Volume 36 Number 8
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478



A method is proposed to detect buried magnetite concentrations within river sediments. Model studies show that relatively small (thickness 1 m, width 10 m) plate‐shaped volumes with magnetite contents of 0.5% within a non‐magnetic matrix can be detected by a detailed ground magnetic survey using a sensitive (0.1 nT) magnetometer. Tests along lines perpendicular to the river but at a different angle to the bedrock trend (or the aeromagnetic anomaly trend) reveal that essentially all total field and vertical’gradient’anomalies detected in the profiles are elongated in the river and/or valley direction. This shows that the anomaly sources are (buried) volumes of higher magnetite content within the river sediments. Further evidence for this is (1) that higher intensity total field and vertical’gradient’anomalies occur in an area where the river cuts through strongly magnetic serpentinites, (2) the absence of high frequency anomalies over unsorted glacial till, and (3) some features on power spectra. Relatively large volumes of high magnetite concentrations within the river sediments may well contain the highest concentration of heavy economic minerals such as gold. Consequently, the areas of greatest interest in the exploitation of buried placers may be selected from maps obtained by detailed magnetic surveys either on the ground or at low altitude by helicopter.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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