In 2008, scientists took to the skies to study the geology and environment of the Isle of Wight.
During the last week of September and the first two weeks of October 2008, the British Geological Survey will carry out a low level airborne survey of the Isle of Wight.
The aircraft used will be a De Havilland Twin Otter (pictured) with a distinctive red and white striped tail-plane and registration OH-KOG.
It will fly along a regular series of lines 200 metres (656 ft) apart, oriented north-south and at a height no lower than 56 metres (185 ft) as it gathers information on the local geology and environment.
The aircraft will be based at Bembridge aerodrome for the duration of the one-week long survey.
Peter Hopson, principal geologist at the British Geological Survey involved in remapping the Isle of Wight said:
“The Isle of Wight has been the subject of geological study from the earliest days of the geological sciences. It is one of the classic areas of field geology in the world with spectacular coastlines demonstrating earth-moving structures and sediments from an age when a ‘greenhouse world’ was the norm on Earth.
Geotourism was an invention and popular pastime of the Victorians and the Island still attracts the amateur and the serious student of geology to this day.
“The original geological map of 1888, partly updated in 1926, and its descriptive memoir reflects the keen interest in the natural world held by our Victorian forefathers. Their observational science was superb but the geological sciences have come a long way since that time and a new survey is necessary.
The most important measurements in this particular survey will be made with an electromagnetic system; this records variations of electrical conductivity in the shallow earth which may reflect land quality.
As custodians of Britain’s geological maps, the British Geological Survey recently started a new ground survey that uses all the modern techniques available to bring the current maps up to a modern day standard.
The airborne survey is one of the most advanced such systems in the world and the team is delighted to have the opportunity to use this remote sensing platform to enhance its understanding of this little diamond of geology.
The survey aircraft will fly: In daylight hours between Mondays and Saturdays; Mostly in a north-south direction; At an altitude no lower than 56 metres (185 ft) Along lines spaced 200 metres (656 ft) apart At a speed of approximately 130 mph with a noise similar to that of a passing lorry
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