In Western Canada, oil and natural gas pipeline projects are being considered that will move hydrocarbons from the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia, to the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic, and even potentially the Arctic. Along the proposed right-of-ways, the pipeline engineers will encounter challenging and varied terrain, including discontinuous permafrost, creek and river crossings, glaciomarine clays, thick muskeg, and other subsurface conditions that require specialized engineering planning in advance of construction. Geophysical surveys, in support of geotechnical investigations, provide continuous subsurface information to help inform design challenges associated with the many terrain challenges. Some geophysical surveys to be considered include electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), induced polarization (IP), seismic refraction, seismic reflection, multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW), ground penetrating radar (GPR), and borehole geophysics. Typically, a combination of several geophysical surveys along with drilling information, are optimal for the cost-effective site characterization of problematic segments of proposed pipeline right-of-ways.

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