Graduate Student Opportunity in Geotechnical Geophysics at University of New Brunswick

Website University of New Brunswick

Geophysical Methods for Seepage Reconnaissance in Embankment Dams

Development of methods for seepage reconnaissance in embankment dams used for hydroelectricity, mining wastes and other water-retaining applications is an increasingly important issue as large numbers of dams and levees around the world, built in the early to mid-twentieth century approach the ends of their design lives. Researchers at UNB, funded by NSERC and NB Power, are working on the development of geophysical monitoring techniques for that purpose. The research involves long-term field measurements of temperature, self-potential, and electrical resistivity at the 670 MW Mactaquac Generating Station located on the Saint John River, approximately 20 km upstream of UNB’s Fredericton campus. Survey designs and data interpretation are guided by numerical modelling that couples water flow to transport of heat and electrical charge and to changes in electrical resistivity of the dam’s clay-till core.

We are seeking MSc and PhD students to build on studies of distributed temperature sensing (DTS) and 3D time-lapse electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) which are already underway in the region where the embankment lies against the concrete diversion sluiceway structure.

Funding is available for start dates as early as Sept., 2020. Students will develop expertise in geophysical methods widely used in exploration, engineering, and groundwater applications, and in DTS and hydrogeological techniques relevant to geotechnical applications. Candidates havinga background in earth sciences, geological or civil engineering, physics or a related field, good quantitative skills and an aptitude for instrumentation and field studies are encouraged to apply.

Embankment dam and diversion sluiceway at Mactaquac Generating Station during 2017 spring freshet.

Dr. Karl Butler, P.Geo., P.Eng.
Department of Earth Sciences, University of New Brunswick
PO Box 4400, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 5A3
Tel: (506) 458-7210

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