Field work – Summer 2011

Fracture characterization field work

In August 2011, Elena Konstantinovskaya, Félix-Antoine Comeau and Rudolf Bertrand carried out a field program to gather data on fractures in the rocks of the St. Lawrence Lowlands. The data will help the team better understand the preferred pathways for any fluids present at depth.

Geological field work

In July 2011, as part of the Master’s project of Benjamin St-Pierre, he and Jean-François Grenier visited the small municipality of St-Dominique to study an outcropping thrust slice. The goal was to observe and take measurements of the various visible structures (folds and faults) in order to better understand the dynamics of the Appalachian front and its effects on the St. Lawrence Lowlands rocks.

Magnetotelluric field work

In July 2011, professor Bernard Giroux went into the field with his team composed of Linda Armelle Nzumotcha Tchoumkam and Jonathan Royer (a summer intern from École Polytechnique de Montréal), also accompanied on this occasion by Mathieu Sauvageau and Maxime Claprood, to carry out magnetotelluric (MT) surveys in the industrial park and port area of Bécancour (“Parc Industriel et Portuaire de Bécancour”). MT surveying involves recording natural electric and magnetic fields at a given location. It represents a passive geophysical method that has no impact on the environment. The objective of the work is to determine the electrical resistivity profile for a sequence of sedimentary rocks in order to assess MT accuracy limits for the Bécancour industrial park and port area.

Geochemistry field work

In the summer and autumn of 2011, a team composed of Edwin Cabascango, Lenin Lopez, Robert Mammani, Hilda Paucar and Martin Racine, under the supervision of Jean-Christophe Aznar et Michel Malo, collected soil and gas samples in the Bécancour region. The samples were then analyzed at the INRS laboratories, as well as an external laboratory, to determine:

  • CO2 concentrations;
  • hydrocarbon concentrations (methane, ethane, propane and butane);
  • the concentrations of various other elements present in the atmosphere and soils;
  • carbon isotope ratios (δ13C).

By studying these data, along with other variables, the team will be able to define reference values for the natural environment throughout the study area. The results will also be used to identify “sensitive” zones that must be closely monitored during and after any CO2 injections that may be carried out as part of a pilot project for geological CO2 storage. Overall, the goal of this work is to maintain environmental integrity.