Keele MSc abroad project

Geological Survey of Canada & Research Centre on Water, Earth, and the Environment

Quebec, Canada

Contacts : Dr I.W. Oliver (Keele); Dr. J.M.E. Ahad (Geological Survey of Canada & Research Centre on Water, Earth, and the Environment).

The Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta, Canada, are one of the world’s most important known energy reserves. The continued expansion and development of this resource, however, has raised concerns regarding its impact on the surrounding environment.

One of the principal issues in making informed policy decisions regarding oil sands mining activities is the need to distinguish anthropogenic (i.e. mining-related) from naturally-occurring constituents. Several novel approaches in isotope geochemistry developed and/or fine-tuned at the Geological Survey of Canada’s Delta-lab have shown great potential for use in these types of “environmental forensics” studies.

This project will further explore the use of isotope geochemical techniques to distinguish anthropogenic contaminants from naturally occurring components in the oil sands region.

Accreditation logo for Geological Society Accreditation logo for IEMA Accreditation logo for IES Accreditation logo for RGS Accreditation logo for Athena Swan Bronze

*Accreditation is dependent on the degree route and modules taken