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Report: Hydrostratigraphic, Hydraulic and Hydrogeochemical Descriptions of the Dawson Creek - Groundbirch Area

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The Montney Aquifer Characterization Project was initiated in 2011 with the objective of collecting and synthesizing data to better understand the groundwater resource for domestic, industrial, agricultural and environmental use in the Dawson Creek-Groundbirch area. The project focused on using conventional hydrogeological investigation approaches - available water well information, field well survey to collect information on groundwater levels and water chemistry, drilling and pumping test.

Author:  Baye, A.; Rathfelder, K.; Wei, M.; Yin, J.

Date Published:  Jan 2017

Report ID:  52034

Audience:  Government and Public

Limited information about aquifers, reliance on groundwater for use, and active oil and gas development with heavy use of water were drivers to improve understanding of aquifer characteristics in northeast British Columbia. A collaborative project was initiated in 2011 with the objective of collecting and synthesizing data to better understand the groundwater resource in the Dawson Creek-Groundbirch area. An integrated approach was used to characterize aquifers in the Dawson Creek-Groundbirch area. Available water well information, private well survey data, core drilling data, water chemistry, drilling, pumping test analysis and monitoring data of observation wells have been used to improve understanding of groundwater resources in the study area. A data set of well records was compiled from different sources, and the drillers description of lithology was standardized to characterize the subsurface hydro-stratigraphy. Well logs were interpreted using standardized lithology to identify the major hydrostratigraphic units in the study area. The local litho-hydrostratigraphic relationships were interpolated using 2D cross sections. In addition to this, the geophysical data and analysis was also used to support the hydrostratigraphic interpretation. Unconsolidated sand and gravel aquifers are identified in three settings: 1) fluvial alluvial sediments found in major river valleys and low lying areas, 2) minor, localized units confined underneath till clay silts, and 3) in a buried, confined paleovalley in the Groundbirch area. Weathered and fractured sedimentary and sandstone aquifers underlie unconsolidated sediments throughout much of the study area. In parts of the study area aquifers were mapped as moderately or lightly developed bedrock or unconsolidated aquifers as per the provincial aquifer classification scheme. Based on converging lines of evidence from observation well drilling and testing, core drilling, litho-hydrostratigraphic relationships and hydrogeochemistry, a conceptual model was developed depicting the groundwater occurrence and flow in the study area. The paleovalley area in the west central part of the study area around Groundbirch is characterized by intercalations of less permeable silty clay/till and more permeable sand/gravel deposits. The major river valleys are dominated by unconfined fluvial sand and or gravel aquifers. The eastern part of the study area is dominated by thick deposits of till silty clay with thin lenses of sand which can sustain private wells. The major portion of the study area is underlain by bedrock aquifers, covered by clay till deposits of variable thickness.

Report Type
  Region - Peace
  Watershed Groups - 230 - Peace River
  Watershed Groups - 235 - Halfway River
  Water Information - Groundwater

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