Residents of central El Paso County may notice an unusual sight in the skies in June, a low-altitude helicopter towing a large hexagonal frame flying over their area. Officials at the Upper Black Squirrel Creek Ground Water Management District (UBSCGWMD) say this unique equipment is simply part of a project to map groundwater aquifers and subsurface geology in the district.
Instruments mounted below the helicopter will collect and record geologic measurements to learn more about buried sand and gravel aquifers. The UBSCGWMD planned and funded the flights. According to Dave Doran, President of the UBSCGWMD Board, data from the flights will improve understanding of the available groundwater resource and potential groundwater/surface water connections in this area of the state.
Aqua Geo Frameworks, LLC (AGF) is overseeing the flights, processing the data and information, and will produce a final report. Doran stated that this technology allows for fast data acquisition, upwards of 50 miles per hour, with detailed information down to 1,000 feet below the land surface from the air. The helicopter's planned paths are marked in white on the map below.
Read the Official Press Release.
Watch the videos below for more information about the process and the company performing it.