This course will provide a thorough background in stable isotope hydrology and geochemistry and hence an understanding of the potential and the limitations of the application of stable isotope techniques in Hydrology, Geology, and Environmental Sciences. Topics will include the tracing of water sources in the subsurface, identifying the sources and fate of CO2 and H2S in geological formations, formation pathways of methane, testing for hydrocarbon contamination in shallow groundwater, among many other topics of interest to practitioners in the oil and gas and environmental industries. Application of stable isotope techniques to oil and gas exploration in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, to carbon capture and storage projects, to shale gas and coalbed methane exploitation, and to oilsands processing will be highlighted in this course.
Module 1: Fundamentals of Terminology, Definitions, Isotope Fractionation, Standards and Measurements
Module 2: Introduction to Stable Isotopes in the Hydrological Cycle; Ocean water, precipitation
Module 3: Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in the water cycle: more precipitation, glaciers
Module 4: Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in the water cycle: seepage water, ground water, surface water, etc.
Module 5: Oxygen isotopes in the lithosphere and biosphere: application to studying paleoclimate
Module 6: Carbon isotopes and the global carbon cycle: atmosphere and biosphere
Module 7: Carbon isotopes and the global carbon cycle: hydrosphere and lithosphere (incl. Oil, gas)
Module 8: Nitrogen isotopes and the global nitrogen cycle: atmosphere, biosphere, pedosphere and hydrosphere
Module 9: Sulfur isotopes and the global sulphur cycle: atmosphere, biosphere, pedosphere, lithosphere and the hydrosphere