Geo-Note 2002-01

Geo-Note 2002-01

GEO 2002-01

Observations of Naturally Occurring Hydrocarbons (Bitumen) in Quaternary Sediments, Athabasca Oil Sands Area and Areas West, Alberta

Author(s) Andriashek, L.D. Pawlowicz, J.G. Date 2002-01-01

Hydrocarbon odours were detected in samples of Quaternary sediment (till) collected from outcrops and drill core from locations in northern Alberta. Analyses of two hydrocarbon odour-rich till samples confirmed the petroliferous odours, and established that the source was most probably from bitumen derived from Cretaceous-aged oil sand deposits in northern Alberta. This report documents the locations where hydrocarbon odours were detected, it provides a brief description of the geological and stratigraphic setting of each site, and presents the analytical results of two core samples of till. The relatively widespread distribution of observations indicates that naturally observing hydrocarbons likely are regionally extensive within Quaternary sediments, particularly till. This becomes significant from an environmental site-characterization perspective if baseline values have not been established for the Quaternary drift prior to energy development in the region.

Andriashek, L.D. and Pawlowicz, J.G. (2002): Observations of naturally occurring hydrocarbons (bitumen) in Quaternary sediments, Athabasca Oil Sands area and areas west, Alberta; Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, EUB/AGS Geo-Note 2002-01, 27 p.