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Airborne electromagnetic, magnetic, and radiometric survey of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, November 2019 - March 2020

February 10, 2021

Airborne electromagnetic (AEM), magnetic, and radiometric data were acquired November 2019 to March 2020 along 24,030 line-kilometers (line-km) over the Mississippi Alluvial Plain (MAP). Data were acquired by CGG Canada Services, Ltd. with three different airborne sensors: the CGG Canada Services, Ltd. TEMPEST time-domain AEM instrument that is used to map subsurface geologic structure at depths up to 300 meters (m), depending on the subsurface resistivity; a Scintrex CS-3 cesium vapor magnetometer that detects changes in deep (hundreds of meters to kilometers) geologic structure based on variations in the magnetic properties of different formations; and a Radiation Solutions RS-500 spectrometer that detects the abundance of natural radioelements potassium, uranium, and thorium in the upper 20-30 centimeters that is used to determine differences in soil constituents. The survey was flown at a nominal sensor flight height of 120 m above terrain with 6-kilometer spaced east-west flight lines. The main survey block covers 22,250 line-km. The Mississippi River and the Arkansas River were surveyed along their center axes, covering 1,225 line-km (flight line numbers 500101 and 700201-700206 nonsuccessive), and three separate inset grids were flown: (1) Ozark basement reconnaissance lines with variable line spacing for a total of 234 line-km (flight line numbers 400801-401401 nonsuccessive), (2) Shellmound focus area in Mississippi with 250 m line spacing for a total of 485 line-km (flight line numbers 604501-608101 nonsuccessive), and (3) New Madrid Seismic Zone focus area in Missouri and Tennessee with variable line spacing for a total of 161 line-km (flight line numbers 710101-710401 nonsuccessive). 91-series lines are repeat test-lines flown periodically throughout the survey, with one repeat line established for each base station. 902- and 905-series lines are ~60 second high-altitude datasets collected pre- and post- flight, respectively, to evaluate the system out of ground-response. This data release includes minimally processed (raw) AEM data as supplied by CGG Canada Services, Ltd., the fully processed (downsampled by averaging) sounding data, and inverted resistivity depth sections along all flight lines, as well as unprocessed and processed (following International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Report procedures) radiometric data as supplied by CGG Canada Services, Ltd. Data acquisition and minimal processing was conducted by CGG Canada Services, Ltd. and described in detail in the contractor's report. Digital data from production flights are provided in ASEG-GDF2 format, an ASCII format geophysical data standard that uses a self-describing collection of files to allow data to be automatically identified and read by a computer application. Data fields in the data file (.DAT) are defined in the associated definition file (.DFN). Please see the ReadME included in this data release for a description of how to interpret the .DFN files or visit for more information on the ASEG-GDF2 standard.

Publication Year 2021
Title Airborne electromagnetic, magnetic, and radiometric survey of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, November 2019 - March 2020
DOI 10.5066/P9E44CTQ
Authors Burke J Minsley, Stephanie R James, Paul A Bedrosian, Michael D Pace, Bennett E Hoogenboom, Bethany L Burton
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center