Geothermal Resource Potential of the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt

Project code: 2018-004

Project type: Energy - Geothermal

Project Lead: Steve Grasby, Geological Survey of Canada (GSC)

Partners: Carleton University, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University

Project location: Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, southwestern British Columbia


Project Development
February 2019 update: This project is still in a planning phase, and so the scope and precise area covered by the research are being developed. Geoscience BC and researchers have shared project information with businesses, community leaders and First Nations in the proposed project area and are incorporating feedback as part of the planning process.

To learn more, please call 604-662-4147 or email truman@geosciencebc.com

Summary
This modern regional assessment of the geothermally prospective Garibaldi Volcanic Belt builds on work that started in the mid 1970's. The project brings updated geophysical and geological techniques and ideas to provide a modernized assessment of the geothermal potential of the region.

The Need
If geothermal energy resources are to play a significant role in the future Canadian economy, reliable, baseline geoscience information about the depth, temperature and permeability of potential aquifers - and their suitability to generate geothermal heat and power - is necessary. This project will take knowledge from previous research carried out at Mount Meager (see compilation here), a single volcano in the centre of the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, and apply it to the larger Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, one of the highest potential geothermal regions of Canada. The results of this project will aid development of new resource models, creating greater certainty for generating national geothermal resource assessments, and reducing geothermal exploration risk in BC.

Project Goals
The overriding objective of this project is to reduce exploration risk by increasing our knowledge of what controls the occurrence of permeable zones at depth in the Garibaldi Belt. With additional funding from NRCan after the first year, Geoscience BC will support academic partners to apply a range of geoscience tools, including remote sensing, geophysics, tectonics, volcanology, and geochemistry, to better understand the controls on rock permeability.

Project Benefits
Geothermal energy has numerous advantages compared to other renewable energy sources, namely in its low environmental footprint and ability to provide a stable baseload-power supply without the need of energy storage solutions. The reliable, baseline geoscience information generated by this project will help First Nations, communities, governments, and geothermal energy producers make informed decisions about the suitability of geothermal aquifers in the Garibaldi area.

Survey Area
The Garibaldi Volcanic Belt is a chain of young (less than 11,000 years old) volcanoes in southwestern BC. It extends north and northwest from Squamish, BC, for approximately 200 kilometers. The region is also known to have abundant thermal springs.

Deliverables

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