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Open File Report 173

Calibration of Resolve airborne electromagnetic data - Riverland and East Tintinara, South Australia

Brodie R, Green A, Munday T


This project is a subset of the Riverland and Tintinara projects in South Australia conducted under the auspices of the South Australian Salinity Mapping and Monitoring Project. The decision of the SA-Salinity Mapping and Monitoring Support Project to employ a frequency domain helicopter EM system for mapping near surface conductivity related to the presence of clay-rich materials came with an expectation that the careful monitoring of system performance would be an essential prerequisite to ensuring data of a consistent quality appropriate for inversion.

The activity reported here was conducted to assist the application of a constrained inversion technique with RESOLVE helicopter EM data in order to map the location and thickness of the near-surface clay-rich units in the Riverland and Tintinara East areas in South Australia. It is believed that this clay acts to delay groundwater recharge where present. The RESOLVE system has very wide bandwidth (100 KHz to 400Hz) although it does not sample this frequency range in great detail. This under-sampling of the full frequency response means that it is more difficult to invert the data to a complete vertical conductivity profile.

Accurate inversion depends on having correctly calibrated data. Correctly calibrated data is most essential for this project because the accurate location of near surface conductive units is dependent on subtle changes in the high-frequency response. This report describes the calibration procedures used to process the data delivered by the contractor, and was always planned as an integral part of the project.

Dr. Tim Munday
Project Leader
December 2003


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