September 2017 University of Victoria Field Trip

Join the BCGS on September 19 for a day field trip to Vancouver Island!

Participants will attend a behind the scenes tour of the Pacific Geoscience Center followed by a geophysical seminar at the University of Victoria. The day will conclude with a student-industry mixer on campus, providing an opportunity to connect with the next generation of geophysicists.

This is going to be a first class, “behind-the-curtain”, tour of the PGC, put on for BC Geophysicists by the senior research scientists at the facility and will be way beyond what usual visitors receive. Definitely not to be missed.

Event Poster: UVic_FieldTrip_Announcement

The BCGS is proud to support this event by providing a subsidized fee for all attendees. Bus seats are limited, so to avoid disappointment, early bookings are encouraged! If you have further questions please contact the BCGS Executive (

Registration Deadline: September 6, 2017

Cost:  Industry $40    Students $20

*Covers roundtrip bus and ferry transportation from Vancouver to Victoria. Food is not included and is the responsibility of each participant.

Payment will be accepted through PayPal. Click on the “Buy Now” button below.

Registration Options:
Attendee Name:

Pacific Geoscience Center Tour

  • The tectonics of western Canada with Dr. John Cassidy – Head of the Earthquake Seismology Section, Geological Survey of Canada
  • Earthquake monitoring and recent events with Dr. Alison Bird – Earthquake Seismologist (GSC and UVic)

University of Victoria Geophysical Seminar

  • “Investigating active crustal faults on Vancouver Island” with Dr. Kristin Morell, Assistant Professor at Uvic
Time Schedule
8:00  Depart from downtown Vancouver
8:30  Bus pickup @ Broadway and Cambie Street, Vancouver
10:00  Ferry from Tsawassen to Schwartz Bay
12:00  Tour of the Pacific Geoscience Center
14:00  Bus to University of Victoria
15:00  University of Victoria Seminar with Kristen Morell, PhD.
16:00  BCGS Panel Discussion – Careers in Geophysics
16:30  Student-Industry mixer on campus
17:45  Bus to Schwartz Bay
19:00  Ferry from Schwartz Bay to Tsawassen
21:00  Bus returns to downtown Vancouver via Cambie and Broadway



May 2017 Technical Talk

BCGS Technical Talk – May 18, 2017

Speaker: TBA

Title: Presentation of the SimPEG open-source inversion package and associated case studies.

Date/Time: Thursday May 18, 2017 @ 4:30pm

Location: 4th Floor Conference Room, Room 451, 409 Granville St. (UK Building at Granville and Hastings), Vancouver


The SimPEG team will introduce their open-source python geophysical inversion package. DC, potential fields and EM modelling capabilities will be presented along with some case studies. You can already check SimPEG out on their website:

2017 KEGS Foundation Scholarship Program Closes April 30

The 2017 KEGS Scholarship program is open and accepting applications for the 2017 scholarship award year. Applications are due April 30, 2017.

Revenue generated by the BC Geophysical Society each year from events such as the fall symposium, support the KEGS Foundation. These funds are used for the BCGS Scholarships awarded by the KEGS Foundation.

More information can be found on the poster below and on the KEGS Foundation website (


April 2017 Technical Talk

BCGS Technical Talk – April 20, 2017

Speaker : Kit Campbell, Campbell & Walker Geophysics Ltd.

Christopher (Kit) Campell’s professional life encompasses more than forty years of diverse experience in all facets of airborne and ground geophysics. Campbell & Walker Geophysics Ltd. emphasizes airborne geophysics program management and QA/QC, mapping and interpretations, forward and inversion modeling and applied geophysical research.

Title: Recent applications of airborne gravity gradiometry in mineral and petroleum applications; examples and lessons learned

Date/Time: Thursday April 20, 2017 @ 4:30pm

Location: 4th Floor Conference Room, Room 451, 409 Granville St. (UK Building at Granville and Hastings), Vancouver


Three examples from two recent helicopter-borne gravity gradiometry surveys are presented: the first for kimberlites in the Slave Province, the second two from a survey flown for Sedex Pb-Zn-Ag mineralization in the Kechika Trough, BC.

An innovative approach to establishing bathymetry control in a portion of the Canadian Shield is discussed.

We then move on to discuss the critical application of terrain corrections as applied in a relatively rugged survey area. Finally, again in a region of rugged terrain, we address the derivation of the tensor components using Fourier and Equivalent Source methods, and discrepancy in results.

March 2017 Technical Talk

BCGS Technical Talk – March 16, 2017

Speaker : Joel Jansen, Anglo American

Title: The HVSR passive seismic method in mineral exploration geophysics and operational geosciences

Date/Time: Thursday March 16, 2017 @ 4:30pm

Location: 4th Floor Conference Room, Room 451, 409 Granville St. (UK Building at Granville and Hastings), Vancouver

Near-surface passive seismic methods can be used in mineral exploration and geotechnical site-investigations to map unconsolidated regolith and thus bedrock topography to depths in excess of 100m. Passive seismic surveys measure ground motions created by ‘passive sources’ (vehicle movements, mill vibrations, etc.) rather than from ‘active sources’ (explosives or mechanical ground strikes) commonly used in conventional reflection-seismic surveying. Because the energy source is weaker, passive seismic measurements are made over tens of minutes rather than tens of seconds in the latter case. Vertical resolution, especially of thin beds, is not as good as for active-source seismic-reflection or ‑refraction surveys, but logistically, passive seismic surveys are much less costly and challenging to undertake and with almost no environmental impact.

Specifically, the Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) method utilises the fact that the unconsolidated regolith between the free-air surface and bedrock typically acts as a waveguide for surface waves. It has been shown that vertically-polarised surface waves (i.e. Rayleigh waves) resonate in the waveguide at specific frequencies while horizontally-polarised surface waves (i.e. Love waves) do not. By taking the ratio of the vertical to horizontal power spectrums and isolating the peak frequency, the thickness (t) of the unconsolidated regolith can be determined using the simple equation:

formula_1    (1)

where Vs is the shear-wave velocity of the regolith and fo is its fundamental resonant-frequency.

Knowing fo in building and bridge construction is of great importance, because if the resonant frequency of the structure matches that of the soil then there is a greater risk of collapse during an earthquake, as seen in Mexico City in 1985.

From a mineral-exploration perspective, the near-surface passive method has an obvious role to play in gravity surveying by providing a thickness-of-cover estimate beneath each station that can then be stripped from the gravity response to give a clearer picture of the true bedrock anomaly. It can also be used to corroborate depth-to-bedrock estimates from other methods, such as EM or resistivity. Where Vs is unknown, it can be estimated by making measurements in areas where the thickness of cover is otherwise known (e.g. next to boreholes).

Alternatively, in areas where the depth to the hard layer is or should be known, the method could be used to detect regions with varying Vs, as might be expected in a water-saturated zone behind a tailings dam.

This presentation expands on the background to the method and discusses several examples.