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TitleSOURCES: waterborne contamination in the oil sands region / Contamination par transport aqueux dans la région des sables bitumineux
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LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorGammon, P
SourcePublic presentations of May 8th, 2018: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects, May 2018; by Jacob, N; Kao, HORCID logo; Galloway, JORCID logo; Parsons, MORCID logo; White, DORCID logo; Larmagnat, S; Rivard, CORCID logo; Gammom, P; Savard, M MORCID logo; Geological Survey of Canada, Scientific Presentation 88, 2018 p. 108-124, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Public presentations of May 8th, 2018: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects, May 2018
RelatedThis publication is related to SOURCES: a geochemical map of an oil sands plume - initial results
File formatpdf
NTS73M/13; 73M/14; 73M/15; 73M/16; 74D; 74E; 74L/01; 74L/02; 74L/03; 74L/04; 74L/05; 74L/06; 74L/07; 74L/08; 83P/14; 83P/15; 83P/16; 84A/01; 84A/02; 84A/03; 84A/06; 84A/07; 84A/08; 84A/09; 84A/10; 84A/11; 84A/14; 84A/15; 84A/16; 84H/01; 84H/02; 84H/03; 84H/06; 84H/07; 84H/08; 84H/09; 84H/10; 84H/11; 84H/14; 84H/15; 84H/16; 84I/01; 84I/02; 84I/03; 84I/06; 84I/07; 84I/08
AreaAthabasca River; Fort McKay; Fort McMurray; Muskeg River
Lat/Long WENS-113.5000 -110.0000 58.5000 55.7500
Subjectsenvironmental geology; fossil fuels; hydrogeology; geochemistry; environmental studies; environmental impacts; pollutants; metals; source areas; modelling; models; hydrologic environment; geochemical analyses; geochemical interpretations; hydraulic analyses; isotopic studies; chloride; organic materials; ecosystems; wetlands; biodegradation; attenuation; concentration; water geochemistry; groundwater geochemistry; surface waters; mining; oil sands; tailings; tailings analyses; petroleum resources; hydrocarbons; element distribution; watersheds; flow regimes; Northern Athabasca Oil Sands Region (NAOSR); McMurray Formation; Risk assessment
Illustrationslocation maps; geoscientific sketch maps; plots; photographs; flow diagrams; schematic diagrams; diagrams
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Management
Released2018 06 27; 2018 07 04
AbstractThe aim of the Sources Project is to quantify the environmental risks associated with the large extractive Athabasca oil sands industry, including the development of methods to apportion emissions to their original source. To accomplish either of these tasks for waterborne emissions requires knowing two principle characteristics: the flux (amount) of the emissions and the reactions those emissions undergo within the receiving environment. A Reactive Transport Model (RTM) defines both of these through coupled hydrologic and geochemical models. An RTM is under development for a wetland test site that is down hydraulic gradient from a large, long?lived oil sands tailings pond (TP). Waterborne emissions enter the test site from the western edge and then flow southward along a preferred conglomeratic subsurface conduit. From the conduit emissions spread both laterally and rise to the surface then spread laterally into wetland surface environments. The identification and apportionment of these emissions indicates that multiple metals and isotopic signatures identify the extent of the emissions. However, chloride is the traditional ion used to identify emissions in oil sands monitoring, but it fails to distinguish emissions sources in the test area due to the plethora of potential saline inputs. The geochemical model indicates metal constituents undergo sorption and attenuation along the flow path, with organometallic complexes playing an important but previously unrecognized role. Fluxes will be calculated once the hydraulic model has completed numerical verification. The organic constituents within emissions, primarily napthanic acids (NAs), are commonly regarded as posing the greatest environmental risk from waterborne emissions. However, defining their geochemical behaviour in environmental systems remains problematic. To address this issue an experiment was performed to see if biodegradation was attenuating NAs. Biotraps were installed with an isotopically labelled adamantine structured NA. Extracted phospholipids from the microbes that populated the biotraps demonstrated strong evidence for methanotrophic metabolic pathways, with no evidence the microbiome were biodegrading the NA. This suggests that these adamantine-structured Nas would persist within the Athabasca environment.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Environmental Geoscience Program (EGP) provides scientific research projects by the Geological Survey of Canada to advance knowledge related to the development of Canada's natural resources. The scientific breakthroughs presented at this annual meeting of the EGP are at the root of responsible resource management by the natural resources sector. The body of research also contributes to the implementation of regulations that protect Canadians and their environment

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