Open File Report 1983-04

Open File Report 1983-04

OFR 1983-04

The Evaluation of the Effects of Seismic Detonations on Water Wells

Author(s) Vogwill, R.I.J. Date 1979-04-30

The scope and objectives for the New Norway seismic project were formulated in various correspondence between Energy and Natural Resources and the Groundwater Division, Alberta research Council but are probably best outlined in a memorandum by Gordon Gabert dated May 17, 1978 (App. A).

The main objective of the project was to attempt to scientifically evaluate the effects of seismic detonations on water wells and thus aid E&NR in evaluating claims of well damage. According to complaints received, the most common parameters affected were water levels, groundwater chemistry, well hydraulics, well depths, groundwater appearance or smell and well yield. A secondary objective of the project was to establish how far from water wells seismic detonations should take place in order to minimize or eliminate possible damaging effects. This objective would therefore attempt to verify the present legal distance of 183 m.

In establishing the scope of the project, it was important to operate under conditions that were typical of Alberta as possible. The project was to be located in a plains environment typical of Alberta. A line of four wells to be completed; two in a typical bedrock aquifer such as a bentonitic sandstone, and two in a typical drift aquifer such as sand or sand and gravel. Well construction was to be either slotted casing or open hole as is common in most domestic water wells in Alberta. Three or four shotholes, 18 m deep, were to be drilled in a line at right angles to the line of water wells and loaded with and well performance tests prior to detonation. After each detonation, well conditions were to be re-evaluated using the same sequence of aquifer and well performance tests. A down-the-hole camera, supplied by Alberta Environment, would be used to inspect wells after every detonation.