Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geophysics (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Aleksey Smirnov

Committee Member 1

Mir Sadri-Sabet

Committee Member 2

Kari Anderson


A relationship between the hydrocarbon migration and magnetic properties of near-surface sediments was investigated from several hundreds of samples collected over the hydrocarbon-bearing Silurian pinnacle reef belt of the Michigan Basin. The collected samples were investigated using several rock magnetic methods and optical microscopy. The investigation has not revealed a straightforward relationship between the magnetic susceptibility and hydrocarbon reservoirs within the reef belt; both anomalously high and low susceptibility values were observed. The elevated values are associated with newly formed magnetite in the form of spheroidal grains produced by hydrocarbon-related diagenesis while the extremely low susceptibilities may reflect dissolution of the originally present hematite. However, a strong correlation was observed between the elevated susceptibility and the gas reservoirs in the Devonian Traverse Group. The obtained results indicate that the magnetic susceptibility method has a hydrocarbon exploration potential but the relevant processes of magnetic mineral diagenesis require additional investigation.