University of Victoria

The Centre for Earth and Ocean Research (CEOR) at the University of Victoria, BC coordinates research in earth, ocean and atmospheric sciences at the University of Victoria and engages in collaborative projects and programs with other institutions and agencies, in particular the nearby government laboratories on Vancouver Island. In addition to collaboration with academic departments, research at the centre is also undertaken in cooperation with the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis and the Canadian Institute of Climate Studies, both located on the UVic campus. Externally, research collaboration is undertaken with local agencies such as the BC Geological Survey, the Institute for Ocean Sciences and the Pacific Geoscience Centre. These provide a large pool of local talent in earth, ocean and atmospheric research. As part of its initiative to further collaborative research, CEOR has entered into a wide range of individual research contracts and joint venture agreements with these agencies.

Simon Fraser University

At Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC researchers are involved with CASSIS (Cascadia Collaborative Seismic Experiment), a large onshore-offshore seismic survey due to be shot in August 2003 off Vancouver Island, BC. CASSIS involves the Japan Marine Science and Technology Centre, the Geological Survey of Canada and several Canadian universities. The seismic survey will comprise more than 1600 km of multichannel reflection data, 80 ocean-bottom seismometers and 100 land instruments, with the objective of defining the 3-D structure of the northern Cascadia convergent margin and the inter-plate boundary.

University of British Columbia

At UBC the Geophysical Disaster Computational Fluid Dynamics Centre researches weather-related natural disasters, particularly as they affect western Canada, while the Geophysical Inversion Facility focuses on development and application of geophysical forward modelling and inversion methodologies. Much of the current research involves 3-D modelling and inversion of electromagnetic data.

University of Alberta

The Signal Analysis and Imaging Group at the University of Alberta specializes in the enhancement, imaging and inversion of seismic data. Some recent research includes least-squares migration and amplitude vs angle imaging, Radon transforms, 3-D AVA imaging and estimation of physical parameters and signal/noise enhancement.

University of Saskatchewan

University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Geological Sciences hosts the Museum of Natural Science, which outlines evolution throughout geological time, provides an integrated learning environment and has displays of living plants, fossils, rocks and minerals. A working seismograph is also on display. The research facilities here include a seismology laboratory.

University of Manitoba

Subjects of particular interest at the University of Manitoba include applied geophysics, geophysics of the earth’s crust and mantle and geophysical data processing. The geophysics program in the department of Geological Sciences maintains two geophysical observatories: the seismic observatory and the geomagnetic observatory. The seismic observatory at the University of Manitoba has a long history. The first seismograph was installed in 1909 in the basement of St. Boniface College by the Jesuit Fr. Blair, who was a professor of physics at the time. The modern seismometers were moved from their site in 1985 and the complete facility is now located in the basement of the Wallace building. The seismic observatory facilities were set up for instructional purposes only, even though world-wide seismic activities are monitored continuously. The geomagnetic observatory is located in Glenlea, Manitoba, about 15 km south of Winnipeg, and is maintained jointly with the Geological Survey of Canada.

University of Western Ontario

The Southern Ontario Seismic Network (SOSN) is operated by the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Western Ontario for Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and has been in operation since 1991. SOSN consists of 11 three component seismic stations located mainly in the Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara peninsula area of Southern Ontario. The purpose of the network is to obtain information on the seismicity and seismic hazards of a region of southern Ontario in which a number of large nuclear power stations are operated by OPG. Although this region is not as seismically active as other areas of Eastern Canada such as the St. Lawrence Valley, it has experienced small earthquakes in the past.

In July 1997, the department completed construction of the Campus Environmental Geophysics Test Range, in which seven large metal objects were buried in fluvial sand and gravel on campus. These objects consist of a large steel plate, two solid steel cylinders, three 45-gallon steel drums and a collection of heavy bolts (to simulate a decimated conductor). Each target provides a distinctive geophysical signature for a suite of different geophysical techniques (magnetics, DC-resistivity, ground penetrating radar and electromagnetics). This facility, the most extensive such test facility in Canada, is used for undergraduate teaching and equipment calibration.

University of Toronto

The Department of Geology at the University of Toronto has a tectonic laboratory where scaled analogue experiments are employed to gain insights into the dynamics and kinematics of rock deformation at scales ranging from outcrop to the lithosphere.

York University

Research interests in the Department of Earth Sciences at York University include mantle convection, core dynamics and Earth rotation, experimental and theoretical geophysical fluid dynamics, remote sensing, synthetic aperture radar, geological applications of geographical information systems and the development of new GIS techniques.

Queen’s University

Queen’s University, Ontario has a computer equipped laboratory for research into seismic exploration methods, including investigations in wave propagation, data processing methods, high definition 2-D and 3-D imaging and seismic data interpretation. It also houses the Experimental Tectonics Centrifuge Laboratory run by Dr. John Dixon. It is a large-capacity centrifuge (capable of subjecting two 0.5 kg models to accelerations up to 20 000 g) used in scale-model studies of tectonic processes. Since the lab is affiliated with the Fold-Fault Research Project, the current emphasis is on structural development of foreland fold-thrust belts.

University of Ottawa and Carleton University

The Ottawa Carleton Earthquake Engineering Research Centre has been established as a joint research centre of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. Its objective is to foster research in earthquake engineering at the two universities as well as to bring together researchers from industry, government agencies and universities in the national capital region who are active in the field of earthquake engineering and who have produced valuable research in that area.


The McGill Seismic Research Group under Dr. Bruce Hart is a small group that seeks to integrate reflection seismic methods, generally 3-D seismic data, with other data types to address fundamental and applied problems in reservoir characterization, stratigraphy and structural geology. Current projects include research into carbonates, fractures, tight gas sandstones and Scotia Shelf stratigraphy and reservoir characterization.

Carleton University and University of Ottawa

The Ottawa-Carleton Geoscience Centre was established in 1982 and is one of the largest graduate teaching and research institutes of Earth Sciences in Canada, representing the combined expertise of the departments of Earth Sciences at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. The Centre offers programmes that include research in the fields of environmental geoscience, geomathematics/computing, tectonics, geodynamics, seismic engineering and seismology and is part of a sophisticated world-wide seismic data acquisition and seismic risk assessment program.

University of New Brunswick

The University of New Brunswick’s Planetary and Space Science Centre (PASSC) was officially opened in April and continues to generate local excitement. Mars Global Surveyor laser altimetry data and high-resolution images of martian impact structures will be used to help further the understanding of cratering processes on the red planet. In June 2002, Dr. Karl Butler led UNB’s 40 ft research vessel Mary-O, in collaboration with the GSC Atlantic and UNB’s Ocean Mapping Group, to probe the depths of the Fredericton acquifer using a high resolution seismic profiling system on the Saint John River. An experimental seismic/seismoelectric survey was also carried out over a paleochannel system that provides water for mining operations in the Western Australian gold fields.

St. Francis Xavier University

Global continental heat gain, geothermal data and climate reconstruction play an important role at the Environmental Earth Sciences laboratory, St. Francis Xavier University, NS.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

MUSIC is the Memorial University Seismic Imaging Consortium at Memorial University of Newfoundland, The goal of the consortium is continued research in applied seismology and applications to exploration geophysics. The primary areas of research are those of particular interest to corporate sponsors and include prestack depth migration with velocity analysis, 3-D depth migration, seabottom and peg-leg multiple removal, wavelet-based processing and AVO.

Memorial is also home to the Geomechanics Project, chaired by Dr. Michael Slawinski. Their research deals with seismic ray theory in elastic media and investigations into a geometrical formulation of seismic ray theory grounded in variational principles. The research is based on collaborations with mathematicians possessing expertise in differential geometry and is conducted in conjunction with petroleum and geophysical companies.



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