Geophysical survey probes ACT and southeast NSW

02 March 2010

Residents in southeast NSW and the ACT can expect to see a low flying aircraft during the coming months as a major airborne geophysical survey is carried out over the region.

The survey, which aims to produce high resolution magnetic and radiometric geophysical data, is a joint venture involving Geoscience Australia and the New South Wales Government through its $16.5 million New Frontiers initiative.

The survey will be conducted from the Canberra and Cooma airfields over the next four months by Fugro Airborne Surveys Pty Ltd covering more than 24 000 square kilometres and acquiring in excess of 107 000 line kilometres of geoscience data.

The Cresco 750 turbine-engine aircraft will fly 60m above the ground along predefined lines 250m apart in New South Wales and 500m apart in the ACT. Over built-up areas, the minimum ground clearance will be 150m while elsewhere, the pilot will attempt to avoid flying over buildings, infrastructure and livestock.

As well as covering the ACT, the aircraft will traverse the Eden, Bombala, Delegate, Cooma, Adaminaby, Tumut and Brindabella regions using specialised scientific instruments to measure the earth's magnetic field, gamma rays emanating naturally from soils and rocks and detailed digital topographic information. Once acquired and processed, the data will be available in the public domain.

The high resolution geophysical data will help to improve the understanding of the area's geology as well as provide information for land use planning and natural resource management.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013