Horn River Basin Aquifer Project

Horn River Basin Aquifer Project Area

Phase 1
In 2008, Geoscience BC secured $5 million in funding from the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, dedicated to geoscience studies supporting timely and efficient appraisal and development of the enormous shale gas resource of the Horn River Basin. In consultation with the Horn River Basin Producers Group (HRBPG), Geoscience BC determined a key geoscience challenge in identifying aquifers capable of producing high volumes of water to support completions (fraccing) operations, and also capable of accepting disposal of large volumes of spent frac fluids. The Horn River Basin Aquifer Characterization Project, a cooperative effort between Geoscience BC and the HRBPG, was conceived as a result, and Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd. (PRCL) was appointed project manager.

In a series of meetings commencing November 2008, three primary project objectives were defined:

  • Synthesize available geological information to produce a stratigraphic framework for hydrogeological / aquifer analysis.
  • Facilitate collection of aquifer and fluid data from new Producer Group wells, particularly those being drilled for water supply and disposal.
  • Undertake a systematic hydrogeological investigation of potential aquifers in the Horn River Basin in order to quantify and map reservoir capacity and productivity / injectivity potential.
Phase 2
In September 2011, Geoscience BC and the HRBPG launched Phase II of a collaborative geoscience project to undertake baseline research on water resources in the Horn River Basin. Phase II of the Horn River Basin Water Study expands and builds on the deep saline aquifer research completed in Phase I, to include surface and ground water hydrological research.

Specifically, Phase II of the Horn River Basin Water Study includes three core components:

  • A three-year surface water study focused on collecting data on the quantity and quality of surface water sources in the Horn River Basin and assessing its availability for shale gas development. Kerr Wood Leidal Associated Ltd. (KWL) is carrying out this work with assistance from Peace Country Technical Services, Environmental Dynamics Inc. and Waterline Resources.

    The baseline surface water monitoring stations data can be viewed and downloaded through FlowWorks, a web-based platform that provides data collection, analysis and reporting tools.

    FlowWorks (click Login button on the top right corner of page)
    Login ID = hornriverbasin
    Password = hornriverbasin

    WARNING: Portions of data provided on the FlowWorks website as part of the Geoscience BC Horn River Basin Surfacewater Baseline Monitoring Program (in collaboration with the Horn River Basin Producers Group) is considered preliminary and is subject to change during the quality control process and subsequently upgraded.

    Data has been transmitted automatically with telemetry and may have limited verification and review for quality assurance. Subsequent quality assurance and verification procedures may result in differences between what is currently displayed and what will become the official record.

    Users should understand that information downloaded from this website, collected as part of this overall Horn River Basin Project, should be used with caution and do so at their own risk. Geoscience BC accepts no liability for the validity, accuracy, availability, suitability, reliability, usability, completeness or timeliness of the data or graphical depictions rendered from the data.

  • A previously announced pilot project to examine the applicability of airborne electromagnetic surveys to mapping of near-surface groundwater. The data collection was completed in April 2011 by SkyTEM Canada Inc.
  • A continuation of the Phase I data collection and integration on select deep saline aquifers. This work is being undertaken by PRCL.

Phase 3
Posters and Presentations
2012: Examining Water Sources in Northeast BC in Support of Responsible Development of Unconventional Gas
- Presentation to the British Columbia Water and Waste Association (BCWWA), March 2012 (pdf, 7.3 MB)

2009: Horn River Basin Aquifer Characterization Project
- Flyer for 2009 CSPG Conference (pdf, 2MB)
Technical Articles
2014: "Horn River Basin Water Project update, northeastern British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2013, Report 2014-1 p. 135-138 (pdf, 1.5 MB)

2013: "Developing a water monitoring network in the Horn River Basin, northeastern British Columbia"
- Summary of Activities 2012, Report 2013-1 p. 135-138 (pdf, 1.0 MB)

2010: "Horn River Basin aquifer characterization project, northeastern British Columbia (NTS 094I, J, O, P): progress report"
- Summary of Activities 2009, Report 2010-1 p.245-248 (pdf, 2.2 MB)

News Releases
March 30, 2012: Geoscience BC Report 2012-09 "Horn River Basin Aquifer Characterization Project Phase 2: Geological Report"

March 05, 2012: New Airborne Electromagnetic Data for the Horn River Basin

September 09, 2011: Geoscience BC Announces Collaborative Horn River Basin Water Study Phase II Activities

April 21, 2011: Geoscience BC Announces Airborne Electromagnetic Survey in the Horn River Basin

April 30, 2010: Horn River Basin Subsurface Aquifer Project — Early Public Release of Phase I Data

March 30, 2009: Collaborative Horn River Basin Aquifer Study - Phase 1

October 8, 2008: Horn River Basin Project


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