Airborne salinity mapping Australia

Airborne groundwater surveys

Posted on 4 January 2013

Airborne salinity mapping Australia

Australia is facing serious environmental problems due to increasing salinity. Farming practices adopted by Australian farmers have resulted in a significant increase in salinity in land and water resources. As part of a 2004 election pledge, the government undertook to ‘commit $20 million of Australian Government money to identifying and managing underground salt deposits in the Murray Darling Basin. In late 2006, the Bureau of Rural Sciences awarded Fugro two contracts for acquisition and processing of airborne electromagnetic data over two distinct areas in eastern Australia. One contract required the acquisition and processing of 35,000 kilometres of fixed wing TEMPEST electromagnetic data over the Lower Macquarie River catchment in New South Wales. The second contract was for the acquisition and processing of 24,000 kilometres of helicopter RESOLVE electromagnetic data over the River Murray flood plain between the South Australian border and Gunbower.


The Fugro group of airborne companies pioneered airborne resistivity/conductivity mapping. Still the leader in the development of airborne geophysics, Fugro is discovering new applications and employing airborne techniques for a wide variety of environmental and engineering solutions.

Airborne geophysical techniques are increasingly being used to locate water-bearing formations. This is particularly true under circumstances that are beyond the capabilities of conventional methods of geologic mapping (e.g. seismic, gravimetric, and ground survey methods), and air photo studies.

Project location

Project partners

  • Fugro Water Services