Poles.

Magnetic Field Nomenclature


Geographic North and Magnetic North approx 800km apart from each other.

Magnetic Field Nomenclature


We use magnetic campus to find out the direction of North, which of
course point outs the Magnetic North direction.
Whereas, the maps drawn with respect to the Geographical North.
There is discrepancy exist between them, and this discrepancy varies
at different point of the map.
The Yellow line representing the geographical north direction and the
red line representing the magnetic north direction. The angle between
these lines is the Angle of Declination.
Can any one tell me the location where maximum angle of
declination exist ???
Can any one tell me the location where minimum/no declination
exist???

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


In paleomagnetism, the direction of a vector such as the surface
geomagnetic field is usually defined by the angles shown in Figure.
The vertical component, Hv, of the surface geomagnetic field, H, is
defined as positive downwards and is given by

The horizontal component, Hh , is


given by
and geographic north and east components are respectively,

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS


Determination of I and D completely describes the
direction of the geomagnetic field.
If the components are known, the total strength of the
field is given by

tan I

SOME BASIC DEFINITIONS

The magnetic inclination and magnetic


latitude are related by

tan I 2 tan
Where I is the inclination
and is the magnetic latitude

THE PRESENT GEOMAGNETIC FIELD


The morphology of the present geomagnetic field is best
illustrated with isomagnetic charts, which show some
chosen property of the field on a world map.
Isoclinic chart showing contours of equal
inclination of the surface geomagnetic field.
The geomagnetic equator (line of I = 0) is close
to the geographic equator, and inclinations are
positive in the northern hemisphere and
negative in the southern hemisphere.

Problem/Numerical
A bar magnet is 0.1m Long and its pole movement is 12
A-m. Find the magnetic induction at a point on its axis
at a distance of 0.2m form its center?

Drivation of the the magnetic induction


due to bar magnet on equatorial line?

GEOMAGNETIC SECULAR
VARIATION
The
direction and magnitude of the

surface geomagnetic field change


with time.
Changes with periods dominantly between
1yr and yr create geomagnetic
secular variation.
Historic records of geomagnetic field
direction in London since reliable
recordings were initiated just prior to
1600 A.D.

The range of inclination is 66 to 75, and the range of


declination is 25 to +10.

GEOMAGNETIC SECULAR
VARIATION

Patterns of secular variation are similar over sub-continental regions. For


example, the pattern of secular variation observed in Paris is similar
to that in London.

The origins of geomagnetic secular variation can be crudely subdivided


into two contributions with over-lapping periodicities:
(1) nondipole changes dominating the shorter periods
(2) changes of the dipolar field with longer periods.
Nondipole features appear to grow, decay, and deform with lifetimes of
~103 yr.
The dipole portion of the geomagnetic field (90% of the surface field) also
changes direction and amplitude.

GEOMAGNETIC SECULAR
VARIATION
Eight regions of the globe were defined within which mean
directions of the geomagnetic field were determined at
100-yr intervals.
Magnetic pole averaged to produce a global average
geomagnetic pole for each 100-yr interval over the past
2000-yr.
This procedure has provided a global spatial
average, effects of the nondipole field have
been averaged out, and the secular
variation evident in Figure is that of the dipole
field.

This supports a crucial hypothesis about

GEOMAGNETIC SECULAR
VARIATION
This
hypothesis simply states that the time-averaged geomagnetic field is a
geocentric axial dipolar field.
Because this hypothesis is central to many applications
paleomagnetism, it will be explored in considerable detail later.

of

A compilation of results is shown in Figure 1.10, which shows variations in


the magnitude of the dipole moment.
Over the past -yr, the average dipole moment is 8.75 G cm3 (8.75 A
m2).
Changes in dipole moment appear to have a period of roughly -yr.

GEOMAGNETIC SECULAR
VARIATION
The picture of the geomagnetic field that emerges from examination
of secular variation is one of directional and amplitude changes
that are quite rapid for a geological phenomenon.
Although short-term deviations of the geomagnetic field direction
from the long-term mean direction can exceed 30 or so, the timeaveraged field is strikingly close to that of the elegantly
simple geocentric axial dipole.
Geocentric axial dipole model describes the time-averaged
geomagnetic field during either normal-polarity or reversed-polarity
intervals.

Temporal Variations in
Earths magnetic field
Secular Variations - Long-term
(decades) changes caused by
fluid motion in Earth's outer
core.
Diurnal Variations - Daily
variations related to interaction
of the geomagnetic field with
solar wind.
Magnetic Storms - Intense
(1000 nT), irregular and
unpredictable variations
associated with solar flares.

http://apollo.lsc.vsc.edu/classes/met130/notes/chapter2/aurora_magnetosphere.html

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Secular Variation in Earth's


magnetic field since 1600

Migration of the
magnetic north pole

It has been in the


Canadian
arctic
for centuries, but
is
migrating
towards Siberia at
40 km per year

At the magnetic
north pole, the
inclination is 90o
(straight down)

ORIGIN OF THE GEOMAGNETIC FIELD


It should also be pointed out that the magnetohydrodynamic dynamo can

operate in either polarity of the dipole.


All the physics and mathematics of magnetohydrodynamic generation are
invariant with polarity of the dipolar field.
Thus, there is no contradiction between the observation of reversals
of the geomagnetic dipole and magnetohydrodynamic generation of the
geomagnetic field.

However, understanding the special interactions of fluid motions and


magnetic field that produce geomagnetic reversals is a major
challenge.

Requirement for energy input to drive the magnetohydrodynamic fluid


motions and thereby sustain the geomagnetic field.
Estimates of the power (energy per unit time) required to generate the
geomagnetic field are about W (roughly the output of nuclear power plants).

Orientation (inclination) of the


Perpendicular
to Earth surface
at poles.
magnetic
force
field
Parallel to Earth surface at equator.
Field points downward in
the Northern Hemisphere.

Field points upward in the


Southern Hemisphere.

Are Australian and


Canadian compasses
different?

Force field intensity varies from a maximum at the poles to a minimum at the
equator.

RMS remains fixed as the sedimentary deposit becomes cemented to form a


sedimentary rock.

In a rock we can measure:

1. The strength of the RMS (a measure of the Earth's field strength when the
rock formed).

2. The direction of the RMS (the direction to the Earth's magnetic poles at
the time of rock formation).

3. The inclination of the RMS (the inclination of the Earth's field which
reflects the latitude at which the rock formed).

Because different rocks were formed over a long period of time, they preserve a
record of changes in the Earth's magnetic field!

Magnetic Anomalies
An outcome of the magnetization of rocks is that they can locally change the
Earths magnetic field strength: increasing or decreasing the local strength
due to strong or weak magnetization, respectively.

E.g., an Iron Ore body with a strong normal magnetic field strength can
significantly increase the local Earth field strength.

Magnetic anomaly
= local magnetic field strength - average magnetic

Rock samples are taken from cores


drilled into magnetized igneous
rocks.

The ages of the samples are


determined and their RMS is
measured.

The inclination of the RMS reflects


the latitude of the sample at the
time of crystallization.

30 downward, North of equator.

0, at the equator.

30 upward, South of equator.

Two possible interpretations:

1. That the poles are fixed


and the landmass that was
sampled moved towards the
pole over time.

Two possible interpretations:

1. That the poles are fixed


and the landmass that was
sampled moved towards
the pole over time.
2. That the landmass that
was sampled was fixed
and that the poles moved
towards it over time.
In the 1940s and 1950s the
second interpretation was
accepted; poles moved due
to the inherent instability
of the Geodynamo.

Similar records from India showed a change in position of the pole by almost
60 degrees over 180 million years.

Question: Did the poles move or did the continents on which the rocks are
found moved?

Runcorn and coworkers (1950s)

Purpose: to test the hypothesis that the poles moved relative to fixed
continents.

Method: measured RMS from rocks on North America and Eurasia and plotted
the polar path from samples spanning 500 million years.

Possible outcomes:

1. Pole paths coincide if the poles move with respect to fixed continents (the
expected outcome).

2. Pole paths do NOT coincide if continents move with respect to fixed


poles.

Here are the results:

An polar wandering (PW) curve showed how the


magnetic pole moved, or wandered, over time
(figure a below)

Of course, if the continents where you sampled the rocks are going to
remain stationary, then the pole must be moving, or wandering

Alternatively, the pole could be


stationary, and the continent moving
(figure b below)

Which interpretation is correct? What happens if you sample rocks


from a different continent?

Rocks of the same age from different continents record two different magnetic
poles! In green is shown where rocks from Eurasia say the magnetic pole
should be, and in red are the data points from North America. Obviously,
there is only 1 magnetic pole, so if you move the continents together, the
lines tracing the location of the magnetic pole through time for these two
continents coincide. Thus, it must be the continents that moved, not the poles!

Outcome: that the paths did not match, therefore, movement or the poles
was not occurring.

However, when the continents were rotated together (as Wegener


suggested) the paths did match.

Therefore, poles were fixed and continents moved and were once combined
to form a supercontinent.

Just as Alfred Wegener had


predicted!
Even this evidence wasnt enough to convince the geological community that
the continents moved.

Continental Drift
First evidence: The jigsaw fit of the outline of the
continental margins.
Frances Bacon (1620): while reviewing the first maps of
the coastlines of Africa and South America noted that the
outlines of the continents appear as if they could fit
together.

In 1858 Antonio Snider-Pellegrini made the following


before and after maps of South America and Africa.

This jigsaw fit of continental


margins is best when the outline
is the edges of the continental
shelves.

Frances Placet (1668) was the first to suggest that the


continents were actually fixed together as suggested by
their outlines.
Suggested that the continents had been torn apart by the
biblical flood.
Alfred Wegener became the father of continental drift
by amassing considerable supporting evidence that the
continents moved over time.
Born:
Germany, 1880
PhD:
Astronomy
Profession: Meteorologist and Greenland Explorer.
Died:
1930
In 1915 Wegener published his work in The Origin of the
Continents and Oceans.

Wegeners Evidence:
The presence of fossils only over small areas of now
separate continents (how did they get from continent to
continent?).

Paleoclimate evidence
In the modern world
glaciers are found near
the north and south
poles.
Deserts are largely
found in bands that are
parallel to the equator.
Extensive reef
complexes lie along the
equator.

Desert deposits and reefs that


are several hundred million
years old are found in bands
that suggest the equator was
oriented as shown on the left.

If we assume that the poles


and equator are fixed, the
continents must have been in
different positions as shown
on the left.

Glacial deposits,
including structures
that indicate ice flow,
direction are located
in ancient rocks as
shown on the left.

Wegener suggested
that the pattern
formed with
continents together
at the south pole.

Ancient cratons within continents match up when they


are brought together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Polar reversals

RMS of rocks only a few thousand years different in age indicates poles in
reverse positions (e.g., north pole in the south, south pole in the north).

Suggests that poles reverse periodically.

Normal Polarity: poles as they are today.

Reverse Polarity: poles in reverse position compared to today.

Such reversals are attributed to variation in convection in the outer core.

The data can also be interpreted to describe the details of a reversal:

Intensity rises to earlier level;


inclination rises to original angle but
reversed.

Inclination angle decreases rapidly


and intensity drops to near 0.

Inclination constant but intensity


decreasing with time.

A reversal takes a total


of 10 to 20 thousand
years*.

Actual flipping of the


poles takes only 10002000 years.

The field is lost as the


intensity drops to 0; it
comes back with flipped
poles.

*The last reversal took 1000 years at the equator but 10,000 years at
midlatitudes.

Due to the inherent instability of the


geodynamo.
Over long periods of geologic time the poles
have reversed thousands of times.

Certain periods of geologic time are dominated


by normal or reversed polarity whereas others
are periods of mixed polarity.

We live in a period when polarity is reversing, on


average, every 250,000 years.

Over the past 600 million years the time between reversals varied from
5,000 years to 50 million years.

Is the Earths magnetic field polarity


currently reversing?

The last polar reversal took place nearly 800,000


years ago.

We are overdue given the average time between


reversals over the past several millions of years.

Evidence for a decline in magnetic field intensity:

6.4% reduction in intensity


Over 100 years.

Extrapolating the current trend to the future suggests that the field intensity
will reach zero in approximately 1500 years (i.e., the poles will reverse).

The magnetosphere
Solar wind = charged
particles ejected from
the Sun
Magnetosphere = a zone
of charged particles
trapped by Earths
magnetic field
Magnetotail = portion of a
magnetosphere that is
pushed away from the sun
by the solar wind

Magnetic Fields in Space


Earths magnetic field extends 7-10 times the
earths diameter outward from the earth.
The earths magnetic field would be spherical, but
the solar wind compresses it on the side closest to
the sun, and stretches it out into a long tail on the
side opposite the sun.
Overall, its kind of tadpole shaped.

Why do we care?
Earths magnetic field isnt just there with no purpose.
Without it, you and I and every living thing on this
planet would be dead (including the cockroaches!)
The magnetic field channels away the solar wind.
It also prevents erosion of the atmosphere.

Do polar reversals pose a threat to life on Earth?

The magnetosphere shields the Earth from high energy particles from the
Sun.

What Benefit is a Magnetic


Field?

The Earths magnetic field protects us from the


suns charged particles.
The magnetic field acts like a force fieldwithout
it, our atmosphere would be ripped off.

Magnetosphere animation

As the intensity of the field decreases through a reversal the magnetosphere


becomes less and less effective in reducing solar radiation.

Earths atmosphere also acts as a shield to such particles.

There is no evidence that the loss of the magnetosphere leads to harm to


any life on Earth.

Northern and Southern Lights


The Earths magnetic field is the reason we have Aurora
Borealis and Aurora Australis (northern and southern
lights).
These are caused by charged particles from the sun that
get trapped in Earths magnetic field and get directed
towards the northern and southern ends of the Earth.
The charged particles, when they reach our atmosphere
will interact with the elements (Nitrogen, Oxygen, etc.)
and give off lights that dance and swirl in the sky.

How does the magnetic field protect us?


The magnetic field captures the solar wind
and channels much of it into a donut of
radiation around the earth.
This donut (actually 2 layers one inside
the other) is called the Van Allen Radiation
Belt (V.A.R.B.)

Sea Floor Spreading


The idea of large-scale continental drift has been around
for some 200 years, but the first detailed theory was
Proposed by Alfred Wegener in 1912.
He postulated that all the continents were once joined
together in a supercontinent called Pangaea, and then
drifted apart.

Interest in the hypothesis of continental drift was revived in the 1950s, with the
rise of the new science of palaeomagnetism, which seemed to provide strong
support for continental drift and/or polar wander.
In the early 1960s new data from ocean exploration led to the idea of seafloor
spreading. A few years later, these and other concepts were synthesized into the
model of plate tectonics, which by the early 1970s had become the new orthodoxy.
Le Grand (1998, p. 229) described it as a rapidly-moving juggernaut that quickly
crushed most of the remaining pockets of resistance.
Although plate tectonics remains the ruling paradigm today, all its basic elements
have been called into serious doubt (e.g. Meyerhoff et al., 1996a; Storetvedt, 1997;
Pratt, 2000, 2001).

Sea Floor Stripes


Fred Vine*, then a graduate student,
discovered this phenomenon and it led to the
widespread acceptance of Plate Tectonics.
Arose from studies of magnetic anomalies on the sea floor.

Measurements of magnetic field strength were made across a segment of the


Oceanic Ridge.

*Vine, F.J., and Matthews, D.H., 1963. Magnetic anomalies


over oceanic ridges, Nature 199, pp. 947-949.

Sea Floor Spreading Animation


Click here to access an Flash animation of sea floor speading.

The identification of Sea Floor Stripes provided very strong evidence that the
oceanic ridge is the site of Sea Floor Spreading.

Compelling evidence of Harry Hesses suggestion that the ridge was the site
for new crust formation and that the crust moved away from the ridge over
time.

Finally providing a mechanism for plate motion that was necessary for
Wegeners hypothesis of Continental Drift.

Oceanic Ridge: A chain of undersea volcanoes that extends for 65,000 km


around the world, reaching heights of 3 km above the surrounding sea floor.

The Oceanic Ridge had been


discovered earlier in the century
and was found to be a chain of
undersea volcanoes.

In 1960, Harry Hess (a geology


Professor who had been a
submarine base commander
during WWII) proposed that the
Ridge was the site where new
seafloor crust was

forming, pushing older crust away from it.

Vine and co-workers discovered a pattern of magnetic anomalies across the


Ridge and extending away from it on either side.

This pattern is referred to as Sea Floor Stripes

From the
USGS.

Across the oceanic ridges are anomalies that


parallel the ridge axes: alternating positive
and negative magnetic anomalies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lXe4hv7SGs

The pattern of anomalies on one side of a


ridge is the mirror image of the anomalies on
the opposite side.

Interpretation:

The positive anomalies were due to the presence of rocks


with RMS of normal polarity.
The negative anomalies were due to the presence of rocks
with RMS of reversed polarity.

Polarity changes over time, therefore, the


changing polarity of the crust must mean that
it formed sequentially over time in stripes
parallel to the ridge.
The symmetry of the stripes on either side of
the ridge meant that the stripes of new crust
were formed at the ridge and moved away
from it over time.

Plate motions plus polar wander


Plate tectonicists believe that true polar wander is the result of changes in the
planetary moment of inertia caused by mass redistributions linked to mantle
convection, subducting slabs and upwelling plumes (Besse et al., 2011)

Magnetic surveying
Magnetic surveying over oceanic ridges provided vital clues that led to the theory of
plate tectonics and revealed the polarity history of the Earth's magnetic field since the
Early Jurassic.
Magnetic surveying consists of
(1) Measuring the terrestrial magnetic field at predetermined points,
(2) Correcting the measurements for known changes, and
(3) Comparing the resultant value of the field with the expected value at each
measurement station.
The expected value of the field at any place is taken to be that of the International
Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF). The difference between the observed and
expected values is a magnetic anomaly,

Measurement methods
The surveying of magnetic anomalies can be carried out on land, at
sea and in the air.
In a simple land survey an operator might use a portable
magnetometer to measure the field at the surface of the Earth at
selected points that form a grid over a suspected geological
structure.
This method is slow but it yields a detailed pattern of the magnetic
field anomaly over the structure, because the measurements are
made close to the source of the anomaly.
In practice, the surveying of magnetic anomalies is most
efficiently carried out from an aircraft. The magnetometer must be
removed as far as possible from the magnetic environment of the
aircraft.
This may be achieved by mounting the instrument on a fixed

Measurement methods
Alternatively, the device may be towed behind the aircraft in an
aerodynamic housing,

(b), at the end of a cable 30-150m long.

The "bird" containing the magnetometer then flies behind and


below the aircraft. The flight environment is comparatively stable.
Airborne magnetometers generally have higher sensitivity (=0.01
nT) than those used in ground-based surveying (sensitivity = 1
nT).
This compensates for the loss in resolution due to the increased
distance between the magnetometer and the source of the
anomaly.
Airborne magnetic surveying is an economical way to reconnoitre
a large territory in a short time. It has become a routine part of the
initial phases of the geophysical exploration of an uncharted
territory.

Measurement methods
The magnetic field over the oceans may also be surveyed
from the air. However, most of the marine magnetic record
has been obtained by shipborne surveying.
Considering that most research vessels consist of several
hundred to several thousand tons of steel, the ship causes
a large magnetic disturbance.
To minimize the disturbance of the ship the tow-cable must
be about 100-300 m in length.
Its depth is dependent on the length of the towcable and
the speed of the ship. At a typical survey speed of 10 km h1 its operational depth is about 10-20 m.

Magnetic gradiometers

The survey pattern

Magnetic anomalies

Magnetic anomaly originates in the magnetization contrast between rocks with


different magnetic properties.

The shape of the anomaly depends not only on the shape and depth of the source
object but also on its orientation to the profile and to the inducing magnetic field,
which itself varies in intensity and direction with geographical location.
The magnetization contrast is then due to susceptibility contrast in the crustal rocks. If
k represents the susceptibility of an orebody, ko the susceptibility of the host
rocks and F the strength of the inducing magnetic field, it allows us to write the
magnetization contrast as

Magnetic anomalies
Two scenarios are of particular interest.
The first is when the body has a large vertical
extent, such that its bottom surface is at a great
depth;
The other is when the body has a limited vertical
extent.
In both cases the vertical field magnetizes the body
parallel to its vertical sides, but the resulting
anomalies have different shapes.

Magnetic anomaly of a vertical


dike
We can now apply these ideas to the magnetic anomaly of a
vertical dike.
In this and all following examples we will assume a twodimensional situation, where the horizontal length of the
dike (imagined to be into the page) is infinite. This avoids
possible complications related to "end effects.
Let us first assume that the dike
extends to very great depths (Fig.
5.47a).

Magnetic anomaly of a vertical


dike
Incase of finite depth, The upper distribution of south poles
causes a positive magnetic anomaly. The lower distribution of
north poles causes a negative anomaly (Fig. 5.47b).

The north poles are further from


the magnetometer than the south
poles, so their negative anomaly
over
the
dike
is
weaker
comparatively.

Magnetic
Anomalies

Magnetic anomaly of an inclined magnetization


When an infinitely long dike is magnetized obliquely
rather than vertically, its anomaly can be modelled
either by an inclined dipole or by pole distributions
(Fig. 5.48).

Magnetic anomalies

Magnetic anomalies
Plate t