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Aarhus University to Chart Groundwater in India

Aarhus University to Chart Groundwater in India

The airborne SkyTEM system from Aarhus University has helped chart large sections of the groundwater beneath the soil in Denmark. It is now being used in India and the rest of the world

“If you drill up too much groundwater in areas close to the coast, salt water from the sea will penetrate the groundwater reservoirs – and ruin them. This is a huge problem in India, for example, where a large proportion of the population lives in coastal areas,” says Esben Auken, Associate Professor of Geology.
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Researchers using technology developed at Aarhus University
Together with a team of other AU researchers, he is on his way to India to help chart the groundwater resources in the country. The team will be taking SkyTEM with them. Developed at Aarhus University, this is an advanced solution for mapping groundwater below the surface. The equipment is suspended beneath a helicopter that flies low over the landscape to scan the top 200–300 metres of the crust. The researchers can then view underground groundwater landscapes as incredible 3D images.
“SkyTEM has already provided a remarkable overview of the groundwater in Denmark, and we are now starting to use it in other countries,” says Esben Auken.
Progress and growth
The project in India, which is being financed by the World Bank and the Indian state, focuses on charting the groundwater in different geological conditions. Six areas have been chosen in India, each representing a specific geographical structure: alluvial deposits or granite, for example.
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“The objective of our work with the SkyTEM system is to produce a report on – and recommendations for – how airborne methods can be used to chart the groundwater in different geological areas,” explains Esben Auken. “At the end of the day, the Indian authorities will be able to use the experience gained to chart entire provinces.”
Once the project has charted the groundwater reservoirs in India, the population will have access to information to help them use the water resources without destroying them in the long term.
“The technology can help to generate progress, growth and better living conditions for all the people who live in these areas,” says Esben Auken.
SkyTEM is exporting the technology to countries all over the world. The technology itself is actually produced by a range of spin-off companies from Aarhus University, which all originate from the HydroGeophysics Group.
Source: Aarhus University

Iver Høj Nielsen, Head of Press
State of Green Consortium
Phone: +45 22 49 65 12

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