b'Environmental geophysicsEnvironmental geophysicsand (b) must include local communityequator, there are two seasons: a wet involvement, local student involvement,season and a dry season. The problem and government involvement. All ofis that during the wet season there is which we did in spadeswe wantedplenty of water; during the dry only to introduce a number of geophysicalfarmers within 300m of rivers are techniques that could be applied toable to irrigate and to grow good hydrogeological problems to professorscrops. To complicate the groundwater and their students from local universities,story, there are sporadic salt deposits as well as to government scientiststhat reduce the quality of groundwater involved in groundwater work.locally. Locating these salt deposits, and then staying away from them, is an We kick-started the project in Marchimportant step towards ensuring good 2018 by giving a half day seminar to agroundwater quality.Mike Hatchnumber of students and government Associate Editor for people about the application ofWe collected data at 18 sites along a Environmental geophysics geophysics to hydrogeological problemsroughly 18 km line going E-W from michael.hatch@adelaide.edu.au (they had some experience in thiswest of Km52 Village to the Nam already). We then introduced them to aNgung River (Figure 1). At six of number of techniques, with which theythese sites (the major study areas) Geoscientists withoutdid not have experience, that we wantedwe collected data using a number of Borders mappingto test in the field. Nineteen ultimatelytechniques. These included (but were spent time with us in the field collectingnot limited to): ground resistivity (a groundwater in Laos data, some only for a day or two, some64 channel Iris systemFigure 2), for the entire ten day programme. Here is Welcome readers to this issuesour story.column on geophysics applied to theThe Lao PDR is a landlocked country environment. This month I describe anthat depends mostly on rainfall and interesting project that I am still workingriver irrigation for farmingand on with some colleagues from Flindersfarming is the main occupation of University. most people in Laos. Groundwater Back in 2017 we were awarded asupplies are not abundant, and are Geoscientists without Borders (GWB)of mixed quality. Our project aim grant from the SEG for a project in Laos.was to use geophysics to support One of the interesting things aboutinvestigations into the extent and GWB grants is that they cant just bequality of groundwater in Laos, straight research, they have to (a) beand to attempt to expand known on a project that is directly applicablegroundwater supplies into new areas and beneficial to a real-world problem,for irrigation. Being close to the Figure 1.Overview of field area. Note that we collected data at various sites along an approximatelyFigure 2.Setting up and running resistivity 18 km transect (black line). equipment on one of the survey sites.APRIL 2019 PREVIEW 32'