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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Paleomagnetic Project Areas
Select a project area from 12 regional maps to learn more about Applied
Paleomagnetics projects around the world.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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,
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.
to our Company and Staff
Read about the corporate history of Applied Paleomagnetics, specifications
of our paleomagnetic laboratory, and unique qualifications of our staff.
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.
Learn about our well-equipped paleomagnetic laboratory, which was the first
service laboratory dedicated to commercial applications of paleomagnetism.
Profile - David R. Van Alstine
Read about the professional history of David Van Alstine,
President & Chief Geophysicist and co-founder of Applied Paleomagnetics,
Staff Profile - Joseph E. Butterworth
Read about the professional history of Joe Butterworth, Lab Manager and
co-founder of Applied Paleomagnetics, Inc.
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).