Open File Report 2023-03

Author(s) Date 2023-10-19

This report provides a summary of both 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, 2021. The TMMS is a near–real-time remote monitoring system that provides data from a network of sensors and monitoring systems 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, interpreting data, and notifying the Alberta Emergency Management Agency should significant movements occur. Since that time, Turtle Mountain has been the site of ongoing monitoring and research focused on understanding the structure and kinematics of movements on 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 from the TMMS. 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 four main sections:

•    The first section contains information about the significant changes to the TMMS’s network during 2021. This includes a summary of system performance and reliability.
•    The second section provides data analysis and interpretation from the primary monitoring equipment, known as LiSAmobile. 
•    The third section discusses supporting studies and research. 
•    The last section features information on two videos produced by the AER to highlight the changes on Turtle Mountain in 2021.

NTS Keywords

Chao, D.K. (2023): Turtle Mountain Field Laboratory, Alberta (NTS 82G):  2021 data and activity summary; Alberta Energy Regulator / Alberta Geological Survey, AER/AGS Open File Report 2023-03.