Digging Deep: Geoscience BC 2022 Energy and Water Research Highlights

By: Randy Hughes, Manager, Energy & Water

Geoscience BC released the Summary of Activities 2022: Energy & Water report in January 2023. It contains seven papers for Geoscience BC projects and scholarship recipients. The papers contribute to meeting four strategic objectives from the Geoscience BC Strategic Plan 2018-2022:

  • Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities
  • Facilitating Responsible Natural Resource Development
  • Enabling Clean Energy
  • Understanding Water

Links to projects and scholarship website pages, where copies of each paper can be found, are provided.

Download Summary of Activities 2022: Energy & Water  

Identifying New Natural Resource Opportunities

The volume starts off with E. Pelletier and co-authors providing an update on a multiyear project to develop a database of brines containing lithium and other dissolved minerals and metals, through a large-scale sampling program in northeastern British Columbia (BC).


Facilitating Responsible Natural Resource Development

In the ‘Facilitating Responsible Natural Resource Development’ section, Geoscience BC Scholarship recipient Z. Esmaeilzadeh and co-author investigate the effect of fault sealing on induced seismicity in northeastern BC.


Enabling Clean Energy

The ‘Enabling Clean Energy’ section contains four papers on geological carbon capture and storage, and geothermal energy. First, R. Hughes summarizes the Northeast BC Geological Carbon Capture and Storage Atlas, which Geoscience BC and project partners hosted an online open house for on February 23, 2023.

Next, Geoscience BC Scholarship recipient M. Nazemi and co-author S. Dashtgard present research on a 3-D reconstruction of the Georgia Basin and its potential to sequester carbon dioxide. S.E. Grasby and co-authors provide an update on fieldwork undertaken at Mount Cayley as part of ongoing research into the geothermal potential of the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt. This is followed by an examination by Scholarship recipient F. Hormozzade Ghalati and co-authors of the Mount Meager Volcanic Complex using 3-D inversion of audio-magnetotelluric data.


Understanding Water

The volume concludes with a summary by R.L. Rolick and co-authors of the second year of a pilot collaborative water-monitoring program in northeastern BC.


Looking Forward: 2023 and Beyond, Projects Concepts

As Geoscience BC looks ahead to 2023 and beyond, we are working with partners and members to develop project concepts: proposed research relating to critical minerals and metals, geological carbon capture and storage, generating cleaner energy (including geothermal, hydrogen and low carbon intensity natural gas), and monitoring and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. These are designed for a collaborative funding model with input and contributions from federal and provincial governments, industry, trusts, and others. Geoscience BC is currently applying for research funding and reaching out to prospective project sponsors for all project concepts.

Some of the new project concepts take already successful Geoscience BC project ideas and apply them to a new part of the province. Building on the Northeast BC Geological Capture and Storage Atlas, conceptual projects in the Nechako and Georgia basins would compile existing geoscience data and assess the carbon sequestration potential in central and southwestern BC. Geothermal energy remains a priority as well, with project concepts developed for both northwestern and southeastern BC. Finally, project concept ‘HazNet (Hazard Network) Pacific’ would involve a multiyear program to assess regional environmental hazards (e.g., earthquakes, air quality, etc.) using ultra-high density, strategically placed sensors, initially in the Lower Mainland of BC.


Published Reports in 2022

Geoscience BC also released interim and final Geoscience BC reports and maps in 2022.