This case history follows the use of the SkyTEM airborne system to characterize hydrogeological settings.

Special Thanks

Thanks to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and SkyTEM for permission to reproduce figures and adapt text from the source material. This case history is based upon two articles: Spatially constrained inversion for quasi 3D modelling of airborne electromagnetic data – an application for environmental assessment in the Lower Murray Region of South Australia by Viezzoli, Auken and Munday [VAM09] and Accurate quasi 3D versus practical full 3D inversion of AEM data – the Bookpurnong case study by Viezzoli, Munday, Auken and Christiansen [VMAC10].


Airborne EM is an important type of survey in geophysical that can be found useful in solving different geological questions, especially the ones that require quick data coverage over a large area. Hydrological and environmental studies can be good subject of airborne EM. In this case history, airborne FDEM surveys, and airborne TDEM surveys are used to assess the salinization at a groundwater management trial site near Bookpurnong in South Australia.

The following topics are covered:

  1. How the airborne EM can be applied in hydrogeological and environmental studies.
  2. Airborne EM acquisition systems and airborne data.
  3. Interpretation of airborne EM data using a 1D layered model.

Fig. 327 Hydrological model at Bookpurnong [VAM09].