Characterizing the Transport of Process-Affected Water Contained in Oil Sands Tailings Ponds into the underlying Pleistocene clay till in Northern Alberta’s Athabasca Oil Sands region: A Field Study

  • Author / Creator
    Abolfazlzadehdoshanbehbazari, Mostafa
  • A small scale Infiltration Pond was constructed to characterize the transport of oil sands process affected (PA) water contained in Suncor’s South Tailings Pond (STP) to the Wood Creek Sand Channel (WCSC) through a 5-8 m thick glacial clay till. The extent of PA water infiltration was determined by extracting pore water samples from the clay till, analyzing their isotopic (δ18O), major ions, and metals composition over a two year time period. As conservative tracers, δ18O and chloride concentration trends indicated the water penetration line at approximately 0.9 m, while major ion and metal mobility lagged this line. Uptake of Mo, Pb, sodium and sulphate and release of Ba, Sr, calcium and magnesium suggest that adsorption and ion exchange reactions are the foremost attenuation processes controlling inorganic solutes transport. In addition, a correlation coefficient of 0.96 between diffusion analytical models and field measurements for tracers, provided evidence of a diffusion-dominated system.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.