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News Archive - November 2012

Getting water from stone

November 14, 2012

Grad student Brad Hansen, background, signals to Adam Pidlisecky that all is lined up while laying out a one-kilometre electrical resistivity imaging cable along the beach in Monterey, Calif. Photo by Tara MoranGrad student Brad Hansen, background, signals to Adam Pidlisecky that all is lined up while laying out a one-kilometre electrical resistivity imaging cable along the beach in Monterey, Calif. Photo by Tara Moran Adam Pidlisecky, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Science’s geoscience department has received the Cox Fellowship from Stanford University, which will further his work using geophysics in large-scale groundwater management.

Pidlisecky and colleagues at Stanford have developed a geophysical observatory in Watsonville, Calif., to study improved geophysical monitoring of aquifers.

“What we are doing really isn’t common practice, but we hope to make it just that,” he says. “We’re using geophysical methods like you’d use in oil exploration, but we’re doing it for large-scale groundwater problems.”

During rainy season, the water district forces water back into the ground and then pumps it out in the summer as a potential solution to drought. California is highly dependent on groundwater for agriculture but, in some regions, far more water is being used than is being replenished.

“We are using geophysical methods to better understand how to get more water in the ground, and to understand where that water goes once it is in the ground,” says Pidlisecky.

The researchers are also studying an area in Monterey on the coast, where saltwater intrusion is a major concern.

“We are using geophysics to get a better understanding of what the subsurface looks like,” Pidlisecky says. “This can lead to optimized remediation and use strategies so that we can get the most out of our groundwater.”

The researchers, including a group of students from the University of Calgary, acquired imaging data that lets them identify the saltwater intrusion as well as intact fresh water channels beneath the saltwater.

“This is a true case study demonstrating how the acquisition of geophysics could have a large impact on management decisions,” says Pidlisecky.

He will be presenting some of the data at the American Geophysical Union conference in December.

As part of the fellowship, Pidlisecky will be a visiting professor at Stanford University from January to June 2013. He will also play a key role in a new California groundwater consortium being set up by the Center for Groundwater Evaluation and Management and the Woods Institute at Stanford University.

The work in California will also lead to significant long-term research opportunities for Pidlisecky’s research group at the University of Calgary.

Canadian team wins SEG international Challenge Bowl

Our own Adrian Smith (CREWES, UofC) and Darragh O'Connor (Dalhousie University) won the Society of Exploration Geophysics international Challenge Bowl in Las Vegas last week!  Congratulations to both for this outstanding accomplishment!  Read more...

Earthquake off BC

CTV interview with Melissa Giovanni follow this link...

Teaming up

November 8, 2012

A $1.86-million joint research project at the University of Calgary and University of Alberta will help geophysicists and engineers listen to hydraulic fracture treatments.

Fracking is the technique of injecting fluid into cracks in underground rock formations, forcing them to open further and allowing additional oil and gas to flow out so it can be more easily extracted.

Read more about...

Tom Oliver Lecture and Open House

The Department of Geoscience will be holding an Open House and the Tom Oliver Lecture on Friday November 2 from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Click here for announcement slides.

The schedule of activities are as follows: 1.  Poster session from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Earth Sciences building.  All posters removed after 6:00pm.  Geoscience Research Laboratories and EEEL tours will be organized during this time as well. 2.  The Tom Oliver Lecture from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in ES 162 by Don Lawton titled "POST-EARTHQUAKE SEISMIC REFLECTION SURVEY, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND."  Read more about Dr Lawton's talk! 3.  Reception from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m in the Gallagher Library.