Paine, J. G., and Collins, E. W., 2003, Applying airborne electromagnetic induction in groundwater salinization and resource studies, West Texas, in Proceedings, Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems: Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, p. 722-738 (CD-ROM). 
[Abstract in Word format]

Assessing Lacy Creek Salinization Using Airborne Geophysics
Jeffrey G. Paine, principal investigator

The Upper Colorado River Authority and the Texas Water Development Board funded the use of innovative airborne geophysical methods to study salinization of Lacy Creek, a tributary of the North Concho River in Sterling County, Texas. Electromagnetic induction (EM) and magnetic field data were acquired in August 2001 using Fugro Airborne Surveys' MEGATEM system.

The magnetic field data accurately identified most of the more than 400 oil and gas well locations. Commonly, magnetic anomalies more accurately located wells than did agency records. Some wells equidistant from adjacent flight lines were undetected. Where many wells are clustered, the airborne magnetometer identified a single anomaly for a group of wells. Apparent conductivities calculated from the airborne geophysical data at 10-m intervals between depths of 10 to more than 200 m below the ground surface show that conductivities are generally low. Low conductivities are consistent with the good water quality reported in most of the shallow wells, where water is fresh to slightly saline. Local areas of elevated ground conductivity are associated with oilfields where saline water had been discharged into now-abandoned disposal pits.

For more infomation, please contact Jeff Paine, principal investigator. Telephone 512-471-1260;
February 2003