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Home Page of Applied Paleomagnetics, Inc.
Overview of paleomagnetic services provided by Applied Paleomagnetics to clients in the petroleum and geotechnical industries around the world since 1986.

Services

Guide to Paleomagnetic Services
Select a service you would like to learn more about, such as paleomagnetic core orientation, in situ stress, fracture studies, fault studies, sedimentology, magnetostratigraphy, magnetic properties, and tectonic history.

Paleomagnetic Core Orientation
Learn why oriented cores are important, the advantages and methodology of our paleomagnetic core orientation technique, and results of quality-control comparison tests we have made on hundreds of projects around the world.

In Situ Stress
Learn why it is so important to know maximum horizontal in situ stress, especially when planning deviated or horizontal wells. We determine in situ stress by paleomagnetically orienting induced fractures and geomechanical test samples from subsurface cores.

Natural Fractures
Explore our complete, integrated fracture analysis service, which is part of our paleomagnetic core orientation service. Core-based fracture studies have better resolution than image logs. We have analyzed induced and natural fractures in petroleum, tight gas sands, shale gas, coalbed methane (CBM), underground gas storage (UGS), and geothermal reservoirs around the world.

Fault Studies
Learn how we have applied paleomagnetic techniques to determine timing of latest motion, fluid migration, and diagenetic changes along faults in hydrocarbon reservoirs and near critical facilities like dam sites and nuclear power plants.

Sedimentology
Paleomagnetic orientation of bedding planes in subsurface cores allows us to determine permeability anisotropy and sediment transport directions in cross-bedded sandstones (eolian, fluvial, and turbidites) and structural dip from bedding in shale.

Magnetostratigraphy
Magnetostratigraphy, or magnetic stratigraphy, allows age-dating of sedimentary and volcanic strata in which the primary magnetization records distinctive geomagnetic polarity reversals, like the magnetic stripes on the seafloor.

Magnetic Properties
We measure magnetic susceptibility, NRM intensity and polarity, and remanent-to-induced (Koenigsberger) ratio to provide ground-truth parameters for modeling aeromagnetic anomalies. Changes in magnetic properties in geochemical chimneys above microseeping hydrocarbon reservoirs allow High Resolution Ground Magnetic (HRGM) surveys to be invaluable in oil and gas exploration.

Tectonic History
We can provide important constraints on local and regional tectonic histories by detecting both “primary” and “secondary” magnetizations preserved in samples from surface outcrops and subsurface cores.

Projects

Paleomagnetic Project Areas
Select a project area from 12 regional maps to learn more about Applied Paleomagnetics projects around the world.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Alaska and Northwest Territories, Canada
In Alaska, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from North Slope oil fields (Prudhoe Bay, NPRA, ANWR), from the Beringian margin (St. George, Navarin Basin, North Aleutian Shelf COST wells), and from the Yakutat well. Also in Alaska, we performed paleomagnetic studies in surface outcrops along the Brooks Range mountain front, from the Lisburne Peninsula to the Sadlerochit Mountains. In the Northwest Territories, we paleomagnetically oriented fractures in cores from Norman Wells.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Western Canada and Northwest USA
In the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and Horn River Basin in Alberta and British Columbia, we paleomagnetically oriented cores to determine trends of natural fractures and in situ stress, coal cleats in coalbed methane (CBM) reservoirs, and timing of dolomitization in petroleum reservoir carbonates. In the Rocky Mountain foothills, we determined timing of hydrocarbon migration relative to structural traps. In the Williston Basin (Montana, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan), we paleomagnetically oriented natural fractures and in situ stress in Devonian and Mississippian reservoir carbonates, including the Bakken and Three Forks formations. In the Overthrust Belt (Montana and Idaho), we conducted tectonic rotation and magnetic properties studies. At the Hanford Site, Washington, we investigated magnetic properties and magnetostratigraphy of Columbia River Basalt and recency of faulting near nuclear facilities.

Paleomagnetic Projects in California, Nevada, Arizona
In southern California, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from oil fields in the San Joaquin and Santa Maria basins and Santa Barbara Channel to determine natural fracture patterns and in situ stress; we helped constrain the earthquake recurrence interval along the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek; and we paleomagnetically oriented natural fractures and in situ stress in cores from bedrock beneath landslides at the Frank R. Bowerman and Prima Deschecha landfills in Orange County. In northern California, we constrained timing of faulting along the Foothills Fault System and on fault F-1 at the Auburn dam site; we paleomagnetically oriented natural fractures in deep subsurface cores from the Medicine Lake geothermal field; and we measured magnetic properties at The Geysers geothermal field near Clear Lake. We conducted magnetostratigraphic studies near the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary in the Nopah Range and Inyo Mountains of southeastern California and in the Desert Range, southern Nevada, where we also detected tectonic rotations near the Las Vegas Valley Shear Zone.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico
In Wyoming, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from the Bighorn, Powder River, Wind River, Green River, and Washakie Basins to determine natural fracture patterns, in situ stress, and sediment transport directions, mostly in tight gas sands from the Frontier Formation. In Utah, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from the Overthrust Belt, San Rafael Swell, and Green River Basin to determine fracture and cross-bed orientations. Also in Utah, we paleomagnetically constrained timing of faulting, fluid-migration, and diagenesis along the Moab Fault, Absaroka fault, and at Jordanelle Dam. In Colorado, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from the Denver and Piceance Basins, especially in Mesaverde tight gas sands. In Colorado and New Mexico, we paleomagnetically oriented Fruitland coal cleats in subsurface cores from coalbed methane CBM reservoirs in the San Juan Basin, and we oriented natural fractures in cores from Valles Caldera, New Mexico, for geothermal energy.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas
In the Permian Basin (Midland & Delaware Basins), west Texas, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of San Andres-Grayburg carbonates and Avalon Shale to determine natural fracture and in situ stress trends. In the East Texas Basin, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of Haynseville Shale, Travis Peak-Cotton Valley tight gas sands, and James Lime to determine trends of natural fractures and in situ stress. In south Texas, we paleomagnetically oriented Buda Lime, Eagle Ford Shale, Austin Chalk, Pecan Gap, San Miguel, Wilcox, and Vicksburg cores to establish natural fracture and in situ stress trends. In the Arkoma Basin of Oklahoma and Arkansas, we paleomagnetically oriented Spiro, Wapanucka, and Atoka cores from along the Choctaw Fault to orient fractures and in situ stress and to constrain timing of hydrocarbon migration relative to structural traps. In Kansas, we paleomagnetically oriented Bartlesville sandstone cores for sedimentology, and Noel Poersch cores for magnetostratigraphy.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Illinois, Michigan, New York, Quebec
In oil fields in the Illinois Basin, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of St. Genevieve and Aux Vases carbonates to determine natural fracture and in situ stress trends. In the Michigan Basin, we paleomagnetically oriented Antrim Shale cores to determine fracture patterns and in situ stress directions in gas reservoirs. In New York, we conducted paleomagnetic and magnetostratigraphic studies of Lower Paleozoic carbonates and clastics to constrain the North American apparent polar wander path. In Quebec, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of Beekmantown carbonates for Underground Gas Storage (UGS) at Saint Flavien.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Venezuela, Trinidad, Colombia, Ecuador
In Venezuela, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from oil fields in the Lake Maracaibo region (Cogollo, La Luna, Misoa, Pauji, Santa Barbara, La Rosa formations) and in Eastern Venezuela (San Antonio, San Juan, Vidono formations) to determine natural fracture, in situ stress, sediment transport, and sand-body trends. In Trinidad, we paleomagnetically oriented geomechanical samples to determine in situ stress in Angostura field. In Colombia, we paleomagnetically oriented geomechanical samples to determine in situ stress in Castilla field, and we determined sediment transport directions by paleomagnetically orienting cross-beds in Mirador cores from the Llanos Basin. In Ecuador, we measured magnetic properties of bedrock at Ximena gold mine.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Brazil, Argentina, Chile
Offshore Brazil, we paleomagnetically oriented cores to determine in situ stress in geomechanical test samples from Bijupira Field. Onshore Brazil, we measured magnetic susceptibility and other magnetic properties of subsurface cores for the mining industry. In northern Argentina, we paleomagnetically oriented cores to determine in situ stress in geomechanical test samples. In Chile, we measured magnetic properties of surface-outcrop and subsurface core samples for the mining industry.

Paleomagnetic Projects in the North Sea, Netherlands, and Norwegian Sea
In the North Sea (U.K., Danish, Dutch, and Norwegian sectors), we paleomagnetically oriented cores from Carboniferous, Rotliegend, Zechstein, Bunter, Skagerrak, Brent, Heather, Central Graben, Barremian limestone, and Maastrichtian/Danian Chalk to determine natural fracture, in situ stress, and sediment transport directions and for magnetostratigraphy. Onshore Netherlands, we paleomagnetically oriented Zechstein cores from Emmen and Schoonebeek fields. In the Norwegian Sea, we paleomagnetically oriented Tomma Formation cores from Haltenbanken.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Africa
Offshore Gabon, we paleomagnetically oriented Lucina Formation cores to determine sediment transport directions from cross-beds in sandstone and structural dip from bedding in shale. Offshore Congo, we paleomagnetically oriented Toca Carbonate cores to determine bedding and fracture orientations. Offshore Zaire, we paleomagnetically oriented Lucula Formation cores to determine sediment transport directions from cross-beds in eolian sandstone and structural dip from interdunes. In Egypt, we conducted magnetostratigraphic studies near Aswan Dam to determine recency of faulting. In Somalia, we measured magnetic properties of igneous and metamorphic rocks for modeling aeromagnetic anomalies.

Paleomagnetic Projects in the Middle East
In Kuwait, we paleomagnetically oriented cores from the Najmah and Sargelu Formations to determine natural fracture trends and structural dip in shale. In the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), we paleomagnetically oriented cores of Dukhan, Habshan, Shuaiba, Thamama, and Ilam carbonates from both onshore and offshore oil wells to determine trends of natural fractures and in situ stress and timing of dolomitization. In Oman, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of Natih Formation carbonates to determine trends of natural fractures and in situ stress, and we paleomagnetically constrained the emplacement time of the Oman ophiolite.

Paleomagnetic Projects in Southeast Asia and offshore Australia
In the Gulf of Thailand, we paleomagnetically oriented cores to determine sediment transport directions in Miocene sandstones, natural fracture patterns and magnetic susceptibility in basement granite, and in situ stress from induced fractures and geomechanical test samples. Offshore Sarawak and Brunei, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of cross-bedded Miocene sandstone to determine sediment transport directions and sand-body trends. In the Philippines, we paleomagnetically oriented cores of hydrothermally altered volcanics at Tiwi Geothermal Field to determine natural fracture and in situ stress trends. In the Browse Basin, offshore Australia, we determined sediment transport directions by paleomagnetically orienting cores from turbidites.

Clients

Clients in the Petroleum, Geotechnical, Energy, and Mining Industries
Since 1986, Applied Paleomagnetics has conducted hundreds of paleomagnetic projects around the world for leading petroleum, geotechnical, energy, and mining companies and for government agencies, including the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, U. S. Department of Energy, and U. S. Geological Survey. Our projects for petroleum and energy companies are focused on oil and gas exploration and production, shale gas, coalbed methane (CBM), geothermal energy, nuclear energy, and underground gas storage (UGS). Our projects for geotechnical companies and the U. S. Government involve core orientation, magnetostratigraphy, and recency of faulting near critical facilities, such as dam sites, nuclear power plants, and nuclear waste repositories. We also measure magnetic susceptibility and other magnetic properties for gold and diamond mining and exploration.

Articles

Publications List Index Map
Select a topic of interest to read abstracts and download pdf files of some of our major projects.

Articles on Paleomagnetic Core Orientation
Read about the initial development of our paleomagnetic core orientation technique, on the MWX project in 1982, and our two-part Oil and Gas Journal article in 1985. Also included are case histories from paleomagnetic core orientation projects in Alaska, Western Canada, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, the North Sea, Middle East, and Venezuela.

Articles on In Situ Stress
Read about the importance of establishing the angular relationship between natural fractures and in situ stress, with some of our case histories in Western Canada, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, and Venezuela.

Articles on Natural Fractures
These articles describe fracture studies in paleomagnetically oriented cores from Western Canada, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, the North Sea, Middle East, and Venezuela.

Articles on Faults
Read about paleomagnetic studies we conducted to determine timing of latest motion and fault-related diagenesis along the Lewis and McConnell thrusts in Alberta and British Columbia; the Moab Fault in Utah; the F-1 fault at the proposed Auburn dam site, Califormia; the Choctaw Fault in Oklahoma and Arkansas; and the Icotea, VLE, and Pueblo Viejo faults in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Articles on Sedimentology
Read about case histories where we established sediment-transport directions in paleomagnetically oriented cores of cross-bedded sandstone, such as the deltaic Misoa Formation in Venezuela and the eolian Rotliegend sandstone of the North Sea. Also included are examples of stratigraphic control on natural fracture distribution in the Austin Chalk, Texas, and provenance and paleogeographic studies in cores from offshore Alaska.

Articles on Magnetostratigraphy
In most of our projects, the “primary” magnetization required for magnetostratigraphy has been obliterated by diagenetic changes associated with hydrocarbon migration in petroleum reservoirs and along faults. We did, however, find primary magnetizations in Columbia River Basalt at the Hanford Site, Washington, and in cores from the Yakutat and Navarin Basin exploratory wells offshore Alaska.

Articles on Magnetic Properties
Read about how hydrocarbon migration changes the magnetic properties of sedimentary rocks, by leaching Fe from reservoir rocks, transporting the Fe to higher structural levels in “geochemical chimneys” and along faults, and then redepositing the Fe at higher structural levels in "magnetically enhanced zones" detectable with ground-magnetic surveys. We present case histories from Western Canada, northern Alaska, along the Moab Fault in Utah and the Choctaw Fault in Oklahoma, the Austin Chalk in Texas, and from Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.

Articles on Tectonic History
Paleomagnetism provides important constraints on local and regional tectonic history. Most of our case histories use “secondary” magnetizations (i.e., acquired long after deposition) to determine timing of fluid-migration and faulting events, such as in northern Alaska, Western Canada, California, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, and Venezuela. We also used a secondary magnetization to detect “oroclinal bending” in the Desert Range, Nevada. We used “primary” magnetizations (i.e., acquired near the time of deposition) to establish paleolatitudes and docking times of accreted terranes in Alaska.

About Us

Introduction to our Company and Staff
Read about the corporate history of Applied Paleomagnetics, specifications of our paleomagnetic laboratory, and unique qualifications of our staff.

Company History
Learn how Applied Paleomagnetics, Inc. was founded in 1986 from the merging of paleomagnetics programs previously offered by Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Sierra Geophysics, and Z-Axis Exploration.

Paleomagnetic Laboratory
Learn about our well-equipped paleomagnetic laboratory, which was the first service laboratory dedicated to commercial applications of paleomagnetism.

Staff Profile - David R. Van Alstine
Read about the professional history of David Van Alstine, President & Chief Geophysicist and co-founder of Applied Paleomagnetics, Inc.

Staff Profile - Joseph E. Butterworth
Read about the professional history of Joe Butterworth, Lab Manager and co-founder of Applied Paleomagnetics, Inc.

Contact Us

Contact Information for Applied Paleomagnetics
Here are the telephone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses for our company headquarters (Seattle area office in Redmond, Washington) and for our paleomagnetic laboratory (San Francisco area office in Santa Cruz, California).

 
 
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