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Austin Exploration


Austin Exploration Inc. is a global service provider of quality marine gravity and magnetic data acquisition, as well as data processing and interpretation. Founded and Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Austin Exploration is a recognized pioneer in marine gravity and magnetic exploration. Having conducted marine surveys throughout the world, including the offshore regions of North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, the team at Austin Exploration are dependable, experienced scientists who lead with vision and offer superior service in technology and innovation.

Austin Exploration entered the field of geophysical services in April of 1976. The ten-employee operation was engaged exclusively in land gravity and magnetometer acquisition, compilation, and interpretation activities at that time. The company grew rapidly, and by November 1978 moved to its present building, encompassing over 7,000 square feet and employing twice as many personnel. In 1979, the service offerings were expanded to include marine gravity services and in 1985 to include marine magnetics. Today, marine gravity and magnetics services are our main focus. Austin Exploration provides more marine gravity and magnetometer acquisition to clients than any other company in the industry and, has compiled and interpreted data from countries throughout the world. 

The interpretation of land and marine gravity meter and magnetometer data is a highly specialized service that has proved invaluable to many clients in the oil and gas industry. The mining industry has also benefited in its search for gold, silver, iron, zinc, lead and diamonds.

Austin Exploration also acts in an advisory capacity for the selection of gravity and magnetic data and has established agreements with various companies, allowing for the marketing of data within the United States and abroad. The primary thrust of the company’s activities has been, and will continue to be, the acquisition of potential field data in relations to the geologic conditions in the subsurface.

Austin Exploration has conducted non-exclusive, regional land studies within the United States, beginning in the Cordilleran Hingeline Thrust Belt in Utah, as well as the Appalachian area, the Ouachita Trend in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico. The company will continue to expand and develop its capabilities in all areas to assure the broadest possible geophysical assistance to all industries served.


Marine Gravity and Magnetic Acquisition
As leaders in marine gravity and magnetic acquisition, our data are recorded on a gyroscopically stabilized platform using either a LaCoste & Romberg Air/Sea Gravity Meter, a ZLS Fluid Damped Dynamic Marine Meter, or a Micro G LaCoste Meter. Depending on the area of the world being surveyed our magnetic data are recorded with either a Marine Magnetic SeaSPY Magnetometer or a Geometrics G-882 Magnetometer. To guarantee the success of each project, all crews are supplied with complete spare parts and operating supplies. In addition, four separate computers are provided to record gravity and magnetic locations including bathymetry and a spare.

Gravity and Magnetic Compliation
Austin Exploration, pride themselves in the data they collect and ultimately process. As such, they have a carefully refined process for extracting this data because they only utilize the most current equipment and programs. To create the gravity and magnetic compilation, the company begin with the compilation sequence that includes an analysis of navigational data utilizing gravity, water depth and other information. This data is used to compute the Eotvos gravity correction. An analysis is then made to determine the density of the ocean bottom sediments so the Bouguer gravity correction can be properly applied. During the process, all necessary terrain corrections are made and the gravity along traverses is merged at intersections with minimal distortion of the data. A written report describing the compilation procedure and the results is always provided to clients.

Gravity and Magnetic Interpretation
To ensure the most accurate gravity and magnetic data interpretation, a structural surface is computed using a three-dimensional solution for gravity data. The process begins with the construction of a Regional Gravity Map, which represents the gravity response to the density changes within the basement. This is then subtracted from the Bouguer gravity field to separate the residual gravity anomalies. Any pertinent information such as residual or derivative data, density contrast information, and the reference base for the geometric models are then entered into the company's computer program. The result is a residual grid that establishes a corresponding network of vertical prisms with a variable height on a reference surface. The output of the program includes the height of the prisms or structural surface whose computed gravity response matches the input gravity. The data can be contoured in feet or in meters.