The papers shown on this page provide a spread of specialist reference material. It is not exhaustive but provides some ‘highlights’ from the aeromag reading list. The references section of the e-book provides a more comprehensive list of relevant papers.

Click here for 'Geological Interpretation of Aeromagnetic Data' e-Book references

David Boyd

David Boyd was the driver behind the trend toward geological rather than ‘geophysical’ interpretation of aeromag. Two of his main papers and a testimonial biography can be found below:

The contribution of airborne magnetic surveys to geological mapping

Geological Interpretation of Airborne Magnetic Surveys - 40 Years On

Professor David Boyd - testimonial biography

Norman Paterson

Norm Paterson was also a pioneer in the integration of aeromagnetics and geology and the main founder of the highly successful geophysical consulting company Paterson Grant & Watson.  His ground breaking 1962 paper and an up to date list of his publications can be found below:

Paterson N (1962) Geological Mapping by Magnetometer Surveys; Proceedings of the Benedum Earth Magnetism Symposium, 1962. University of Pittsburgh Press, pp. 139-157, 1962.

Norman R. Paterson - List of Publications.

Fraser Grant

Fraser Grant made major contributions to a range of geophysical and exploration developments.  His two 1985 papers on the geochemistry behind magnetisation in rocks are ‘must reads’ for all aspiring aeromag interpreters.

Grant FS (1985) a Aeromagnetics, geology and ore environments, I. Magnetite in igneous, sedimentary and metamor­phic rocks: an overview. Geoexploration 23, 303–333.

Grant FS (1985) b Aeromagnetics, geology and ore environments, II. Magnetite and ore environments. Geoexploration 23, 335–362.

David Clark

David Clark and his co-workers at CSIRO and Sydney University have published widely and effectively on the magnetization behavior in common rocks. His summary paper in the special AGSO Journal Volume (freely downloadable) is an important resource.

Clark D (1997) Magnetic petrophysics and magnetic petrology: aids to geologic interpretation of magnetic surveys. Australian Geological Survey Organisation. Journal of Australian Geology and Geophysics 17(2), 83–104.

David Tucker

David Tucker was the first PhD graduate from the Boyd ‘Aeromag School’ at Adelaide University in the 1970s and subsequently contributed broadly to mapping and exploration Australia-wide and overseas. His paper on Broken Hill was part of a comprehensive regional exploration project carried out by CRA (now part of Rio Tinto) in the early 1980s.

Tucker DH (1983) The characteristics and interpretation of regional magnetic and gravity fields in the Broken Hill district. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Conference. Broken Hill, NSW. Extended Abstracts, pp. 81–114.

Tom Whiting

Tom Whiting is another Adelaide graduate who has contributed widely to geophysics and exploration world wide.  Tom’s paper on aeromagnetic interpretation in the high grade metamorphic rocks of the Jervois Range was a landmark in the integration of aeromag with geology.

Whiting TH (1986) Aeromagnetics as an aid to geological mapping – case history from the Arunta Inlier, Northern Territory, Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 33, 271–286.

Peter Gunn

Peter Gunn has published widely on an extensive range of geophysical and regional exploration topics.  While at AGSO (now Geoscience Australia) he initiated a special volume on airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys (AGSO Journal Vol 17 (2)).  All papers from this volume are freely downloadable.  Peter’s paper below is a ‘must read’ for Oil & Gas explorers.

Gunn PJ (1997) b Application of aeromagnetic surveys to sedimentary basin studies. Journal of Australian Geology and Geophysics 17(2), 133–144.

Helen Anderson and Colin Nash

Helen Anderson and Colin Nash laid the foundations for integrated interpretation in Namibia when the Government-sponsored airborne survey program was in its infancy.

Anderson H, Nash C (1997) Integrated lithostructural mapping of the Rossing area, Namibia, using high-resolution aeromagnetic, radiometric, Landsat and aerial photographs. Exploration Geophysics 28(2), 185–191.

Peter Williams and Bruce Nisbet

Peter Williams and Bruce Nisbet were among the first to extend the integration of geology and aeromagnetics to a ‘full’ structural interpretation including relative timing of deformation events. Their ‘4D’ interpretation maps in the Yilgarn Block were a significant step forward in the process of value-adding to aeromagnetic survey data. 

Their joint work in the Lufilian Arc in the Zambian Copperbelt is an excellent example of this advanced level of interpretation.

Williams, P.R. and Nisbet, B.W. (2017). "Structural framework of the Lufilian Fold Belt in the Domes region of North Western Province, Zambia from interpretation of geophysical data." Journal of African Earth Sciences, Volume 129, Pages 542-557.

Rick Valenta and Mark Jessell

Rick Valenta and Mark Jessell developed methodologies for structural interpretation of aeromagnetics and have collaborated with Dave Isles in the formation of short courses.

Valenta, R. K., M. W. Jessell, G. Jung and J. Bartlett (1992). "Geophysical interpretation and modelling of three dimensional structure in the Duchess area, Mount Isa, Australia." Exploration Geophysics 23(2), 393-400.

Colin Reeves

Colin Reeves has been an active contributor to continental scale tectonic studies, particularly around large aeromagnetic surveys in Africa, for decades.  He has published a (freely downloadable) e-book that covers all facets of aeromag application.  It is a valuable resource for all aeromag practitioners.

Reeves C (2005) Aeromagnetic surveys. Principles, practice and interpretation. Geosoft e-publication.

Branko Corner

Branko Corner’s work in Africa, and particularly in the Wits Basin, is an important contribution to the art of integrating aeromag with geology. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of either of the following papers, please email Branko directly using the button below.

Corner, B. and Wilsher, W.A., 1989, Structure of the Witwatersrand Basin derived from interpretation of aeromagnetic and gravity data. Proceedings of Exploration ’87, Ontario Geological Survey, Special Volume 3, (Ed. GD Garland) 532-546.

Corner, B. (2008). Crustal framework of Namibia derived from an integrated interpretation of geophysical and geological data. In: Miller, R. McG. (Ed), The Geology of Namibia, Vol. 1, 2-1; 2-19, Geological Survey of Namibia.

Ted Urquhart

Ted Urquhart has conducted pioneering work in aeromagnetic processing and interpretation since the 1970s. Good examples of his early work are contained in the SEG volume below.

Urquhart WES, Strangway DW (1985) Interpretation of an aeromagnetic survey of the Qian’an Archean metamorphic rock series in China. The Utility of Regional Gravity and Magnetic Anomaly Maps, Society of Exploration Geophysi­cists. (Ed. WJ Hinze) pp. 439–449.

Dave Isles

Two papers by Dave Isles and coworkers concerning gold exploration applications in the Kalgoorlie district provide useful background in this environment.

Isles DJ, Harman PG, Cunneen JP (1989) The contribution of high resolution aeromagnetics to Archaean gold explora­tion in the Kalgoorlie region, Western Australia. In The Geology of Gold Deposits: The Perspective in 1988. (Eds RR Keays, WHR Ramsay and DI Groves). Economic Geology Monograph 6, 389–397.

Isles DJ, Cook A, Hallberg JA (1990) Aeromagnetic evaluation. In Gold Deposits of the Archaean Yilgarn Block Western Australia: Nature, Genesis and Exploration Guides. (Eds SE Ho, DI Groves and JM Bennett). Geology Key Centre and University Extension, University of Western Australia. Department of Geology Publication 20, 342–347.