Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2009

Posted September 27, 2009 (Updated October 25, 2009: links to presentations)

Event: September 30, 2009

GSE: Annual Fall Wine & Cheese Event

Location: University of Alberta Faculty Club, 11435 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton

Time: 5:30-7:00pm

Come out and connect with students and colleagues in the local geotechnical community!

Lisa Brown, Ph.D. Student, Geoenvironmental Engineering, University of Alberta

Characterization of Oil Sands Naphthenic Acids in Oils Sands Process-Affected Waters Using Fluorescence Technology

View Lisa's Presentation (PDF)

Naphthenic acids represent the toxic component of oil sands process-affected water. A current challenge is the development of a rapid, accurate and accessible analytical technique to characterize naphthenic acids in process water. Fluorescence spectrophotometry is suggested and developed as a potential solution for both generating sample signatures or €śfingerprints€ť and quantitative analysis. Samples of oil sands process-affected waters produced fluorescence signals that differed from groundwater collected in the Athabasca region. A dilution series prepared with process water produced a linear response curve, following correction for inner filtering effects. Fluorescence spectrophotometry is a potentially powerful tool for characterizing and quantifying naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected, surface, and ground waters.

Tai-Hoon Kim, Ph.D. Student, Geotechnical Engineering, University of Alberta

Landslide Hazard Assessment, Town of Peace River

View Tai-Hoon's Presentation (PDF)

The Peace River area developed from the beginning of 1900s and was heavily urbanized by the late 1970s. Development extended its urban boundaries to the geologically immature valley slopes of the Peace River tributaries. Over the past 50 years a combination of precipitation and urban development on marginally stable slopes resulted in a number of landslides that often resulted in property damage to individual houses and community infrastructure. Such landslides can significantly affect community long–term planning and infrastructure development. In this study the general geology of the Peace River area and historic landslides will be described. Displacement and pore pressure monitoring records of these landslides will be summarised. New results from laboratory tests of samples obtained from recently drilled deep boreholes will also be presented. The characteristics of these landslides will be used to develop a landslide hazard map for the Peace River Area.

Sierra Jensen, Junior Fellow, Engineers Without Borders, University of Alberta Chapter

Agriculture, Development, and Zambia...through my lens.

View Sierra's Presentation (PDF)

Janelle Murray (AECOM) had orginally been scheduled to speak but was unable. Sierra graciously agreed, on short notice, to speak in her place on behalf of Engineers without Borders. Sierra, a Civil Engineering student at the U of A, spoke about her recent experiences in Zambia. In addition her presentation, Sierra also provided the following links for those interested in further details about EWB:

  • Interested in learning more about Engineers Without Borders (EWB)? Visit for more information about our work in Canada and overseas and to see how you can get involved!
  • Interested in joining the EWB Edmonton Professional Chapter Initiative? Visit to sign up for our mailing list, or contact Jessica Virostek, Vice-President, for more information at
  • Interested in joining the EWB Edmonton Professional Chapter Initiative? Visit to sign up for our mailing list, or contact Sierra Jensen, Returned Junior Fellow, for more information at


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