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Posted on: August 16, 2022

Low-flying Aircraft Expected in Clarke County During Upcoming Geological Research Project

Berryville residents can expect to see low-flying aircraft, including helicopters, from late August through December as the Virginia Department of Energy and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) gather geological images above and below ground via airborne geophysical technology. 

Pilots specially trained and approved for low-level flight will operate the aircraft at an altitude of 300 to 1,000 feet. 

The flights will gather information for the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative or Earth MRI, a nationwide collaboration between the USGS and state geologists for the creation of maps that assist in domestic exploration for mineral resources critical to national security and prosperity. Data-gathering of this type in this vicinity has not occurred in 45 years. 

More information on the technology is available at the USGS website.

Those with questions may contact the Virginia Department of Energy’s Geology and Mineral Resources program at (434) 951-6340 or vaenergy@energy.virginia.gov 

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