LENRD uses airborne survey to gather geological data

July 9, 2018, 3:55 a.m. ·

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District is taking to the skies this summer to take a closer look at underground aquifers.

Using airborne electromagnetic surveys, the district is able to gather data about groundwater and aquifer formations across the district without engaging in extensive drilling. Data is gathered through a hoop-shaped device that contains multiple sensors that is suspended below a helicopter.

Because of the diverse makeup of groundwater resources and aquifer formations in eastern Nebraska, LENRD assistant general manager Brian Bruckner says the data gathered during the survey will be invaluable.

“The groundwater resources in eastern Nebraska and the aquifers that support them are a very diverse system, they are not homogenous by any stretch of the imagination and so you can move one mile in eastern Nebraska and the groundwater resource can be very different,” Bruckner said.

The LENRD board approved an agreement with Aqua Geo Frameworks to complete additional AEM surveys in February in conjunction with other surveys being conducted in the state. The surveys are expected to continue through July 21, according to Bruckner.

“This is going to build upon the library of information that already exists that provides the technical basis for us in making management decisions and policy recommendations to our board of directors on how to best management the resource for both water quantity and water quality purposes moving into the future,” he said.