Abstract: A cost effective approach to regional and site-specific aquifer exploration using combined airborne and ground electromagnetics

As a preview to our upcoming October 2018 RECORDER, we present this abstract.

Shallow groundwater is often hosted in Quaternary sediments that are very complex in nature and challenging to map. Traditional mapping and exploration methods to delineate these features are often time consuming, costly, and provide uncertain results. Airborne electromagnetic (EM) techniques have proven effective in delineating these aquifers over extensive geographic areas in a very timely and cost effective manner.

Brion Energy Corporation (Brion), in collaboration with DMT Geosciences Ltd. (DMT), has employed these techniques to identify shallow groundwater sources near our assets. Once these sources have been located, more traditional methods have been employed to verify and assess the aquifers. Some paleo-channels are often complex in shape and can pose additional challenges when drilling. For these circumstances, additional relatively low-cost ground-based EM methods (Time-Domain Electromagnetics, or TDEM) can be applied to confirm a shallow aquifer drilling target to improve drilling and well testing success.

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Jane Dawson has extensive experience processing and interpreting many types of geophysical data. She has been involved with a wide variety of projects, including identifying and mapping aquifer facies with GPR, inverting and interpreting airborne EM data, and processing and interpreting marine seismic surveys. Recently she has been working on multi-survey interpretations and in the inversion of airborne and ground TEM data. Jane has a BSc (Engineering Physics) and MSc (Engineering) from Queen’s University, and a PhD in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia. 

Robert Perrin has experience with a variety of geophysical methods used for mapping risks associated with groundwater, specializing in seismic and electrical resistivity methods. His recent focus has been on mapping mine hazards in the Athabasca Oil Sands that are related to water movement. Robert has a BSc (Geophysics) and a MSc (Geophysics) from the University of Calgary. 

Jim Henderson has been involved in hydrogeophysics since the mid-1970s, using ground geophysics to map the presence of paleo-channels in the Fort McMurray area that impacted mining operations. Since that time, he has managed a wide variety of projects to map aquifers as well as aquitards combining both airborne and ground geophysics. Jim has a BSc from the University of Toronto and a MEDes and PhD from the University of Calgary. 

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