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Applied Geoscience Laboratory

The Applied Geoscience Laboratory conducts geophysical studies for mineral, oil, and gas exploration, geotechnics, and even archeology. The research facility has the required equipment and expertise for geoelectrical tomography, electromagnetic induction, and gravity, radiometric, aquatic, magnetometry, and audiomagnetotelluric surveys, as well as field logistics.

The Applied Geoscience Laboratory uses a range of methods and technologies:


Geoelectrical tomography

Imaging of Quaternary and basement rock to a depth of 800 m in order to identify basement rock, sedimentary and volcanic rock, and Quaternary glacial and marine deposits. Using spectral induced polarization to measure complex electrical resistivity, this method can distinguish between clays, sulphurs, and graphite. This technology is valuable for geotechnical applications such as the study of landslide sites.


Audiomagnetotelluric surveys

Natural source (NSAMT) and controlled source (CSAMT) audiomagnetotelluric surveys make it possible to obtain geoelectrical images of basement rock to a depth of 2000 m.  CSAMT surveys can be employed in areas subject to noise from power lines and human habitation. Both of these methods are used to detect ore bodies (massive sulphides) and geological structures with hydrocarbon potential.


Electromagnetic induction

AGL uses time (TEM, TDEM) and frequency (FDEM) domain electromagnetic induction methods.   These methods measure the electrical conductivity and, in some cases, the magnetic susceptibility of geological materials. They can be used to detect massive sulphides and iron and graphite formations. The high frequency systems used in the lab generate detailed subsurface maps for environmental, geotechnical, agronomic, and archeological applications.


Gravity surveys

On-ground or on-ice measurements applied to geological mapping, massive sulphide and iron formation prospecting, fault location, and oil and gas exploration. This potential field method can also be used to detect karstic environments and other types of underground cavities (natural or anthropogenic).


Magnetometry surveys

Terrestrial and aquatic measurements for geological mapping, prospecting of massive sulphide deposits and iron formations, fault localization, diamond, gas, and oil exploration, and underwater detection. This method is highly useful for detecting underground and underwater pipelines. It also has numerous archeometric applications.


Radiometric surveys

Mobile gamma-ray spectrometric system deployable on land (truck, ATV) or by helicopter for potassic alteration mapping (VMS, gold); geological mapping (K, eTh, eU); uranium and thorium exploration; detection of pegmatites and alteration halos (soil gas); exploration of carbonatites, Nb, Ta, and rare earths; and agricultural soil mapping (precision agronomy).


Aquatic surveys

Two vessels with crews certified by Institut maritime du Québec, available from May to November:

  • Pélican: 8 m vessel with two 90 HP motors Safety equipment (Transport Canada, Solas) for St. Lawrence River and ocean missions. The following geophysical equipment is available upon request: acoustic profiler, magnetometer with bathymetric probe and altimeter, underwater cables for electrical resistivity surveys, aquatic seismic systems, and sediment sampling equipment.
  • Cormoran: 6.5 m marine inflatable  90 HP motor, sonar, radar, and other safety equipment

The Applied Geoscience Laboratory is available to faculty, students, and staff of the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre for their research projects.

The laboratory’s facilities and our expertise may also be used for external collaborations or research and development contracts.

Please contact us for more information.

Here are a few examples of the research conducted at the Applied Geoscience Laboratory:

  • Thrust fault localization
  • Geological mapping
  • Underwater detection
  • Diamond exploration
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Karst detection
  • Archeological prospecting


Applied Geoscience Laboratory (AGL)

Institut national de la recherche scientifique

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 de la Couronne Street

Québec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9


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