KEGS/BCGS Roundup Breakfast 2018

KEGS/BCGS Roundup Breakfast – Tuesday, January 23, 2017

Speaker: Dr. Jaymie Matthews, UBC Astronomy Professor

Title: Asteroseismology: Stealing the geophysicists’ rule book and launching it into space

Date/Time: 2018-01-23 @ 7:30am – 9:00am

Location: Princess Louisa Room, The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
900 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5

Registration: Online at (Deadline Jan 22, 2017)


Astronomers have been updating the biography of the Sun for decades, at the same time trying to confirm models of its internal structure. Like the Earth – of which we can sample directly less than 0.2% of its total depth – most of the interior of the Sun is hidden from direct view. Except for neutrinos from the solar core, we receive direct information only from a surface layer of gas whose depth is only 0.05% of the radius of the Sun.

Astronomers, faced with the same challenge that geophysicists had tackled before us when they wanted probe the deep interior of the Earth, turned to the rule book of geoseismology. For the Sun, we could apply principles of global seismology and eventually local time-distance seismology, using the intrinsic vibrations of the Sun caused by sound waves propagating in the solar interior. Much of this was possible for the Sun with telescopes grounded on Earth, because of the extremely high signal-to-noise and surface spatial sampling possible for solar observations. But when it came to extending this technique to the distant stars, by asteroseismology, it was necessary not to toss out the rule book, but to toss it up, into space.

Canada’s first space telescope, called MOST, was one of the pioneers, later joined by the French CoRoT space mission and eventually NASA’s Kepler satellite. These are the most sophisticated stellar lightmeters ever built, and launching them into space launched a revolution in ultraprecise photometry of stars and exoplanets. That in turn launched a revolution in our ability to seismically probe distant stars, and to put our own Sun in better context by studying the interiors of other suns. Not just ‘middle-aged’ suns like our own, but senior suns, and teen suns, and baby suns, and even suns still in the womb.

Even for our own Sun, the seismic data are driving the physics, so we need to include what used to be considered third-order effects lost in the noise, if we’re to match models to observed frequencies to within their measured accuracies.

Join me on a voyage through space and time, where the guide book contains the principles of time series analysis and mathematical inversion, to see how far we have come in the last 15 years, and the exciting frontiers that are ahead of us.

January 2018 – Technical Talk

BCGS Technical Talk – January 18, 2018

Speaker: Doug Schouten, PhD, CRM GeoTomography Technologies Inc.

Title: Muon Tomography Applied to a Dense Uranium Deposit at the McArthur River Mine

Date/Time: Thursday, January 18, 2018

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


Muon Tomography Applied to a Dense Uranium Deposit at the McArthur River Mine.
Doug Schouten, PhD, CRM GeoTomography Technologies Inc.

Muon radiography is a means of inferring density by measuring the attenuation of muon (a type of elementary particle naturally abundant from cosmic ray radiation) flux through matter. Muon tomography uses tomographic methods to derive 3D density maps from multiple muon flux measurements.

Measurements of the muon flux were first used by E. P. George (1955) to measure the overburden of a railway tunnel, and by Alvarez et al (1970) in searches for hidden chambers within pyramids. More recently, muon radiography has been used in volcanology, and has also been considered for industrial and security applications. CRM Geotomography Technologies, Inc. (CRM), a spin-off from TRIUMF, is bringing muon tomography technology to bear in mineral  exploration.

In this talk, I will report on the first application of muon tomography for imaging dense uranium deposits within the Athabasca Basin in Canada, performed by CRM at Cameco and Areva’s McArthur River mine in Northern Saskatchewan. I will demonstrate the applicability of muon tomographic imaging using data acquired at a depth of about six hundred meters underground. I will show that the statistical significance of the known uranium deposit signature in the muon data is very high (larger than five standard deviations), and I will report on the very good compatibility of the corresponding 3D density inversion with drill assay data from the deposit. I will also briefly recap other recent progress by CRM in various applications of muon tomography.

BCGS Christmas Party


Our first annual Christmas party will be held on Tuesday December 12th in conjunction with Doug Oldenburg’s 2017 SEG Distinguished Instructor Short Course on Geophysical Electromagnetics: Fundamentals and Applications.

We are pleased to invite you to mingle with fellow geophysicists around appetizers and drinks. There is no charge for this event but please let us know if you will be joining.

BCGC Christmas Party
18h30 on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

at the Kingston Taphouse & Grille
755 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC

Annual General Meeting

Our inaugural annual general meeting (AGM) will be held:

at 18h00 on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

at the Kingston Taphouse & Grille, 755 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC

(after Day 1 of the DISC Lecture and just before our Christmas Party)

 All of the current directors are standing for re-election and must be voted in at the AGM.


Joel Jansen, P.Eng

Anglo American Exploration Canada Ltd.


Brendan Howe

Teck Resources Ltd.


Ross Polutnik, P.Geo

SJ Geophysics Ltd.


Thomas Campagne, P.Geo

Mira Geoscience Ltd.

Student Liaison

Sarah Devriese, PhD, EIT

Condor North Consulting ULC.

Scholarship Coordinator

Dennis Woods, P.Eng

Discovery International Geophysics Inc.

 We would like to remind you there are now two classes of voting members in the BCGS:

  1. General members, who will pay an annual fee of $20, that will be returned as a discount should they choose to enroll in our annual symposium; and

  2. Student members, who continue to enjoy free membership upon demonstration of enrollment in a post-secondary program at an accredited educational institution.

In order to participate in the vote, you will need to bring $20 to the AGM that will provide membership in the BCGS until December 31st, 2018. Eligible students, as defined above, are entitled to vote.

Note that the AGM is open to all members and non-members.

BCGS Fall Workshop: 2017 SEG DISC Short Course

BCGS Fall Workshop: SEG 2017 DISC Short Course


Date: Tuesday – Wednesday, December 12-13, 2017
Time 8:00am PST to 9:00pm PST
Registration: Cost:
– Industry US$200
– Students US$50
Registration is through the SEG website. Click the button below to register.
Note: This is a 2-day event. Registration for Dec 12 includes Dec 13.
Location: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7
Details: DISC 2017 website

SEG DISC 2017 course details

Coffee breaks and lunch will be provided.

Course Content:

Electromagnetics has applications in oil and gas exploration and production, mineral exploration, groundwater exploration and monitoring, geotechnical and environmental industries. Although it has widespread applications as a geophysical technique, it is not generally understood by the geoscience community. As a result it is underutilized, and in some cases, misused, as a technology.

The aim of this course is to provide over two days a fundamental understanding about EM geophysics so that practitioners can decide if an EM technique can help solve their problem, select which type of survey to employ, and set realistic expectations for what information can be gleaned. Case histories, spanning applications from many areas in the geosciences, are used as an underlying framework to bind the material together.  For more information, please see the DISC 2017 online resources at

We would like to encourage any of our members who have an EM case study at hand, and would like to contribute to the lab material, to contact the DISC 2017 lab team through their website:

Day 2: DISC Lab:

Attendees. Bring your EM problem or case study and lets discuss and analyze it as a group.

The DISC Lab days are designed for a smaller group of geoscientists. We ask participants to provide informal 5 min lightning talks about problems of local interest. We will then work as a group to break down the problems in terms of the 7-Step Framework introduced in course. If participants agree, their talks and results from discussions, will be uploaded to the web. By capturing these problems and state-of-progress onto the web, we hope to promote interaction between geoscientists worldwide.

About the Instructor:

Doug is a professor of Geophysics, director of the Geophysical Inversion Facility (GIF) and world leader in geophysical inversions. He is dedicated to making geophysics more useful for solving problems of relevance to society. Doug’s research career has focused upon the development of inversion methodologies and their application to solving applied problems in a variety of fields. Motivated to make geophysics more accessible and engaging, he has and continues to lead efforts for distributing software codes and learning resource material for students and practising geoscientists. In 2017, Doug will be on tour presenting the SEG Distinguished Instructor Short Course with the intention of promoting fundamental understanding about principles of electromagnetics and how the different surveys make use of these principles to tackle a broad spectrum of problems using EM geophysics.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

A big thank you to our sponsors!


Sponsorship opportunities are available!

Your company sponsorship goes towards helping us put on the workshop and to keep registration costs as low as possible, especially for students. The BCGS operates on a not-for-profit basis. Any profit we make from our events goes towards the BCGS scholarship fund, administered by the KEGS Foundation.

Contact a BCGS Executive member to discuss current opportunities.