Eye in the sky : locating and mapping potential environmental hazards in the UK with high resolution airborne geophysics

Peart, R.J.; Cuss, R.J.; Beamish, D.; Jones, D.G.. 2003 Eye in the sky : locating and mapping potential environmental hazards in the UK with high resolution airborne geophysics. Geoscientist, 13 (7). 4-7.

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During the past fifteen years environmental scientists have applied airborne geophysical techniques increasingly to the mapping and monitoring of potential environmental hazards such as leakages from landfill sites, the spread of polluted groundwaters and the distribution of possibly harmful natural and artificial radionuclides. Explorationists first applied these techniques more than 60 years ago, initially for metallic mineral exploration in Shield areas with subsequent developments in non-geological applications such as the detection of enemy submarines. In later years the techniques have been improved and also applied to hydrocarbon exploration and geological and structural mapping. The rapid emergence of airborne techniques in environmental studies is a response to high profile nuclear accidents, increasingly stringent environmental legislation, the desire of many large corporations for a green image and the numerous benefits delivered by airborne techniques. These latter include relative ease of access to ‘difficult’ sites, comprehensive data coverage and remote, rapid and non-invasive acquisition of data which in turn informs highly focussed confirmatory ground follow up activities. All of these advantages are especially important in potentially hazardous sites. The success of the airborne techniques results from the use of highly sensitive equipment combined with close flight line spacing, generally low ground clearance and accurate navigation and post survey data location based on differential GPS. In this paper we use data from two recent high resolution airborne geophysical surveys in the UK to show how a broad range of environmental management issues can be addressed. In future volumes further contributions will describe the applications of these airborne data sets to resource exploration and geological and structural mapping.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
ISSN: 0961-5628
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 21 Oct 2015 09:06 +0 (UTC)

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