Vista Clara, Inc
Vista Clara, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of magnetic resonance geophysical equipment for groundwater and environmental investigations. Vista Clara offers a wide variety of surface, downhole and laboratory magnetic resonance instruments for direct sales, rental and leasing. Vista Clara also offers comprehensive geophysical services, with a focus on magnetic resonance imaging, to deliver valuable information for a wide range of groundwater applications, including environmental, municipal, geotechnical, and mining projects.
Geophysical Groundwater Services Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
Vista Clara offers comprehensive geophysical services, with a focus on NMR, to deliver valuable information for a wide range of groundwater applications, including environmental, municipal, agricultural, and mining projects. Our unique expertise in NMR instrumentation and analysis allows us to provide detailed characterization of groundwater without the need to drill additional wells. We can acquire NMR measurements non-invasively using our GMR surface-based instrument or via small boreholes using our Javelin logging tools, which can even operate in combination with a geoprobe system. Our team of expert engineers and geophysicists interpret these measurements to deliver actionable information to our clients. In addition to NMR measurements, we can also provide a full suite of conventional surface and borehole geophysical services to complement any survey.
Vista Clara Inc. develops and manufactures advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) geophysical instruments for groundwater, environmental, mining, and energy resource investigations. In business since 1997, Vista Clara is the world’s only geophysical instrumentation company with an exclusive focus on NMR technology. Our unique expertise enables the company to rapidly develop and commercialize technologically advanced NMR instruments, and to leverage our portfolio of hardware and software technologies across a growing line of products.
Vista Clara is comprised of a Board of Directors, President, and Vice President that provide strategic and financial management. Our staff includes scientists, electrical and systems engineers, geophysicists, and administrative support personnel. Our principal office is located in Mukilteo, Washington, in the Seattle metropolitan area.
Vista Clara Inc. is incorporated in the State of Washington, and classified under SBA regulations as a small, veteran-owned business. Vista Clara Inc. is also registered as a business in Australia with a resident director based in Adelaide.
Magnetic Resonance (MR) refers to a technique in physics known as “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance” or NMR. This is because we use powerful magnetic fields to affect the nucleus of water molecules for direct characterization. There is no radioactivity involved as “nuclear” merely refers to nucleus of the hydrogen atoms. This is depicted in the image below:
In geophysical applications of magnetic resonance, a high-voltage electrical current is pulsed through a coil of shielded wire at a specific frequency—the resonant frequency of hydrogen nuclei. This ‘excites’ the nuclei, causing them to generate an electromagnetic response signal that can be measured on the same coil that was used to excite them.
Magnetic resonance is a non-invasive physical method to directly detect the magnetic moment of hydrogen protons
A hydrogen proton is a spinning particle with a positive charge – hence it has a non-zero magnetic moment
When placed in a static magnetic field (Bo):
- the magnetic moment preferentially aligns in the direction of the static field, and
- the magnetic moment precesses (wobbles) about the static field at a frequency directly proportional to the static field strength
Fnmr = Bo * (42.58 MHz/T)
Because the recorded NMR signal is emitted directly by hydrogen nuclei in water, it is only present if groundwater is present. Therefore, measuring the NMR signal enables direct quantification of the volume and spatial distribution of groundwater. The behavior of the NMR signal also provides information about the pore-scale hydrogeologic environment. It can be used to estimate critical properties governing the flow and storage of groundwater, such as porosity and permeability.
Just like in the term used for medical MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), we generally choose to drop the “N” from “NMR” when describing our products except when making technical explanations as “MR” is a more commonly known term.
For more details on how Magnetic Resonance works, watch this short 10-minute video by Dave Walsh, President of Vista Clara.
Where in the World is Vista Clara?
The short answer is “Everywhere!”
One of the things that our whole team enjoys the most is to support our customers in the field, virtually anywhere around the globe. We help you get the most out of your Vista Clara equipment investments and provide hands-on, in-depth support to assure success for your specific needs.
Elliot Grunewald working with Geoscience Australia, Alice Springs, Northern Territory Australia, 2018
Elliot Grunewald, Alaska, April 2017
Warren Caldwell, Argentina, 2017
Dave Walsh, The Pilbara, Western Australia, December 2009 (46 deg C in the shade)
Dave Walsh, Gnangara Mound, Western Australia, 2009
Dave Walsh in Wuhan, China in 2014
Dave Walsh with Leibniz Institute of Applied Geophysics in Hanover Germany - 2019
Elliot Grunewald and Rodney Caldwell (USGS) in White Sulpher Springs Montana - 2013
Warren Caldwell (Vista Clara) and Burke Minsley (USGS), Redwell Basin Colorado, 2018
Dave Walsh working with USGS in Uvalde Texas, 2009