Planes to survey U.P. geology

Jun 7, 2018

SAWYER, MI--   Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey will be studying the geology of the Central U.P. over the next few months. 

People may witness a low-flying airplane above the broader Iron Mountain-Escanaba-Marquette region this spring and summer. Scientists will conduct a high-resolution survey to help them understand the geology—including buried rock types and faults—of the area.

As part of the research, pilots who are specially trained in low-level flying will make a grid pattern at elevations from 250 to 1,000 feet above the ground. The planes will carry instruments that measure variations in the earth’s magnetic field.

Because different rocks vary in content of magnetic minerals, the resulting maps allow visualization of the geologic structure below the surface.

Officials say the instruments make only passive measurements, and pose no health risk to humans or animals.