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Helicopter Sand Survey
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A message on behalf of the Illinois DNR Coastal Management Program...
HELICOPTER-BASED GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY ALONG THE LAKE MICHIGAN COAST
From March 20-31, 2017 the Illinois State Geological Survey in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Coastal Management Program will conduct a helicopter-based geophysical survey of sand deposits from Kenosha, WI to Chicago, IL.
Sand deposit survey is needed for scientific research. These surveys will map the location and thickness of sand deposits in Lake Michigan. This effort will produce the most comprehensive measurements and maps of Lake Michigan coastal sand deposits to date. These data are needed to connect coastal geologic changes, such as erosion and accretion, to physical processes, such as storm waves, fluctuating lake levels, and longshore currents. Sand deposit maps will also identify habitat for nearshore fish species.
The surveys present no risks to humans, animals, or infrastructure. The survey system consists of a transmitter and a receiver towed by a helicopter. The transmitter creates an electric current that generates a magnetic field in the ground. The receiver measures the strength of this magnetic field, which can be used to map sand deposits.
The surveys will be conducted at an altitude of 150 feet, a speed of 150 miles per hour, and will not occur over buildings. The magnetic field exposure is 100 times stronger for someone riding on an electric train than the field transmitted with this surveying system.
If you have questions regarding this matter, please email DNR.CMP@illinois.gov or call 312-814-1405.