Gravity and Magnetics for Explorationists

Michal Ruder

This course is designed for geologists and geophysicists with interests in potential fields and regional tectonics.

Presented as a two-day seminar, we concentrate on fundamentals for the first day and tackle advanced topics during the second day. Attendees with little previous experience in gravity and magnetics will find the pace comfortable and the concepts quite accessible. Attendees who have already worked with potential field data will find the first day to be a helpful review of basic concepts and the second day to be quite challenging and thought-provoking.


Two days

Intended Audience

Entry and Intermediate levels

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education Required)

A basic knowledge of geology is helpful for participants. Any previous experience with geophysics is a bonus, but not required. We will review the basic concepts first and then move on to advanced topics, so everyone has the opportunity to build their knowledge from a common foundation.

Course Outline

  1. Fundamentals of potential theory
  2. Application of the theory to geology of the Earth’s crust
  3. Acquisition techniques and parameters for gravity and magnetic surveys
  4. Conventional and innovative two-dimensional filtering techniques used to enhance potential field data
  5. Magnetic depth estimation techniques
  6. Gravity and magnetic gradiometry
  7. Airborne gravity methods

The course will include formal lectures, extensive presentation of case histories, computer-based modeling demonstrations and qualitative interpretation of mapped gravity and magnetic data. The students will have an opportunity to work with the computational software during the workshop period. The course is limited to 30 attendees in order to facilitate group discussion and interaction.

Learner Outcomes

  • Define and classify variations in the earth’s gravity and magnetic fields, and associate these signatures with geologic features within the earth’s crust.
  • Interpret gravity/magnetic anomalies for structure, tectonics, lighologic and basement variations.
  • Distinguish between when to use gravity vs. magnetics to map geology of interest. Assess the utility of gravity and magnetic to map geology of interest. Assess the utility of gravity and magnetics for imaging the geologic target, and participate in design of new acquisition.
  • Oversee and evaluate the interpretation process of gravity and magnetic data, both qualitative products and quantitative products.

Instructor Biography

Michal Ruder