Thermal Effects in Groundwater

Impacts to Groundwater

Chemical elements, such as arsenic and boron, occur naturally in sediments and groundwater. When the temperature of some sediments is increased, these naturally occurring elements can be released into and transported by groundwater. For example, elevated concentrations of arsenic and other chemical constituents have been detected in non-saline aquifers near steam injection wells used for in situ oil sands production in Alberta. Concentrations of these chemicals in potable groundwater can potentially increase to levels exceeding health guidelines for drinking water from wells. These elements can also impact other ecological receptors such as fish, wildlife, and livestock who rely on surface water.

The Directive for the Assessment of Thermally-Mobilized Constituents in Groundwater for Thermal In Situ Operation (The Directive) was developed in Alberta to monitor these chemical constituents through site-specific Project Assessments and Groundwater Monitoring Programs.

Pragmatic solutions

Matrix currently works on numerous thermal in situ operations and our team has an excellent understanding of the project requirements within the Directive. For over 10 years, we have worked with our clients to implement thermal groundwater monitoring programs through site-specific Project Assessments, while providing support and counsel for interacting with regulatory bodies.

Through this collaborative approach we can advise and assist you with your project to determine cost effective solutions for complying with the Directive and conducting site-specific thermal monitoring programs if and when necessary.

Thermal Effects Groundwater modelling
Matrix’s approach includes: 

  • Assessing relative risks and developing appropriate and pragmatic strategies for monitoring and mitigation.
  • Applying our expertise in drilling, monitoring well installation, temperature monitoring, thermal modelling (e.g. AquiTherm, coupled thermal-groundwater numerical modelling), deep and shallow groundwater monitoring, and geochemistry, for an integrated cost-effective approach.
  • Bringing a tailored and pragmatic approach for development of new, or refinement of existing, thermal groundwater monitoring programs.
  • Assisting clients in developing mitigation strategies for thermal impacts when required.

groundwater monitoring wellWhy Matrix

  • Experienced leaders in site-specific thermal plume characterization and heat transport in groundwater systems
  • Strong team of physical and contaminant hydrogeologists
  • Alberta provincial regulatory expertise
  • All in one environmental and engineering services
  • Effective Project Management
  • Dedication to technical quality