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ASEG Extended Abstracts

Quantitative Hydrogeological Framework Interpretations Using Heliborne Electromagnetic Surveys for the North Platte Valley, Western Nebraska Groundwater Model

Jared D. Abraham, James C. Cannia, Steven M. Peterson, Bruce D. Smith, Burke J. Minsley and Paul A. Bedrosian

ASEG Extended Abstracts 2010(1) 1 - 4
Published: 01 September 2010


The U.S. Geological Survey and its partners have collaborated to use airborne geophysical surveys for areas of the North Platte River valley in western Nebraska. The objective of the surveys was to map the aquifers and bedrock topography of the area to help improve the understanding of groundwater?surface-water relations to be used in water management decisions. Frequency-domain heliborne electromagnetic (HEM) surveys were completed, using a unique survey flight line design, to collect 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 is necessary to convert the measured data into a depth-dependent subsurface resistivity model. This inverted model, in conjunction with sensitivity analysis, geological ground truthing (boreholes), and geological interpretation, is used to characterize hydrogeologic features. The two- and three- dimensional interpretation provides the groundwater modeler with a high-resolution hydrogeologic framework and a quantitative estimate of framework uncertainty. This method of creating hydrogeologic frameworks improved the understanding of the actual flow path orientation by redefining the location of the paleochannels and associated bedrock highs. The improved models represent the actual hydrogeology at a level of accuracy not achievable using previous data sets.

© ASEG 2010

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