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SA tech night: Application of shallow electromagnetics surveys (Loupe EM) to support management of environmental water to floodplains on the River Murray in SA

Event Type

Event Date

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Event Location

Event Address

Thomas Cooper Room, Coopers Alehouse

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Event Details

Title: Application of shallow electromagnetics surveys (Loupe EM) to support management of environmental water to floodplains on the River Murray in SA

Presenter: Mike Hatch

Location: Thomas Cooper Room, Coopers Alehouse, 316 Pulteney St, Adelaide

Date: Thursday 15th June

Time: 5:30 pm for a 6:15 pm start

Cost: Members & students free, non-members $10, includes finger food & drinks




I have been working with colleagues at Flinders University and the University of Adelaide, on a project collecting large amounts of shallow electromagnetic data using the relatively new Loupe system. Specifically, we have been working on the Pike and Katarapko floodplains in the Riverland of South Australia: the first two surveys were run in May and December 2021, and the last in June 2022. Another round of surveying will be completed by the end of June 2023. This ongoing project is intended to investigate and monitor changes to the shallow groundwater system, and the potential expansion and contraction of the low salinity groundwater lenses over Pike River and Katarapko Creek floodplains following both controlled and uncontrolled flooding events. Both floodplains have within the last two years been fitted with barrages and regulators that allow for planned, artificial flooding when there is available water flowing in the Murray. Our work is intended to measure the extent and longevity of floodplain freshening that occurs after these events. Both areas were artificially flooded in mid- to late-2021 so we were able to collect one set of “baseline” data before flooding and one post-flood data set. The dataset will be especially interesting, as, as most of you will know, the Murray has naturally flooded to its highest levels since the huge floods in 1956.



Mike completed a PhD at the University of Adelaide in 2012 in geosciences, specialising in near-surface geophysics. Much of his research has been applied to using electromagnetic methods to image the salinity distribution in the near-river environment, mostly on and adjacent to the Murray River in South Australia. He has worked for almost 30 years collecting electrical and electromagnetic data, much of it for the mineral exploration industry. At present he splits his time between a position at the University of Adelaide as a contract researcher, Zonge Engineering (with whom he has worked for quite a while), and as the Australian rep for Vista Clara, an American company that specialises in the use of NMR to locate water in the subsurface. And he is trying to learn how to play golf too late in life.