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Recovery and reprocessing of legacy geophysical data from the archives of the State Company of Geology and Mining (GEOSURV) of Iraq and Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC)

January 1, 2011

Aeromagnetic data belonging to the State Company of Geology and Mining of Iraq (GEOSURV) have been recovered from magnetic tapes and early paper maps. In 1974 a national airborne survey was flown by the French firm Compagnie General de Geophysique (CGG). Following the survey the magnetic data were stored on magnetic tapes within an air conditioned archive run by GEOSURV. In 1990, the power supply to the archive was cut resulting in the present‐day poor condition of the tapes. Frontier Processing Company and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have been able to recover over 99 percent of the original digital data from the CGG tapes. Preliminary reprocessing of the data yielded a total magnetic field anomaly map that reveals fine structures not evident in available published maps. Successful restoration of these comprehensive, high quality digital datasets obviates the need to resurvey the entire country, thereby saving considerable time and money. These data were delivered to GEOSURV in a standard format for further analysis and interpretation. A parallel effort by GETECH concentrated on recovering the legacy gravity data from the original field data sheets archived by IPC (Iraq Petroleum Company). These data have been compiled with more recent GEOSURV sponsored surveys thus allowing for the first time a comprehensive digital and unified national gravity database to be constructed with full principal facts. Figure 1 shows the final aeromagnetic and gravity data coverage of Iraq. The only part of Iraq lacking gravity and aeromagnetic data coverage is the mountainous areas of the Kurdish region of northeastern Iraq. Joint interpretation of the magnetic and gravity data will help guide future geophysical investigations by GEOSURV, whose ultimate aim is to discover economical mineral and energy resources.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title Recovery and reprocessing of legacy geophysical data from the archives of the State Company of Geology and Mining (GEOSURV) of Iraq and Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC)
DOI 10.1190/1.3628209
Authors David V. Smith, Benjamin J. Drenth, J.D. Fairhead, K. Lei, J.A. Dark, K. Al-Bassam
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts
Series Number
Index ID 70034103
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization