Advisian shares its geotechnical and hydrogeological expertise at GeoEdmonton 2018


We are a proud sponsor of this premier conference to be held in Edmonton, Canada from 23-26 Sept 2018.

12 September 2018

Advisian is a proud platinum sponsor of GeoEdmonton 2018, held from September 23-26 in Edmonton, Alberta. The premier event assembles a diverse range of geotechnical and hydrogeological experts, and is a collaboration between the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS) and the Canadian National Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH-CNC). This year's theme, 'Transportation Geotechnique – Moving Forward," drives the conference's aim to highlight recent achievements in transportation development and their associated geohazards.

In addition to being a sponsor and exhibitor, Advisian will be presenting several technical sessions on the following topics, geared toward introducing new ways to tackle some of the real-world problems being experienced in the operational arena, and fostering interactive discussions on how we can assist in developing real solutions for our clients.



Our presentations


Cold Regions and Permafrost Geotechnics

Execution of a Winter Geotechnical Drilling Program at Pond Inlet and IqaluitJeff Gibson
We will present the challenges overcome while successfully executing a winter geotechnical drilling program in Pond Inlet and Iqaluit in Nunavut, Canada in March/April 2017, supporting proposed port facilities to be built for these communities in the Canadian Arctic. Challenges included the logistics involved with mobilizing and demobilizing drilling equipment to the high Arctic, dealing with the extremely harsh weather, as well as having to plan and execute drilling on sea ice with a tidal range of over 11 m. The geotechnical drilling program focused on ground conditions underlying proposed deep sea port and small craft harbour sites at Iqaluit and a small craft harbour site in Pond Inlet, as well as sourcing suitable hard rock at both locations. This will focus primarily on Iqaluit whilst drawing upon key lessons learned from the works completed in Pond Inlet.

Tunneling in Urban Environments

A Geotechnical Insight into A Pipeline CrossingAmer Awad
Pipeline route alignments cross various natural and man-made features which require site specific designs. We will discuss what was required to select, and overcome challenges associated with designing the appropriate crossing method for a pipeline alignment that crosses a Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) right of way (ROW) in Northern Alberta. Based on the enhanced subsurface characterization from the combined geotechnical and geophysical investigations a settlement monitoring plan satisfying CPR requirements was designed and implemented for the crossing location. A base survey monitoring was completed for the settlement monitoring devices prior to the HDB construction. Then the settlement monitoring plan was completed during the HDB construction installation activities and few weeks after the completion of the HDB installations until the settlement readings tapered off. We will also present the activities and findings leading into and forming the basis of the monitoring program and provides results of the settlement monitoring plan for the pipeline HDB crossing.


Mining, Energy Development and Groundwater

Groundwater Recharge in a Reclaimed Watershed Following Oil Sands Mining: Implications for Groundwater Flow in Reconstructed LandscapesMaxwell Lukenbach
Oil sands mining disturbs Alberta’s boreal forest, necessitating large-scale reclamation. Reclamation requires reconstructing groundwater flow systems that provide adequate water to down-gradient ecosystems and water bodies. However, this is challenging due to the region’s sub-humid climate, salinity of underlying tailings or overburden materials, and need to appropriately prescribe soil reclamation covers that promote forest growth. In 2012, Syncrude Canada Ltd. constructed an experimental watershed, Sandhill Fen Watershed, on a soft tailings deposit. The watershed’s basin-scale upland hummocks were designed to function as water sources to a lowland wetland. Therefore, hummocks must facilitate adequate recharge, while simultaneously providing a suitable substrate for forest growth. The purpose of this study was to estimate recharge for hummocks having varying heights, textures, and soil reclamation covers. We will discuss how these findings have implications for the management of water and solute balances in reconstructed landscapes and for down-gradient ecosystems and waters bodies of the boreal forest.

Regional Characterization

History and Findings of Alberta’s Athabasca Oil Sands Area Groundwater Quality Monitoring ProgramTrevor Butterfield
Groundwater quality in the North and South Athabasca Oil Sands (N/SAOS) region, and the Cold Lake-Beaver River Basin of Alberta, Canada, has been monitored at varying spatial and temporal resolutions since the 1970s. The number of wells being monitored for groundwater quality and frequency of monitoring declined in the 1980s, but has increased since the mid-2000s due to expanding industrial and oil sand development in the region. The current active groundwater quality network consists of approximately 100 monitoring wells, plus supplemental monitoring data from industry in each region. This presentation traces the historical development of the groundwater quality monitoring network and identifies preliminary historical spatial and temporal trends in the NAOS and SAOS groundwater quality data using Mann-Kendall and Theil-Sen trend tests. The statistical results support previous interpretations that the groundwater chemistry in the regional network is spatially diverse, both within and between formations. Based on this spatial variability, a discussion of ideas for further development and refinement of the existing groundwater monitoring program will also be presented to improve and support ongoing evaluation of Alberta’s groundwater resources.

Regional Characterization of the Beverly Channel Aquifer in the Industrial Heartland Area, Fort Saskatchewan, AlbertaJoão Küpper
The Beverly Channel Aquifer consists of pre-glacial deposits of the Empress Formation with a fining-upward sequence of gravels grading to sands and finally to silts and clays. The pre-glacial Beverly valley occurs over a large area, originating in the Rocky Mountains and trending east towards its confluence with the pre-glacial Helina valley near Cold Lake, Alberta. Where sufficient thicknesses exist, the pre-glacial deposits form an excellent aquifer with yields in the order of 160 to 650 m3/day and fair to good water quality (total dissolved solids ranging generally from less than 500 mg/L to about 1,000 mg/L). The aquifer has been, and continues to be, used as a source of water for domestic, agricultural, municipal and industrial purposes. In the Industrial Heartland Area of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northeast Capital Industrial Association (NCIA) has installed and maintained a network of 13 monitoring wells in the Beverly Channel Aquifer since 2005 with the purpose of defining and monitoring baseline conditions for the aquifer. We will discuss the results of 13 consecutive years of monitoring for water levels and water quality, which show remarkable consistency on a temporal basis, but with significant spatial variations within the aquifer. 

Regional Hydrogeology of the Bakken Formation of the Williston Basin (Canada - USA)Daniel Skoreyko
The Bakken Formation is currently the most productive oil producing formation in the Williston Basin, and one of the most economically important tight oil plays in North America. Oil in the Bakken Formation has been shown to migrate from the central, thermally mature portion of the Bakken Formation outwards and toward the less mature portion of the formation, and north to Canada. Previous studies have shown that a clear understanding of the hydrogeology and migration pathways is crucial for resource development; however, the influences and implications of groundwater flow and hydrochemistry in the Bakken Formation have been relatively poorly studied. Pressure and chemistry data from both the Canadian and U.S. portion of the Bakken Formation were compiled into newly-created databases spanning the entire Williston Basin. An intensive iterative culling procedure was used to remove all non-representative formation pressures and formation water analyses affected by nearby production, injection, and hydraulic fracturing operations.This study provides the most comprehensive regional hydrogeological and hydrochemical characterization of the Bakken Formation across the Williston Basin to date.

Isotopic and Geochemical Fingerprinting

Regional Characterization of Athabasca Oil Sands Area Groundwater Using Environmental IsotopesKathryn Pooley
Groundwater monitoring of Alberta Environment and Parks’ North Athabasca Oil Sands (NAOS) and South Athabasca Oil Sands (SAOS) well network is a provincially-led groundwater management program, and is conducted under the mandate of the Groundwater Management Framework (GWMF) for the Lower Athabasca Region and the joint federal/provincial Oil Sands Monitoring Program. The 2016/2017 monitoring included sampling of select environmental isotopes in groundwater across the entire NAOS and SAOS networks. Approximately fifty NAOS and SAOS groundwater wells were sampled and analyzed for a comprehensive set of both stable and radiogenic isotopic parameters (14C, 13C, 3H, 18O, 2H) in 2016/2017. Previous monitoring of isotopic parameters included sampling in 2009 and 2012 in the NAOS network, but not in the SAOS monitoring network. The 2016/2017 isotopic data were used to estimate groundwater ages, evaluate aquifer and groundwater–surface water connectivity, and screen for monitoring well integrity. Six different age classifications (modern, mixing/modern, mixing, submodern, submodern [methanogenic] and submodern [high TDS]) were made throughout the networks. We will present an assessment of the results, which provide an indication of groundwater ages and flow dynamics at local- and regional-scales, insight into the hydrogeochemical conditions at some locations, and identification of potential integrity issues at individual monitoring wells within the network. 

Learn more about GeoEdmonton2018 and register now!

About our speakers

AMER AWAD, Ph.D., P. Eng. | Senior Geotechnical Engineer
Amer AwadDr. Awad is a seasoned geotechnical engineer with international experience in the contractors, academic and consulting domains; competent in problem solving, slope stability and dams, soil improvements, foundation design and construction, dams and dam safety reviews, pile foundation and pile testing, tailings and embankments, and other geotechnical areas augmented by project management and scheduling skills; strong background in the design and implementation of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. Dr. Awad has designed and provided design alternatives for variety projects such as dams, concrete structures, and soil improvement projects, and managed and executed complex projects ranging from geotechnical investigation, dam safety review, soil improvements, pipelines, infrastructure and buildings. He also executed on-site inspections and assessed on-site failures and/or construction defects.

TREVOR BUTTERFIELD, M.Sc., P.Geo. | Project Manager/Principal Hydrogeologist

Trevor ButterfieldMr. Butterfield is a Principal Hydrogeologist, with more than 15 years of environmental consulting experience. Mr. Butterfield has conducted, managed, prepared reports, and provided senior technical review for numerous multi-disciplinary groundwater, soil quality, and contamination investigations spanning up- and mid-stream oil and gas, oil sands, waste management, agricultural, urban, utility, and government industries. He also specializes in quantitative hydrogeology and has completed numerical groundwater flow and solute/contaminant transport modelling to support contamination

JEFF GIBSON, M.Sc. | Senior Geological Specialist

Jeff Gibson

Jeff Gibson is a Senior Geological Specialist who has predominantly focused over the past ten years on the planning and execution of marine and terrestrial geotechnical investigations throughout Canada and Australia, as well as Kenya and Papua New Guinea. Jeff was the geotechnical field lead for summer and winter investigations at Pond Inlet and Iqaluit.


JOAO KUPPER, Ph.D., P. Eng. | Principal Groundwater Engineer

Joao KupperDr. Küpper is a Principal Groundwater Engineer with Advisian | WorleyParsons with over 30 years of experience.  His area of expertise includes hydrogeological characterization; groundwater monitoring; hydrogeological data interpretation; surface water and groundwater interactions; design of interceptor trenches, recovery wells and hydraulic barriers; design and installation of monitoring wells, dewatering wells and water supply wells; design, execution and interpretation of pumping tests; environmental impact assessments; groundwater subsurface contamination and remediation; and groundwater flow and contaminant transport modelling. He has extensive experience with hydrogeological assessments and baseline studies, including assessment of groundwater interactions with wetlands and regional groundwater studies at county-scale. He has been one of the principal investigators for the Beverly Channel Aquifer Regional Characterization. Dr. Küpper has provided critical reviews for hydrogeological studies, including those related to the heavy oil extraction operations, and expert testimony at regulatory hearings.

MAXWELL LUKENBACH, Ph.D. | Groundwater Scientist

Max LukenbachDr. Lukenbach is a groundwater scientist at Advisian with advanced expertise in groundwater modelling. He has extensive experience developing conceptual models, designing hydrogeological monitoring networks, analyzing datasets, collecting field data, and working on interdisciplinary teams. He is also highly knowledgeable in the application of data science packages and multivariate statistics to address problems relating to groundwater and soil contamination. Dr. Lukenbach has numerous publications in the field of hydrogeology with scientific expertise in oil sands reclamation and boreal wetland hydrology. He has aided in the advancement of reclamation strategies on oil sands leases and has helped improve best management practices for boreal wetlands. 

KATHRYN POOLEY, M.Sc., P. Eng. | Hydrogeological Engineer

Kathryn PooleyMs. Pooley is a hydrogeological engineer with over 10 years of experience in groundwater consulting. Ms. Pooley has provided consulting services for the upstream oil and gas industry, government, and industrial facilities, including hydrogeological baseline studies, environmental impact assessments, environmental site assessments, and aquifer vulnerability assessments. Kathryn’s work has primarily focused on central Alberta and Alberta’s oil sands regions, but also includes international experience in contaminated site characterization using stable isotopes. Ms. Pooley’s expertise includes water quality; regional and baseline hydrogeology, groundwater-surface water interaction, groundwater flow and transport modelling, risk assessment, and isotope hydrochemistry.

DANIEL SKOREYKO, M.Sc., Geol.I.T. | Hydrogeologist

Daniel SkoreykoMr. Skoreyko is a hydrogeologist at Advisian with expertise in regional hydrogeology, aquifer characterizations, and hydrogeochemistry. Mr. Skoreyko has experience with monitoring well installation, groundwater and soil sampling, pumping tests execution, and automatic data collection via data loggers; developing conceptual models; and analysing various field data for hydrogeological interpretation. He is an integral member in multi-disciplinary teams, and contributes his technical knowledge to understand groundwater flow at both local and regional scale.