Automatic mapping of the base of aquifer — A case study from Morrill, Nebraska

By: , and 



When a geologist sets up a geologic model, various types of disparate information may be available, such as exposures, boreholes, and (or) geophysical data. In recent years, the amount of geophysical data available has been increasing, a trend that is only expected to continue. It is nontrivial (and often, in practice, impossible) for the geologist to take all the details of the geophysical data into account when setting up a geologic model. We have developed an approach that allows for the objective quantification of information from geophysical data and borehole observations in a way that is easy to integrate in the geologic modeling process. This will allow the geologist to make a geologic interpretation that is consistent with the geophysical information at hand. We have determined that automated interpretation of geologic layer boundaries using information from boreholes and geophysical data alone can provide a good geologic layer model, even before manual interpretation has begun. The workflow is implemented on a set of boreholes and airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data from Morrill, Nebraska. From the borehole logs, information about the depth to the base of aquifer (BOA) is extracted and used together with the AEM data to map a surface that represents this geologic contact. Finally, a comparison between our automated approach and a previous manual mapping of the BOA in the region validates the quality of the proposed method and suggests that this workflow will allow a much faster and objective geologic modeling process that is consistent with the available data.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Automatic mapping of the base of aquifer — A case study from Morrill, Nebraska
Series title Interpretation
DOI 10.1190/INT-2016-0195.1
Volume 5
Issue 2
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center
Description 11 p.
First page T231
Last page T241
Country United States
State Nebraska
City Morrill