Walking the line. Ground magnetic surveys in 2013

As a young geophysicist I paid my dues and walked the ground magnetic survey line kilometers. It is a right of passage that teaches graduate geophysicists design, acquisition and processing skills for the most common potential field dataset. Magnetics. Many of you reading this have no doubt done your time, walking the line. Some of you still are. Perhaps you too are frustrated that the technology of ground magnetics has been essentially stagnant for over 10 years? Let me share with you what I created and how it can help you:

Four souls walking the line on Baffin Island in Canada.

Four souls walking the line on Baffin Island in Canada.

In July this year I was working on a ground magnetic project with essentially the same equipment I used as a graduate 15 years ago. This equipment did have a built in GPS, but this antenna was high above my head and prone to hooking on trees. So frustrating was this design in wooded areas that we nicknamed the GPS pole and antenna the “tree hook”. “Tighten my tree hook for me”. “Is my tree hook cable loose?” we would ask each other. We were both experienced operators and we knew to be careful not to rip the GPS cable out of the antenna by hooking it on a tree. Unfortunately it was I who did this first…..and it was starting to rain. Furthermore the wet electrical tape would not hold the cable onto the metal connector and I was 4km from the vehicle and replacement parts. The GPS device itself had also been causing us grief, as it would simply freeze (“go bye bye”) for tens of minutes at a time. Ripping the GPS cable out on a tree was the last straw. AAAArggggggh!!!!

My desire to create safe, reliable ground magnetic equipment was born in the moment I sat in the rain repairing the tree hook. I decided to start a ground magnetic service provider that will assign resources to modernizing ground magnetics. Ground magnetics will no longer be the poor cousin to more exotic geophysical methods.

It is my intention to use this blog to share my ground magnetic surveying knowledge from my extensive experience in multiple countries. Topics will range from field craft, through equipment, to processing. I invite you to share your ideas also, the ones you think of – while walking the line.

Leave a Reply

Connect With Us

Blog Categories