Open File Report 2018-12

This report provides a summary of both the results and the lessons learned from the Turtle Mountain monitoring system (TMMS), and from studies undertaken by the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) and collaborators between January 1 and December 31, 2017. The TMMS is a near-real-time remote monitoring system that provides data from a network of sensors and monitoring campaigns on Turtle Mountain, located in the Crowsnest Pass of southern Alberta. 

As of April 1, 2005, the AGS took ownership of this system and the responsibility for long-term monitoring, interpretation of data, and notification of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency should significant rock movements occur. Since that time, Turtle Mountain has been the site of ongoing monitoring and research focused on understanding the geoloigcal structure and kinematics of movements of the unstable eastern slopes. As this site provides a rich dataset and optimal conditions for the application of new and evolving warning characterization technologies, the site has been termed the ‘Turtle Mountain Field Laboratory’.

As part of this responsibility, the AGS performs an annual detailed review of the data stream. To help in this interpretation, the AGS initiated specific studies to better understand the structure of the mountain and its relationship to the style and rate of movement seen in recent and historical deformations of South Peak. These studies also better define the unstable volumes of rock from the South, North and Third Peak areas.

This report comprises five main sections.

  • The first section contains information about the significant changes to the TMMS network during 2017. This includes a review of the main repair and maintenance activities, synopsis of abandoned stations, and a summary of system performance and reliability.
  • The second section provides data analysis and interpretation for the primary monitoring equipment, known as LiSAmobile. 
  • The third section reviews supporting studies and research conducted during 2017 and includes a RADARSAT-2 analysis. 
  • The fourth section contains information on the final steps of the Turtle Mountain transition and information on the Turtle Mountain Decommission Project (TMDP). Additional information regarding the TMDP can be found in Yusifbayov et al., 2018a.
  • The last section features information on three videos produced by the AER to highlight work completed on Turtle Mountain in 2017.

NTS Keywords

Wood, D.E., Chao, D.K., Yusifbayov, J.A. and Shipman, T.C. (2018): Turtle Mountain Field Laboratory, Alberta (NTS 82G): 2017 data and activity summary; Alberta Energy Regulator / Alberta Geological Survey, AER/AGS Open File Report 2018-12, 25 p.