Lunchbox Geophysics

Texture Analysis of High Resolution Aeromagnetic Data to Delineate Geological Features in the Horn River Basin, NE British Columbia

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Hassan H. Hassan
Fugro Gravity and Magnetic Services

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 – 11:00 AM MST
Aquitaine Auditorium, +15 level of 540 - 5 Avenue SW

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LunchBox Geophysics is free! Simply bring your own lunch (refreshments provided) and enjoy.


This study describes a pattern recognition technique based on textural analysis to delineate geological features from High-Resolution AeroMagnetic (HRAM) data in the Horn River Basin of NE British Columbia. The total magnetic intensity image of HRAM data is often exhibit regions of variable magnetic intensities that form certain patterns or textures. These textures reflect changes in the structural and physical properties of subsurface rocks due to modification to their magnetic susceptibilities during tectonic activities. Crystalline basements, for example, contain blocks of different rock types with different magnetic susceptibilities. These basement blocks are displayed as different textures on HRAM images. In addition, geological contacts and faults bounding these basement blocks are enhanced by texture analysis.

In this study a statistical based technique known as Gray-Level Co-occurrence Matrices (GLCM) was used to delineate texture features from the HRAM total magnetic intensity image of the Horn River Basin. GLCM is a tabulation of how often different combinations of pixel brightness (grey levels) occurs in an image. GLCM considers the relation between two neighboring pixels; the reference pixel and its neighbor pixel. We used GLCM texture features to convert aeromagnetic images into texture images. The resulting texture images show geological features and structures with much higher lateral resolution than the original magnetic images. Five GLCM texture features (angular second moment, contrast, correlation, entropy and homogeneity) were computed and the results of these five GLCM texture features were combined into a single image using principle component analysis. The computed HRAM texture images allowed us to identify various geological domains and structures within the Horn River basin including geological terranes, lithological contacts, fractures and faults. This study therefore aims to identify potential areas for shale gas exploration in the Horn River Basin using GLCM texture analysis.


Hassan H. Hassan has B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in geology/geophysics from University of Baghdad, Iraq. Following a scholarship from the Iraqi Government, he continued his studies in Canada. He obtained a Ph.D. degree (1984) in geology/geophysics from the University of New Brunswick. In 1984 he worked as a research scientist in the Department of Geomatics at the University of New Brunswick on remote sensing data processing and applications in geology. In 1985 he joined the Department of Geology at the University of New Brunswick as a postdoctoral research associate to work on a five year project sponsored by the Geological Survey of Canada. Before coming to Calgary in July 1996 to join GEDCO, he worked on several geophysical projects for the NB Department of Natural Resources & Energy, the Atlantic Geoscience Center, and EMR Microwave Technology. Currently, he is a senior geophysicist with the interpretation group of Fugro Gravity & Magnetic Services in their Calgary office. He is a member of CSEG, SEG, AAPG and APEGGA.