Seismic monitoring set up in Valemount area

Dianne St. Jean

Results to be used in geothermal development
A field research team from Borealis GeoPower along with members of the University of Calgary Geoscience Department were in the Valemount area between August 11 - 15 as part of a seismic monitoring program that will further research toward geothermal development.

The sign says “Hello there. You’ve found me. I am one of the Canoe Reach smart gnomes. I was installed in 2017 and I am here monitoring our earth’s subtle movements. I work with Borealis Geopower Inc.,
The sign says “Hello there. You’ve found me. I am one of the Canoe Reach smart gnomes. I was installed in 2017 and I am here monitoring our earth’s subtle movements. I work with Borealis Geopower Inc.,
the University of Calgary Geoscience Department, and Nanometrics Inc.”

The sign on the equipment says “Hello there. You’ve found me. I am one of the Canoe Reach smart gnomes. I was installed in 2017 and I am here monitoring our earth’s subtle movements. I work with Borealis Geopower Inc., the University of Calgary Geoscience Department, and Nanometrics Inc.” 

 The Canoe Reach Geothermal Project is one of two major projects under Borealis whose ultimate goal is to establish geothermal as a heat source that will provide power to community projects and businesses, and even sell power to the grid.

The program involves setting up monitoring equipment that will enable researchers to establish a baseline of seismic activity and track fault movement in the area. This will help them gain a better understanding of the area’s overall activity and changes in the subsurface that can be used for reservoir modeling, since seismic activity influences the flow of water. The more events - even the slightest - the more information this will provide the researchers. How faults are moving over time will give them a better idea of where there is fluid moving and where to possibly drill.

The research is necessary in the process toward geothermal development, both before and after development starts.

Seismic activity includes anything that causes ground disturbance, either man-made or natural such as landslides, avalanches, mining blasts, even a train passing by.

Previous to the installation of this equipment, the monitoring stations that were being used are very far away. For example, the closest one to the east is in Edmonton, which cannot really provide a lot of good coverage.

Ten monitors were installed throughout the area, the northernmost station being up near Tete Jaune and the southernmost located at 24k on the east side just past the Marina.

Some of these monitoring stations will be here indefinitely while others will be here for 18 to 24 months.

Results will be posted on the Borealis GeoPower website for anyone who is curious at www.borealisgeopower.com.

Setting up the “smart gnome”.
Setting up the “smart gnome”.
Equipment for seismic monitoring program.
Equipment for seismic monitoring program.
Photos submitted by Madison Ritchie, field team member.