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Case Study

Trans mountain geophysical investigations in support of HDD feasibility

pipeline through mountains

Advisian conducted geophysical investigations at over 40 river crossings for proposed HDD (horizontal directional drill) borehole paths located along the proposed pipeline route in Alberta and southern British Columbia.


The project involved the use of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and seismic refraction methods, primarily to identify the top of bedrock and delineate granular from fine-grained overburden along with potential geohazards, which could pose risks to HDD drilling and installed pipelines. Complementary MASW (multi-channel analysis of surface waves) surveys were conducted at select sites to provide additional 2D shear wave information.


Geophysical data were processed and correlated with geotechnical borehole lithology and then interpreted to aid in the construction of geological cross-sections for each river crossing. The project involved the successful and safe collection of ERT and seismic data in remote locations with challenging, mountainous terrain. We also ensured daily field and office QA/QC of data to ensure data quality and objectives were met.