Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Seismic lines in Alberta's boreal forest boost methane emissions, according to UCalgary study


                                                                        UToday
Newly discovered emissions would increase Canada's national reporting of greenhouse gases. 
Story here.
Photo by Roland "Roly" Roesler.

Photographer's Note

This is an aerial view of the Northern Alberta landscape, somewhere between Athabasca and Swan Hills. It consists of numerous shallow lakes, muskeg, and the typical vegetation including spruce, willow and poplars. The typical patterns of the vegetation are determined by the consistence and composition of the semi-solid soil underneath. 
The parallel lines that scar the landscape are seismic lines used for oil and gas exploration, and they cover good part of the province. Seismic exploration is somewhat similar in principle to radar, and even more similar to the ultrasound used in medical facilities. Straight, parallel stripes up to 10 m wide are cleared with bulldozers, and drilling equipment follows these stripes sinking explosive charges in the soil. The sound of the explosions bounces back of rock layers, is collected by listening devices and used for mapping the geology and potential resources. The statistic says that in this oil rich province more ground is cleared for seismic lines than by forestry.