Ground Water Canada

Helicopter to fly low over Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for ground water study

April 28, 2017  By Ground Water Canada

Cedar Rapids, IA – Starting on May 2 and lasting for about two days, a helicopter towing a large, cylindrical sensor will make low-level flights over parts of Cedar Rapids as part of a ground water survey, the United States Geological Survey said in a news release.

The flights will collect and record underground geologic measurements to help the U.S. Geological Survey better determine ground water resources in the Cedar River Aquifer. The helicopter, operated by CGG Canada Services under contract to the City of Cedar Rapids, will fly about 200 feet above the ground at almost 70 miles per hour. A remote sensing device will be tethered 100 feet below the helicopter and will measure the physical properties down to about 150 feet underground.

“This advanced technology allows us to efficiently look into the subsurface of the Cedar River Aquifer without drilling wells,” said USGS scientist Greg Delzer. “The data will allow us to map and model the aquifer system so that the city can effectively manage these critical water supplies long into the future.”


“The model will be an essential planning tool for the City of Cedar Rapids,” said Bruce Jacobs, Cedar Rapids utilities engineering manager. “It will provide the insight needed to evaluate the effects of a prolonged drought and allow us to predict how our aquifer would respond to increased water supply demands.”

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