Low-level flights to image 3D geology in northeastern Washington state

Includes Chelan Okanogan and Douglas counties 

NORTHEASTERN WASHINGTON -  Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Washington Geological Survey are partnering to image geology using airborne geophysical technology as part of the USGS Earth Mapping Resource Initiative (Earth MRI) project.
Flights began Sept.22 and will continue through November until winter weather impacts safe aircraft operation and data quality. If needed, the data collection will resume in June or July of 2023 when weather is again favorable for surveying. Flights will be based out of assorted regional airports.  
The USGS is contracting with Precision GeoSurveys and EDCON-PRJ to collect the data in 11 northeast Washington counties, including Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, Spokane, Lincoln, Grant, Douglas, Chelan, Skagit and Whatcom.  
Data collected as part of the survey is part of a national-scale effort to acquire modern high-resolution airborne magnetic and radiometric data. The survey will replace existing low-quality geophysical data, collected mostly in the 1980s, that is of limited use for geologic mapping. The new geophysical survey will use the latest technological developments that will allow scientists to develop high-resolution three-dimensional representations of geology to depths several miles below the surface. The 3D models and maps produced from the survey will help understand the distribution of groundwater, mineral, and energy resources as well as the potential for natural hazards. Data collected as part of this effort will be made public and used by USGS in collaboration with Washington Geological Survey scientists to guide more detailed geologic mapping at local scales.  
Earth MRI is a cooperative effort between the USGS, the Association of American State Geologists, and other federal, state, and private sector organizations to improve our knowledge of the geologic framework in the United States.

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