New Airborne Geophysical Survey underway in NT

28 August 2008

The Australian Government's national geoscience research agency, Geoscience Australia, has begun the largest airborne electromagnetic survey ever undertaken in the Northern Territory.

The low impact sweep of the top end will cover more than 72,000 square kilometres gathering data designed to assist with mapping geology and sub-surface water.

Geoscience Australia, has engaged Fugro Airborne Surveys Pty Ltd and Geotech Airborne Pty Ltd to carry out the survey as part of the Government's $58.9 million Onshore Energy Security Program.

The survey will continue until about October 2008 and involve a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter flying at approximately 120 metres above the ground on east – west traverses spaced from a few hundred metres to five kilometres apart.

The Chief of Geoscience Australia Onshore Energy and Minerals Division, Dr James Johnson said that each traverse will reveal the geology of the survey area by mapping the conductivity and resistivity of the sub-surface geological structures. The survey also will contribute to the National Groundwater Action Plan by mapping the spatial extent of aquifers and the distribution of salt water intrusion.

"The data collected will be used to generate three dimensional models of the sub-surface geology, which will be used to support decision making relating to the development of resources, the management of the environment and the wellbeing of communities in the survey area," Dr Johnson said.

He said that Geoscience Australia will release all the collected data into the public domain as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of the survey.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013