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Airborne electromagnetic mapping of the base of aquifer in areas of western Nebraska

June 11, 2012

Airborne geophysical surveys of selected areas of the North and South Platte River valleys of Nebraska, including Lodgepole Creek valley, collected data to map aquifers and bedrock topography and thus improve the understanding of groundwater - surface-water relationships to be used in water-management decisions. Frequency-domain helicopter electromagnetic surveys, using a unique survey flight-line design, collected resistivity data that can be related to lithologic information for refinement of groundwater model inputs. To make the geophysical data useful to multidimensional groundwater models, numerical inversion converted measured data into a depth-dependent subsurface resistivity model. The inverted resistivity model, along with sensitivity analyses and test-hole information, is used to identify hydrogeologic features such as bedrock highs and paleochannels, to improve estimates of groundwater storage. The two- and three-dimensional interpretations provide the groundwater modeler with a high-resolution hydrogeologic framework and a quantitative estimate of framework uncertainty. The new hydrogeologic frameworks improve understanding of the flow-path orientation by refining the location of paleochannels and associated base of aquifer highs. These interpretations provide resource managers high-resolution hydrogeologic frameworks and quantitative estimates of framework uncertainty. The improved base of aquifer configuration represents the hydrogeology at a level of detail not achievable with previously available data.

Publication Year 2012
Title Airborne electromagnetic mapping of the base of aquifer in areas of western Nebraska
DOI 10.3133/sir20115219
Authors Jared D. Abraham, James C. Cannia, Paul A. Bedrosian, Michaela R. Johnson, Lyndsay B. Ball, Steven S. Sibray
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2011-5219
Index ID sir20115219
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center