Image by Clarence Alford from Pixabay

While not something we can say yes or no to nor something really under our remit but something interesting, at least to me.

People along rivers in seven states from Missouri to Louisiana may see a low-flying helicopter towing a long cylinder, starting late this month and going into July. The 30-foot-long tube, called a bird, holds an electromagnetic instrument that the U.S. Geological Survey uses to make maps of aquifers — underground areas from which water can be drawn. Other instruments are in the helicopter. Past flights have taken parallel paths to cover about 54,000 square miles (about 140,000 square kilometers) of land in parts of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, research geophysicist Burke Minsley said. He said this year, the helicopter will generally fly along 6,500 miles of rivers in those states. It will start in what’s called the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, which the Geological Survey describes as the nation’s third-largest area of irrigated cropland.

Farmers in the area use 9 billion gallons of water for irrigation draining the aquifers and putting wells in danger. The aquifers include the Chicot Aquifer in Louisiana. The rivers to be flown over include: Black, White, Sunflower, Ouachita, Tensas, Obion, Saline, Little Red, Vermillion, Mermentau, Calcasieu, and Sabine, as well as Bayou Teche and Bayou Lacassine. The flights will begin out of airfields in Missouri and will use others in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. This project began in 2017 and maps of past and planned flights are on the agencies website.

Low Flying Helos to Follow the Mississippi
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