Francis Sabin carrying out magnetic scanning

Magnetic Scanning

Magnetic scanning is a reconnaissance technique using a magnetometer to quickly assess the archaeological potential of an area. It relies on user identification and interpretation of magnetic changes caused by archaeological anomalies. Although it is useful as a rapid technique there is no direct data logging or display of the data for further interpretation and analysis.

Due to its limitations the technique is inferior to other forms of rapid reconnaissance such as magnetic susceptibility in which logged data can be displayed and used for further analysis. The operator cannot adequately recognise very low magnitude changes associated with many archaeological features.

The technique is, therefore, little used and not recommended for commercial geophysics except in very specific circumstances.