Use of Airborne Resistivity Surveys for Gravel Location

CIM Bulletin, 1973

R. W. CULLEY, Materials Research Engineer, Saskatchewan Department of Highways, Regina, Sask

In many areas of Saskatchewan, known gravel deposits have been depleted or are diminishing rapidly; in other areas, particularly in the north, demands for all-weather highways and access roads are far'. exceeding the supply of gravel sources with which to surface them. These two problems have made conventional methods of air-photo and ground surveys insufficient for gravel location. In the first case, hauling costs on construction now warrant searching for buried deposits and for smaller, less obvious surficial deposits that may be closer to the project. In the second case, search and access conditions are so difficult and costly that the ratio of successes to failures must be kept very high. The Department of Highways has long been aware of the oncoming scarcity of quality gravel deposits and is continually investigating ways of forestalling it. One of these ways is the use of airborne geophysical methods that permit rapid coverage of large areas and that sense and discriminate between earth properties to a significant depth below ground surface. In 1967, the Department began an investigation of an airborne conductivity survey method called INPUT*, or "Induced Pulse Transient'', leading to a trial in 1968 and data analysis in 1969. The results of this trial initiated modifications to the technique to improve its sensitivity for mapping shallow deposits. Part way through this modification in 1970, a decision was made to change to an airborne resistivity survey method called EPHASE. Trials with this technique were conducted and analysed in 1971. This paper is an explanation of the E-PHASE system and a summary of the results from one of three areas mapped in 1971
Keywords: Clay, Clays, Electrical, electrical component, N-S silt, ohm, radio wave, resistivity, Gravel, Resistivity, Sand, Survey, Surveys, Systems, Till