Superconducting Sensors and Methods in Geophysical Applications
in: Superconductor Science & Technology (2021)
More than 50 years ago superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) were invented. Since then many applications opened up. Already in a 1980 workshop (Weinstock and Overton 1981 SQUID Applications to Geophysics (Society of Exploration Geophysicists)) the application of SQUIDs in geosciences was reviewed. The fabrication and cooling technologies, electronics and other SQUID system components underwent significant improvement within the past years. Thus, SQUIDs are today better suited, more sensitive and effective as well as robust and reliable in operation for geophysical measurements. Many successful application examples, demonstrations and discoveries of mineral resources have been made using them in laboratory devices for investigation of magnetic properties, magnetic exploration, transient electromagnetics and for superconducting gravimeters as well as gravity gradiometers. Therefore, this article intends to review the past, present, and some future aspects of SQUIDs in geo-scientific applications such as e.g. mineral exploration. Since this field is still very active and quite a number of developments are ongoing, this review cannot be comprehensive.