Aeromagnetic data from reconnaissance surveys is routinely used for geological mapping and modelling. Due to technical advances in the last decades modern magnetic surveys are often flown in areas for which older data already exists, aiming at higher accuracies and spatial resolutions. This study examines the information content of older and modern aeromagnetic surveys in the short-wavelength range that is related to near-surface structures of limited spatial extent. It addresses the question if the data can be used to improve structural models in areas were only few or no seismic data is available. The two case studies presented here are related to different geological environments in northern Germany. The first case study deals with outcropping sediments in the vicinity of a salt dome whereas the second case study deals with a part from the North German Basin that was affected by tectonics. Different stratigraphic units are expected to be the source of the observed anomalies. Data analysis and 3-D forward modeling based on rock magnetic investigations confirm that anomalies with wavelengths down to 2 km are present in both data sets and that a correlation with geological units is given. The observed anomalies can be explained by the 3-D models.


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