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Department of Geoscience

Earth Science 118
2500 University Dr. NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada
T. 403.220.5184
F. 403.284-0074

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Centres and Groups

The Department hosts several major research groups: The CREWES Project, the Microseismic Industry Consortium, and the Centre for Applied Basin Studies. Each of these groups has annual meetings that involve scientists from outside the university. Students have opportunities to participate in the meetings and to interact with the wider scientific, industrial and professional community. . Furthermore, individual research initiatives occur in many areas of the geosciences, including petrology, tectonics, glaciology, Quaternary and surficial geology, hydrogeology, planetary geology, seismology and solid earth geophysics. There is much interdisciplinary effort in geochemistry, including aqueous, petroleum and isotopic studies.

Centre for Applied Basin Studies

The Centre for Applied Basin Studies (formerly Applied Stratigraphy Research Group) uses a multidisciplinary approach, including biostratigraphy, ichnology, geochemistry, sedimentology, and sequence stratigraphy to resolve stratigraphic problems, characterize reservoirs, and determine tectonic influences on basin architecture and sedimentologic processes in basins around the world including Western and Arctic Canada.

The CREWES Project

CREWES  (Consortium for Research in Elastic Wave Exploration Seismology) works closely with industry partners, conducts advanced research in resource exploration and development. It focuses on improved acquisition, processing and interpretation of multicomponent seismic data. The principal goal is improved 3-D geological images of the subsurface. The Project operates a state of the art computing facility for both theoretical development and application of data processing techniques, using both field and laboratory data.


For some time PRG have been working on reduced emission to atmosphere recovery of energy from oil, gas and coal, both academically and via spin-off companies. Over the next few years we will phase that program out and focus increasingly on zero emission to atmosphere (ZETAR), recovery approaches for energy recovery from fossil fuels, that emit zero net CO2 through the full fuel cycle.

The Applied Geochemistry Group

The Applied Geochemistry group (AGg) employs a wide variety of physical, chemical, isotopic, and modeling techniques to study aspects of the water cycle and to trace the fate of anthropogenic carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur in surface and subsurface environments. The goal is to enhance sustainable practices in energy supply, forestry, and agriculture, while minimizing the impact on terrestrial and aquatic environments.


The Department has a very active HYDROGEOLOGY  Research Group, with internationally recognized research programs in surface water-groundwater interaction, hydrogeophysics, isotope hydrology, numerical groundwater modeling, vadose zone hydrology, and alpine hydrology.

Laboratory for Electron Microprobe Analysis

The University of Calgary Laboratory for Electron Microprobe Analysis (UCLEMA) was established in 2001 to provide secondary and backscattered electron imaging and characteristic X-ray microanalysis capability to the Dept. of Geosciences and the larger university community, as well as researchers in the oil and gas, mineral and engineering sectors.

Prairie Meteorite Search Project

The Prairie Meteorite Search Project (MIAC / CCMI) research group uses the method pioneered by Harvey Nininger seventy years ago in the southern American states to recover meteorites.


CHORUS (Consortium for Heavy Oil Research by University Scientists) is a collaborative research project involving geoscience and reservoir engineering which attempts to optimize enhanced recovery in heavy oil fields. CHORUS is known for seismic monitoring and reservoir characterization of cold production fields.


The Tight Oil Consortium (TOC) is a multidisciplinary research group with a focus on geological and engineering problems of low-permeability (tight) oil reservoirs. Research efforts are directed toward reservoir characterization, including geological characterization, pore structure and fluid flow analysis and fluid-rock interaction, as well as production analysis of these increasingly important resources.

Microseismic Industry Consortium

The Microseismic Industry Consortium was founded in January 2010. The Microseismic Industry Consortium is a novel, applied-research geophysical initiative dedicated to the advancement of research, education and technological innovations in microseismic methods and their practical applications for resource development. Working with industry partners and government agencies, the Consortium is a team of faculty, students and researchers hosted by the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. Taking advantage of multidisciplinary links to researchers at both universities, the Microseismic Industry Consortium benefits from access to specialists in a variety of related disciplines.

Center for Pure and Applied Tectonics and Thermochronology (CPATT)

The Centre for Pure and Applied Thermochronology and Tectonics is built around Canada’s only combined laser ablation geochronology and thermochronology laboratory. We apply geochronology, low temperature thermochronology, and in-situ geochemistry to a wide variety of pure and applied earth science problems. These include: regional exhumation and cooling of the Canadian Cordillera, terrane tectonics and lateral terrane migration along the Cordilleran margin, foreland and forearc basin evolution, exhumation and cooling associated with subduction initiation, and hydrocarbon bearing basin thermal history studies, to name but a few.

Instrumentation Facility for Analytical Electron Microscopy (IFFAEM)

IFFAEM is an analytical facility established in 2011 and built around an FEI Quanta 250 FEG field emission scanning electron microscope.  A rich assortment of aditional detectors and auxilliary equipment yields a facility well equipped to examine a wide range of samples using diverse imaging modalities, and to perform varied dynamic experiments, including experiments involving sample hydration, dehydration, heating, cooling, and exposure to various fluids which may be dispensed onto the sample during examination.