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TitleThe impact on geological and hydrogeological mapping results of moving from ground to airborne TEM
AuthorSapia, V; Viezzoli, A; Jorgensen, F; Oldenborger, G AORCID logo; Marchetti, M
SourceJournal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics vol. 19, no. 1, 2014 p. 53-66, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20140031
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS62G/03; 62G/04; 62G/05
AreaSpiritwood Valley
Lat/Long WENS-100.0000 -99.0000 49.5000 49.0000
Subjectshydrogeology; geophysics; groundwater; groundwater regimes; groundwater flow; groundwater resources; electromagnetic mapping; e m surveys; Spiritwood Valley Aquifer
Illustrationslocation maps; images; profiles
ProgramGroundwater Geoscience, Aquifer Assessment & support to mapping
Released2014 03 14
AbstractIn the past three decades, airborne electromagnetic (AEM) systems have been used for many groundwater exploration purposes. This contribution of airborne geophysics for both groundwater resource mapping and water quality evaluations and management has increased dramatically over the past ten years, proving how these systems are appropriate for large-scale and efficient groundwater surveying. One of the major reasons for its popularity is the time and cost efficiency in producing spatially extensive datasets that can be applied to multiple purposes. In this paper, we carry out a simple, yet rigorous, simulation showing the impact of an AEM dataset towards hydrogeological mapping, comparing it to having only a ground-based transient electromagnetic (TEM) dataset (even if large and dense), and to having only boreholes. We start from an AEM survey and then simulate two different ground TEM datasets: a high resolution survey and a reconnaissance survey. The electrical resistivity model, which is the final geophysical product after data processing and inversion, changes with different levels of data density. We then extend the study to describe the impact on the geological and hydrogeological output models, which can be derived from these different geophysical results, and the potential consequences for groundwater management. Different data density results in significant differences not only in the spatial resolution of the output resistivity model, but also in the model uncertainty, the accuracy of geological interpretations and, in turn, the appropriateness of groundwater management decisions. The AEM dataset provides high resolution results and well-connected geological interpretations, which result in a more detailed and confident description of all of the existing geological structures. In contrast, a low density dataset from a ground-based TEM survey yields low resolution resistivity models, and an uncertain description of the geological setting.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
We demonstrate a simple, yet rigorous, simulation showing the impact of airborne electromagnetic geophysical data on aquifer mapping. Mapping results are compared for airborne geophysical data, ground geophysical data, and water well records. The electrical resistivity model, which is the final geophysical product, changes significantly with different levels of data density and the impact on hydrogeological interpretations is critical. The airborne dataset is the only dataset that provides a clear picture of the important potential aquifer materials.

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