Special Report 098

Special Report 098

SPE 098

Baseline Investigations into the Groundwater Resources of the Athabasca Oil Sands (In Situ) Area, Northeast Alberta

Author(s) Andriashek, L.D. Parks, K. Date 2002-06-01

This report summarizes work done in 2002 by Alberta Geological Survey on a Western Economic Partnership Agreement-funded project to conduct baseline investigations into the groundwater resources of the Athabasca Oil Sands (in situ) area in northeast Alberta. The report comprises 10 chapters of interpretations and results and eight appendices containing geological and hydrogeological data, methods, procedures and protocols, and other supplementary reports.

Chapter 1 outlines the important role that groundwater plays in the development of oil sands in northern Alberta.

Chapter 2 presents a conceptual framework for groundwater resource assessments.

Chapter 3 sets the physical stage for the study by outlining the major topographic and physiographic features that influence groundwater recharge and discharge in the region.

Chapter 4 provides the approaches used to evaluate the inputs (recharge) and outputs (discharge) of groundwater flow.

Chapter 5 presents the results of a terrain analysis of the surficial geology, as determined by an aerial photograph interpretation of the landscape.

Chapters 6 and 7 outline the bedrock topography and geology of the unconsolidated drift (Quaternary sediments) that lies above the bedrock surface in the study area.

Chapter 8 presents the results of the investigation into the groundwater of the drift (Quaternary) succession.

Chapter 9 presents the results of the investigation into deeper hydrostratigraphic horizons, specifically the water within the Upper Mannville Group.

Chapter 10 lists the groundwater issues specific to the major oil sands unit in the study area of the McMurray Formation.

Parks, K. and Andriashek, L.D. (2002): Baseline Investigations into the Groundwater Resources of the Athabasca Oil Sands (In Situ) Area, Northeast Alberta; Alberta Geological Survey, EUB Special Report 98, 480 p.