New Report: Geothermal Potential at British Columbia’s Mount Meager

Geoscience BC is hosting an online open house to discuss project results and answer questions from 3 to 4pm PST on Thursday May 7th, 2020.  You will receive a confirmation email with the link to join the meeting.

Vancouver, BC – April 30, 2020 – An extensive new Geoscience BC report details initial field work examining the geology and groundwater beneath the Mount Meager volcano in British Columbia’s Southwest Region to assess its potential as a source of geothermal energy.

Results of the first year of field work on the Garibaldi Geothermal Volcanic Belt Assessment Project will feed new data into a three-dimensional model of the rocks, faults, and aquifers underneath the volcano and provide a better understanding of the geothermal resource potential. This will ultimately reduce financial risk of geothermal exploration and development in the area, and other volcanic belts in British Columbia.

“We are collecting the vital baseline geoscience information about the depth, temperature and permeability of potential aquifers – and their suitability to generate geothermal heat and power,” said project lead and Geological Survey of Canada Research Scientist Dr. Steve Grasby.

He added: “That will reduce the risk for geothermal exploration companies working in the area and guide responsible decision making and development in the region.”

The goal of the research is to better understand the occurrence of, and controls on, permeable zones at depth in the Garibaldi Belt.

Stable, renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, have the potential to help Canada to meet its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Mount Meager volcano is in the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt, one of the highest potential geothermal areas in Canada.

The 2019 field program included detailed bedrock mapping to help identify rocks with preferential reservoir properties and examine the nature of fracture systems and their potential influence on bulk-rock permeability. Together with geophysical surveys, new hydrogeological models will be developed to characterize potential fluid flow at depth.

The project is funded by Natural Resources Canada and Geoscience BC, and includes researchers from Carleton University, Douglas College, the Geological Survey of Canada, Simon Fraser University, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia and University of Calgary. Field support was also provided by Lil’wat First Nation.

“If geothermal energy resources are to play a significant role in the future Canadian economy, we need to map out the geothermal resources and focus our research on sites with high geothermal potential, such as the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt in BC, ” said Geoscience BC Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Carlos Salas.

Planning for the next phase of the Garibaldi Geothermal Volcanic Belt Assessment Project is currently underway.

Accessing Information

View the project page 2018-004 for more information.

View project page          View project in Earth Science Viewer

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For more information, please contact:

Richard Truman
Geoscience BC