The Demand for Airborne Geophysical Surveys
Airborne SurveyGreater global demand for minerals is leading to an increased demand for mineral exploration and in turn geophysical surveying. Airborne geophysical surveying, in particular magnetics and radiometrics, have become the leading technique to initiate the mineral exploration process, by acquiring data from the air. This has proved to be very economic and efficient.
Airborne survey data can be processed into a wide variety of detailed geophysical map products which are used to identify and model geophysical anomalies. Geophysical anomalies are then interpreted by an experienced geophysicist who will make recommendations based on the data as to where further in-depth exploration such as drilling or seismic surveys are further justified.
Typical Airborne Geophysical surveys methods are:
  • Magnetics ( Single Senor, Horizontal gradiometer and vertical gradiometer)
  • Electromagnetics
  • Radiometrics
  • VLF-EM
  • Gravity           
These methods each require different equipment and applied technologies in order to produce accurate and repeatable results. Airborne surveys are key as they allow for the most economical and efficient mapping of large areas. Single engine aircraft can economically fly small to large mineral surveys over land, while twin engine aircraft have proven to be an invaluable in determining oil and gas deposits offshore, or in over-land surveys with long ferry legs to the closest airport. Helicopters are used to achieve very low survey altitude or in mountainous terrains requiring high gradient climb ability.
Airborne Geophysical Survey Technology
There are a wide variety of different geophysical technologies that can performed by airborne means. These technologies are all proven, repeatable acquisition methods for acquiring data from an airborne geophysical survey platform.
Terraquest Ltd. typically collects magnetic, radiometric and XDS VLF-EM survey data on any given flight, however other technologies such as gravity, seep finder and electromagnetic can be acquired upon request. Each technology requires unique specialized instruments as well different survey characteristics to acquire precision data. Survey factors which vary for each technology include;
  • the type of terrain in the grid,
  • aircraft altitude,
  • aircraft speed,
  • the distance between grid lines,
  • wind and diurnal are also factors which must be considered and monitored throughout each flight.
Airborne survey aircraft are generally restricted by the weight of the instruments that can be carried safely onboard the aircraft. Further, the equipment must be complimentary to each other in that they must share similar acquisition parameters as listed above.
The Industries that Drive Airborne Geophysical Surveying
Due to the increased activity in the mining industry and a significant increase in the amount of funding made available for the mineral exploration industry, the airborne geophysical surveying industry is also growing steadily.
Oil companies are constantly on the lookout for the next big deposit of hydrocarbons and fossil fuels to capitalize on skyrocketing consumer demand. Oil companies are amongst the richest companies in the world and provide substantial funding to the geophysical surveying industry.
Geophysical surveying is also frequently used by Junior exploration companies who are performing mineral evaluations of property sized exploration projects with the intention of selling their property to major mining corporations.
With many prominent industries finding important uses for geophysical surveying, it stands to reason that this industry will continue to grow and prosper at a steady pace.
gravity survey
The world’s gravity field varies from spot to spot due to subsurface density variations. Gravity surveying measures these variations and creates a map which helps geologists determine where light and dense rocks are located.
airborne geophysics
Airborne geophysics and aeromagnetic surveys are employed by governments and mining companies to map and prospect specific terrains. Advanced data acquisition systems enable companies to acquire data that is highly accurate to be used to form an overall geological picture of a target area.
airborne survey
Airborne Surveying – Airborne Geophysical Surveying is an Industry with Strong Demand and a Bright Future
airborne magnetic surveys
Airborne magnetic surveys provide highly relevant data for mapping lithology and mineral prospecting. The two types of airborne magnetic surveys are regional and detailed and are categorized by the resolution of the data acquired.
airborne geophysical surveys
Airborne geophysical surveys are advanced means of collecting accurate geophysical data remotely. This information is applied to the development of geophysical maps and as a part of the initial stage of mining prospecting.
airborne surveys
Airborne surveys that employ the use of airborne geophysical sensors such as magnetometers which are either attached or towed behind the aircraft measure the ambient magnetic fields over a particular area. Data acquired is used by both governments and mining companies as an effective tool in mineral prospecting.
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Terraquest Ltd.
2-2800 John Street
Markham, Ontario
Canada L3R 0E2
Tel: 905-477-2800
Fax: 905-477-2820
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Terraquest Ltd.        |        905.477.2800        |        |
2-2800 John Street,   Markham,   ON,   L3R 0E2,   Canada