Buildings and public infrastructure in BC are built to specific engineering building codes to withstand ground motion, but the presence of certain sediments and geological conditions can amplify non-threatening seismic waves to ones which could potentially be a threat to public infrastructure.
Some softer soils, sediments and geological conditions found in the Peace Region of northeastern BC have the potential to amplify ground motions. In a manner similar to ocean waves slowing down and increasing in height as they approach the shore, seismic shear-waves increase in amplitude as they slow down in near-surface sediments. This has the effect of amplifying ground motion.
With an increase in seismic activity from hydraulic fracturing and fluid injection at oil and gas sites in northeast BC, it is important to understand how and where this can occur so that any risk can be reduced and managed.
This project builds on a regional study completed in early 2019 by collecting more detailed subsurface information for a smaller area, where the majority of the population in the Montney play – the name given to the large sedimentary basin that hosts oil and gas resources in this area – is concentrated.