Toward a model for predicting magnetic susceptibility of bedrock regolith and soils

Harmon, Russell S., Van Dam, Remke L., Hendrickx, Jan M. H., Harrison, J. Bruce J., Harmon, Russell S., Holloway, Jr., John H., & Broach, J. Thomas (2008) Toward a model for predicting magnetic susceptibility of bedrock regolith and soils. In Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XIII, The International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), 69530Z-69530Z.

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One of the Department of Defense's most pressing environmental problems is the efficient detection and identification of unexploded ordnance (UXO). In regions of highly magnetic soils, magnetic and electromagnetic sensors often detect anomalies that are of geologic origin, adding significantly to remediation costs. In order to develop predictive models for magnetic susceptibility, it is crucial to understand modes of formation and the spatial distribution of different iron oxides. Most rock types contain iron and their magnetic susceptibility is determined by the amount and form of iron oxides present. When rocks weather, the amount and form of the oxides change, producing concomitant changes in magnetic susceptibility. The type of iron oxide found in the weathered rock or regolith is a function of the duration and intensity of weathering, as well as the original content of iron in the parent material. The rate of weathering is controlled by rainfall and temperature; thus knowing the climate zone, the amount of iron in the lithology and the age of the surface will help predict the amount and forms of iron oxide. We have compiled analyses of the types, amounts, and magnetic properties of iron oxides from soils over a wide climate range, from semi arid grasslands, to temperate regions, and tropical forests. We find there is a predictable range of iron oxide type and magnetic susceptibility according to the climate zone, the age of the soil and the amount of iron in the unweathered regolith.

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ID Code: 80134
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1117/12.777861
ISSN: 0277-786X
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: SPIE
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2015 03:03
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2015 06:04

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