Dr. Jerry Montgomery, PhD Geophysics from the University of Utah, delivered the first version of Willowstick’s technology in 2004. Jerry spent a long and distinguished career developing and applying geophysics in the mining industry. Coupled with the insight of Dr. Rondo Jeffery, PhD Physics University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, he developed an innovative technique and custom instrumentation that proved highly effective in mapping groundwater.
In 2004 Amp Capital Partners, a venture capital firm, invested in Willowstick Technologies. They became acquainted with Willowstick through a project at one of their geothermal electricity generating plants. Using Willowstick instruments and software they were able to map and model groundwater in order to pinpoint geothermal resources thus saving millions of dollars for their company. Using Willowstick’s technology, rather than their ongoing drilling efforts, AMP saw a return on investment that was so compelling that they acquired controlling interest in the Willowstick Technologies, LLC.
The Willowstick Instrument™ measures the magnetic field produced by the distribution of electric current to track patterns that help characterize preferential groundwater flow. Our Magnetometric Resistivity (MMR) technology differs markedly from traditional resistivity and other electromagnetic (EM) methodologies. First, it capitalizes on the fact that water content is a dominant factor in enhancing the subsurface electrical conductivity of soil and rock. Second, by directly energizing a conductive groundwater medium with strategic electrode placement, the electric field can more effectively “illuminate” the target of interest with less interference from overlying layers, and 3) Our instruments, pattern recognition software, and robust processing power enable us to rapidly iterate and change the direction of energy bias in real-time. This “adaptive mapping” capability enables our models to be precise representations of in the ground reality. The Willowstick process is protected by patent process No. US 8,688,423 and other patents pending.
Over the past few years Willowstick has taken significant steps forward in terms of refining its instruments used to collect and map a wide variety of groundwater reading and the software algorithms and filtering capability necessary to see groundwater activity with much greater acuity than ever before. The order of magnitude increases in computing power have made it possible for us to recognize and amplify very faint signals at greater depths than previously possible. Furthermore, the breadth of our technology applicability has expanded from tracking water leaks in dams to oil and gas applications, from there to addressing mining and refining water problems, and finally to a variety of environmental applications that presuppose the ability to track contaminant transport through water bearing zones.
Today, Willowstick has completed over 250 groundwater characterization projects all over the world. Willowstick is happy to count as its clients the most sophisticated clients and consulting engineers around the world.