Geophysics Field School

Dear Dialog,

I have just completed geophysics field school just outside of Ottawa. Specifically, we went to Renfrew and Calabogie. Both of which are are not very populated areas. It was lots of fun and a great learning experience overall.

Our first site, in Renfrew, was a patch of farmland that we were granted permission to use. I created an Executive Summary report of this site that you can see here. Our goals for this site were to collect geophysical data and present it to the “client” for their further use in assessing the feasibility of building a water treatment plant in the area. We were looking to determine the depth to bedrock and to characterize the different soil layers present in the overburden. We aimed to determine the interface, slope, and variability of the subsurface rock of the site location. Additionally, we were seeking to determine the depth of the water table and validate its present observed position in comparison to previous well records of the area. And finally, we were also looking to assess aquifer rechargeability and the viability of contaminant filtration through overburden soil material. These objectives were achieved through four different surveys: refraction seismic, reflection seismic, resistivity/IP, and passive seismic.

Here are some of the data products and pictures of our time in Renfrew!

Our second site, Calabogie, was fairly interesting, geologically speaking. I created a final report that you can see here. The overarching goal of surveying was to determine the economic feasibility of the mineralization that has taken place. Our goals included finding the depth, dip and slope of the mineralized units. We also sought out to determine the composition of the mineralized unit. Survey methods and instruments included Resistivity / Induced Polarization, Fluxgate magnetometers, EM, UTEM and a Proton Precession Magnetometer. The results from the data show strong evidence for a northern dipping mineralization zone with high conductivity, high chargeability, high magnetic susceptibility, and low resistivity. These properties point towards a metallic-bearing unit. This zone is located around the cut baseline. Economic feasibility may be low because of the nature of the site although there exists a vein of ore just below the surface.

This experience was particularly exciting for me because I got to take a leadership role at this site running the Quantec Resistivity/Induced Polarization survey. I had to communicate with my entire team over walkie talkies to make sure everybody was in their right place regularly and also communicate with the other survey teams to make sure we did not interfere with each others survey. Only after everybody was clear of the electrodes did I turn the power on. The voltage machine supplied roughly 1200V into the ground every time!

Here are some of the pictures from the Calabogie site.

-W