BCGS Roundup Breakfast 2023

BCGS Roundup Breakfast – January 24, 2023

Speaker: Michael (Max) Maxwell, Ph.D, P.Geo., RMC. Senior Geophysicist

Title: Highlights of 40 Years of Shallow Geophysics: A world tour with stops from Arctic to Antarctic, -50C to +50C and -1000m to +5000m

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Time: 7:30am – 9:30am PST


Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel
Coal Harbour B Room
1180 West Hasting St.
Vancouver, BC, V6E 4R5

Registration: Industry $45 / Student $20

Please register and pay via Paypal at the link below.
Registration closes on Fri, Jan 20 @ 4pm. Space is limited so register early!

Please note. We have currently sold out! (As of Jan 19 @ 12:30pm). We are looking into increasing the number of spots.


Highlights of 40 Years of Shallow Geophysics: A world tour with stops from Arctic to Antarctic, -50C to +50C and -1000m to +5000m
Michael (Max) Maxwell, Ph.D, P.Geo., RMC

I will provide an overview of interesting geophysical experiences, surveys, techniques, and instrumentation that comprise the involvement of myself and a long list of collaborators, in shallow engineering and environmental geophysics investigations over the past 40+ years. The expansion of our capabilities in applied shallow geophysics has been rapid building on contributions from industry and academic developments. Improved instrumentation and interpretation have moved us rapidly from 1D to 3D imaging and continue to advance the speed and resolution of our shallow surveys.

After a decade of research and consulting in applied glaciology and shallow exploration methods, I was fortunate to join the engineering and environmental world of Golder Associates to expand on methodology that was pioneered by oil and gas and mining geophysicists through the sixties and seventies and that continue to be developed. We have completed marine and terrestrial geophysical surveys on all seven continents from the height of Andes and Asian mountains to the depths of Saskatchewan potash mines. We have had the opportunity to develop new survey techniques from simple cable and pipe location work to underground and surface 3D ERT techniques in conjunction with research partners around the world.

I will review a sampling of some of the more interesting aspects of instrumentation, interpretation and applications that we have encountered.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Maxwell has more than 45 years of experience in geophysical surveys around North America and internationally. He has conducted geophysical investigations on diverse mining, geotechnical, and environmental projects ranging from small to large scale, including pipeline and road routing, hydrocarbon, contaminant and other hazard detection, marine port and linear infrastructure surveys, underground mining exploration, and mining and infrastructure development. He has extensive experience in various environments including arid and cold regions, mountain, arctic and Antarctica surveys, marine and terrestrial work, underground and surface mining. Dr. Maxwell also continues geophysical research work in a range of geophysical techniques and particularly 2D and 3D ERI through his affiliation with the University of British Columbia as an Honorary Research Associate. The 3D ERI application work includes 3D imaging of water flow in tailings and power dams.

Representative projects that he has worked on include terrestrial and marine site and routing work for mining and oil and gas companies, road, landfill, geotechnical and infrastructure surveys for numerous industrial and government clients, domestic and international oil and gas, mining development work, environmental surveys for large and small industrial, federal, and municipal clients, ice runways in Antarctica, and mountain hazard evaluation of glaciers, snow avalanches and ice-dammed lakes for locating infrastructure. His clients have included Newmont, BHP, Teck, Cameco, Rio Tinto, Barrick, Diavik, Dominion, De Beers, Shell, Exxon-Mobil, BG-Spectra, Hunt Oil, Pluspetrol, Pembina, KLNG, Trans Mountain, Kinder Morgan, Moffatt and Nichol, and others. He was the Division Manager overseeing Golder’s Geophysical Services Group in Vancouver and is a registered Professional Geoscientist in British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan. He provides technical review and oversight for Golder Geophysical work from offices around the world.

2022 Annual General Meeting

Our 2022 annual general meeting (AGM) will be held:

at 4:30pm on Monday, December 19, 2022
at Moose’s Down Under, Basement 830 West Pender St., Vancouver BC. V6C 1J8

The main order of business will be to elect the Directors of the BCGS and review the past year’s activity. Our bylaws allow for between 4 and 7 Directors. The majority of the current directors are standing for re-election. Graham Parkinson will be stepping down as vice-chair.

We are inviting interested persons to nominate themselves for election to join the Board of the BCGS. Please indicate your intent to do so by 23h59 on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.  All names of prospective candidates will then be included on the AGM notice to be emailed out the following business day.

The BCGS directors standing for re-election are:

Chair / TreasurerRoss PolutnikSJ Geophysics Ltd.
Vice-ChairDominique FournierMira Geoscience Ltd.
Scholarship CoordinatorFrancis JonesUBC
DirectorGriff JonesGolder Associates
DirectorNihal YavuzTeck Resources Ltd.
DirectorShawn LettsAnglo American Ltd.

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

  1. General members. An annual fee of $20. Will be returned as a discount should they choose to enroll in our annual symposium; and
  2. Student members. Free membership upon demonstration of enrollment in a post-secondary program at an accredited educational institution.

In order to participate in the vote, we ask that you pay your 2023 member dues online via the Paypal link below. These member dues will provide membership in the BCGS through 2023. Eligible students, as defined above, are entitled to vote. Please email the executive at to be added to the official member list.

BCGS Membership Options:

The AGM is open to all members and non-members.

November 2022 – Monthly Talk

November 2022 – Technical Talk

Speaker: Peter Kowalczyk, Chief Schientist Emeritus / Founder, Ocean Floor Geophysics

Title: Magnetic and Electric Fields around Subsea Cables – mapping and fault finding

Date: Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Time: 4:30pm to 5:30pm PST

Location: Room 111, 409 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1T2

Peter is a founder of Ocean Floor Geophysics. He has a background in mining geophysics and extensive experience in mineral exploration worldwide. Prior to starting OFG, he was chief geophysicist for Placer Dome, the second largest gold mining company in the world, at that time. Peter has a strong background in electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic potential field methods used in mineral exploration and in the economic evaluation of mineral deposits.

Subsea cables can be divided into several classes – DC Power, AC Power, or communication with or without repeaters. Their magnetic signatures can be quite strong and they are distinct. There is considerable incentive to measure the depth of burial of AC power cables; they can overheat if buried too deeply, and are susceptible to damage if buried too shallowly. The magnetic signature measured when using a vector magnetometer is different from that seen using a total field magnetometer and extra information can be extracted using a vector magnetometer. The measurement of electric fields around subsea cables is not typical, but this can provide complementary and quite useful information, particularly when looking for faults. A brief discussion of theory and some example data collected during surveys is presented. Examples of data collected using an active seafloor following tow-fish (ROTV) and using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) are shown. An example illustrating how the depth of burial over an AC power cable can be readily measured using a high speed vector magnetometer is presented.

October 2022 – Technical Talk

October 2022 – Technical Talk

Speaker: Andy Dyke, Business Development Manager, HiSeis

Title: Recent Technical Advances in Seismic for Hard Rock Mineral Systems

Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Time: 4:30pm to 5:30pm PST

Locations: This talk will be held both in-person and virtually via Zoom.

Room 111, 409 Granville St. Vancouver BC, V6C 1T2

Via Zoom. Link will be distributed via our newsletter prior to the talk.

Andy left Leeds University, UK in 1988, with a BSc (Hons) in Geological Sciences and an urge to travel and see the world. Geophysics and specifically seismic technology as an exploration method was the natural fit to satisfy his thirst for global adventure.

Andy spent 24 years with Schlumberger, enjoying postings in the UK, Libya, South Africa, USA, Venezuela, Australia and not forgetting Canada. After this he spent 5 years with TGS Canada in a variety of offshore and onshore multi-client project development roles.

Andy is currently the North American Business Development Manager with HiSeis, a hard rock seismic specialist company, with HQ in Perth, Australia.

HiSeis are striving to showcase hard rock seismic technology to the North American mining market and Andy is currently accomplishing this from Calgary, Alberta. Seismic is an underutilized tool in the mineral exploration space and Andy is focused on helping hard rock explorationists both understand and utilize its unprecedented benefits.

Seismic for hard rock imaging of the subsurface has changed since you tried it last time or heard about it last time or maybe (for you) there wasn’t even a last time. The aim of my talk will be to explain what has and what is changing both from a design and acquisition standpoint and the types of products that can be extracted from new and vintage seismic datasets alike. I will show examples of the following 5 key talking points from the HiSeis’ portfolio of 100+ worldwide projects.

  • Design – Feasibility and Modeling for de-risking new seismic surveys.
  • Acquisition – Efficiency, Footprint and Cost reduction in Canada
  • Processing – Improving shallow resolution and steep reflector imaging using recently developed Depth Imaging workflows.
  • Interpretation – Automated Fault modeling with ML & Geobody modeling identifying geological features not picked up easily by the human eye.
  • Rock Properties – Geostatistical Inversion – combining seismic and drilling to go beyond just reflective boundaries and provide key lithology probability outputs.

I believe that the surface seismic technique has a significant future in BC for aiding exploration, ore definition, drill targeting and mine planning. By the end of my talk I hope the examples I have shared will have shown you why

A recording of this webinar is available on our Youtube channel.

September 2022 – Technical Talk

September 2022 – Technical Talk

Speaker: Dr. Seogi Kang, Postdoc Researcher, Stanford University.

Title: Time-lapse inversion of airborne electromagnetic data for monitoring saltwater intrusion

Date: Wed, September 28, 2022

Time: 5:00pm to 6:00pm PST

Locations: This talk will be held both in-person and virtually via Zoom.

Room 111, 409 Granville St. Vancouver BC, V6C 1T2

Virtual: via Zoom
Link will be distributed via our newsletter prior to the talk.

Dr. Kang completed his PhD in Geophysics at University of British Columbia, Canada, in 2018. His thesis work focused on computational electromagnetics and its application to mining problems. Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Geophysics Department at Stanford. His current research focus is on maximizing the value of electromagnetic imaging for groundwater management and science. He is a co-creator of an open-source geophysical software, SimPEG.

In coastal areas, half of the population lives and 75% of the cities are located. Groundwater is a major source of freshwater in these coastal. Increased water demand with the population growth causes more pumping of groundwater. Climate change causes sea level rise. Net effect of these is increased saltwater intrusion threatening the freshwater security in coastal regions. Due to the close connection between salinity and electrical resistivity (or conductivity), electromagnetic (EM) geophysics can play a critical role by imaging saltwater intrusion. A specific form of the EM geophysics used in this study is the airborne EM (AEM) method, which can rapidly map out subsurface resistivity of a large coastal region. While there are many AEM experiments for imaging subsurface hydrogeology, conducting time-lapse AEM experiments is not common due to the relatively expensive cost the survey as well as the repeatability issues. Further, there is yet no implementation of time-lapse inversion for AEM data, which simultaneously invert multiple AEM data sets with a constraint along a time dimension. Working with the two AEM data sets acquired in 2017 and 2019 at the Northern Salinas Valley of California, USA, in this study, we developed a novel time-lapse inversion approach using an Lp-norm for the spatial and temporal constraints. Three different types of inversion were conducted: 1) Separate inversions with L2-norm constraints; 2) Time-lapse inversion with L2-norm constraints; 3) Time-lapse inversion with L0-norm constraints. From inversion results, we found that the time constraint played an important role for minimizing the inversion artifacts in the conductivity difference between resistivity models at 2017 and 2019. We also found that the use of L0-norm for both spatial and time constraints provided the most confident estimate of the conductivity difference due to the sparse nature of the implemented L0-norms. The final conductivity difference from the time-lapse inversion with L0-norm was compared with salinity contours from in-situ measurements.

A recording of this webinar is available on our Youtube channel.