Low-Flying Airplane Maps New Madrid Zone
Starting around July 10, 2013, an airplane operating under contract to the USGS will be making low-level flights over a 1400-square-mile area in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. This airplane is a Cessna-180, specially modified for low-altitude geophysical surveys. The aircraft is owned and operated by Cloudstreet Flying Services, Fort Collins, Colorado, working jointly with EDCON-PRJ of Lakewood, Colo. The magnetic sensor (magnetometer) is located at the tip of the "stinger" attached to the rear of the airplane. The survey is designed to measure the magnetic field of the earth, which is related to rock formations that lie below the land surface. These flights are part of an ongoing USGS earthquake research program to identify hidden geologic features, such as changes in rock types, thus providing a better understanding of the geology and hydrology of the area.