Potential methods

 Potential methods include techniques that employ potential fields in the study of the subsurface, such as gravimetric or magnetic.

 As a general rule these methods give 2D maps that define lateral changes of materials associated with changes in the physical properties (density, magnetic susceptibility...). These geophysical methods do not require any artificial source, but they measure a natural field in a grid. The principal potential methods are magnetic and gravimetric prospecting.


  • CG-5 gravimeter.

    Gravimetry is based on the study of the Earth gravimetric field in order to detect changes in materials or variations in their density. Gravimetric prospecting is usually measured in a mesh so a 2D gravity map is obtained after the different corrections are applied to the original data (topography, drift, tides...). Bouguer and Residual images define or isolate the local changes (gravimetric anomalies). Gravimetry is mainly applied in metal mining and geotechnics (detection of holes and cavities).

  • Magnetometry is based on the study of the Earth's magnetic field in order to find changes in materials or variations in their magnetic properties. Similarly to gravimetry is usually measured in a regular grid. After corrections (drift, reduction to the pole...) the result is a 2D map. Magnetometry is a fairly quick and economic method which is used mainly in archaeology, metal mining, and structural geology.