Research at the Interface between Energy and the Environment

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Research at the Interface between Energy and the Environment: This research theme on the interface between energy and the environment is to assess the impact of emissions from the oil and gas industry on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Graduate students Klassen and Cheung have developed innovative approaches to trace the potential impact of gases and fluids from coalbed-methane plays on the quality of shallow groundwater. Using water chemistry parameters in concert with isotope compositions of methane, ethane, propane, sulfate and DIC they were able to assess whether methane was produced biogenically in-situ in aquifers or whether thermogenic contributions derived from deeper formations were present. Current graduate students Proemse, Gue, Stanners and Vanier scholar Cowie develop innovative tracer techniques to assess the impact of industrial activities in the Athabasca oilsands region on terrestrial ecosystems, surface waters and groundwater.