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SOURCES: developing indicators and understanding environmental impacts in the oils sands region—SOURCES: développer des indicateurs et comprendre les impacts environnementaux dans la région des sables bitumineux

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doi: 10.4095/314920
Authors:Savard, M. M.
Volume Title:Public presentations of May 21st, 2019: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects (phase 2014-2019)
Volume Authors:Jacob, N.; Parsons, M.; Rivard, C.; Savard, M. M.; Larmagnat, S.; Outridge, P. M.; White, D.; Kao, H.; Lintern, G.
Source:Public presentations of May 21st, 2019: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects (phase 2014-2019), N. Jacob, M. Parsons, C. Rivard, M. M. Savard, S. Larmagnat, P. M. Outridge, D. White, H. Kao and G. Lintern. Scientific Presentation - Geological Survey of Canada, Vol.104, p.35-45. Publisher: Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Publication Date:2019
Note:In English and French and English with English summary. This publication is contained in Public presentations of May 21st, 2019: Environmental Geoscience Program, current status of research projects (phase 2014-2019), Geological Survey of Canada, Scientific Presentation no. 104, 2019; illus., incl. tables
Summary:All research activities of SOURCES relate to developing new methodologies to allow distinguishing contaminants that are naturally released to water and terrestrial ecosystems from those produced by oil sands (OS) extraction activities. Main objectives: (1) assessing how new indicators and approaches for waterborne and airborne contaminants can help identify OS extraction-related changes to the natural regimes; and (2) understanding processes controlling the distribution of contaminants in the broad region of the OS open-mining developments. Waterborne Contamination The current research is a direct follow up of NRCan previous test study (OF 7195) as there is a need to specifically continue characterizing the various natural sources of contaminants (numerous lithostratigraphic units and groundwater systems); better constrain the anthropogenic signals of the contaminants, and identify, quantify and model the flux of OS-related chemicals into the groundwater near open-mining OS extraction activities, at the regional scale. Metals - This activity explores lithium (delta-7Li) isotopes of groundwater as an indicator to strengthen the discrimination between natural and OS-derived contaminants, and the chemistry and reactive transport of metals to understand their distribution and fate. AEOs - This study specifically evaluates the potential of hydrogen (delta-2H), and stable (delta-13C) and radioactive (delta-14C) carbon isotopes for characterizing Acid Extractible Organics (AEOs), and investigates the biogeochemical processes controlling their distribution in groundwater. Airborne Contamination Forest N Cycle - This research involves characterizing airborne nitrogen (N) contaminants in air wet and dry samples from outside the OS region using new isotopic methods (on-line simultaneous delta-15N, delta-18O and delta-17O values); to distinguish their ranges from OS air results. It further investigates the possible impacts of these airborne N contaminants on processes controlling the long-term tree-ring delta-15N trends, by determining delta-15N values in the complete suite of the soil-fungi-root-stem-leave continuum. This research also addresses the question as to how the nutritive regimes of pine and spruce stands and the forest N cycle are modified by OS operations (coll. with ECCC, CFS-Q, CFS-Ed). PAHs -The key issue here is quantifying natural polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) related to forest fires and bitumen-containing rocks from anthropogenic sources. Naturally present in bitumen, PAHs are also released into the environment through the incomplete combustion of organic matter, whether from modern biomass or fossil fuels, and via diagenetic processes. The current activities focus on applying compound specific delta-13C, delta-2H and radiocarbon analysis (14C) to sediment cores and snow of lakes in the OS region in which PAHs from forest fires can perhaps be distinguished from those that are OS mining-related and hence contain no detectable 14C.
Subjects:Alkali metals; Aromatic hydrocarbons; Atmosphere; Bedrock; Biochemistry; Bitumens; Carbon; Copper; Ecosystems; Environmental geology; Forests; Geochemistry; Ground water; Hydrocarbons; Hydrochemistry; Hydrogen; Indicators; Industrial waste; Industry; Isotopes; Lacustrine environment; Lithium; Lithostratigraphy; Metal ores; Metals; Mine waste; Mining; Models; Movement; Nitrogen; Oil sands; Open-pit mining; Organic compounds; Oxygen; Petroleum; Pollution; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; Radioactive isotopes; Sedimentary rocks; Sediments; Snow; Soils; Stable isotopes; Surface mining; Tailings; Transport; Tree rings; Waste disposal; Alberta; Athabasca Oil Sands; Canada; Western Canada; Organic materials
Coordinates:N554500 N583000 W1100000 W1133000
Record ID:872071-4
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2021 American Geosciences Institute. Produced under license from Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Natural Resources
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