Engineering Resiliency in a Changing Climate
June 3 - 6, 2018

Keynote Lectures

The Geohazards 7 organizing committee will be inviting prominent geo-practitioners to present keynote lectures that will form an integral part of the conference program each day. Our exciting lineup of experts is listed below.

Jordi Corominas
The fragmentation of rockfalls and the analysis of risk

Fragmentation is a mechanism frequently observed in rockfalls. It causes the division of the original rock mass into smaller pieces, which move independently downslope. The new blocks generated often follow divergent trajectories, defining a cone. The quantitative analysis of risk is very sensitive to the rockfall fragmentation. The trajectory analysis on non-fragmented rock masses, leads to the overestimation of the kinetic energy of blocks and the run-out, and to the underestimation of the impact probability. Conversely, fragmentation multiplies the number of block trajectories by a factor n equal to the number of the fragments generated while energies and run-out distances may be reduced significantly. In the presentation, such a contrasting behavior is discussed by means of examples on the evaluation of the risk associated to rockfalls of different magnitudes.

Prof. Dr. Jordi Corominas, B.Sc and PhD in Geology from the University Barcelona, Spain. In 1978 he joined the Department of Geotechnical Engineering and Geosciences of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech. Full professor of Engineering Geology at the Civil Engineering School of Barcelona since 1992. Visiting scholar at the Imperial College, UK (1985) and at the University of Colorado at Boulder, US (1993-1994). His research has focused on natural hazards, and particularly on slope stability analysis, landslide hazard and risk assessment. Chairman of nine national symposia on landslides as well as several international workshops. Member of the European Center for Geomophological Hazards, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France (Executive Board since 1995 and President 2009-2014); Member of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC-1) of the ISSMFE-ISRM-IAEG (since 2003 and core member 2010-2014); In 2016 he was awarded the Varnes medal by the International Consortium on Landslides.

David Eaton
Induced Seismicity in Western Canada: Causes and Consequences

Induced seismicity refers to earthquakes or other seismic events that are associated with human activity. Examples of activities that could cause induced seismicity are impoundment of surface water reservoirs, underground mining, construction of tunnels, and detonation of underground explosions. Another type of induced seismicity that has attracted considerable public attention is fluid-induced seismicity, which involves injection or withdrawal of large volumes of fluids from the subsurface, including oil and gas production, disposal of brine or chemical waste, development of engineered geothermal systems or carbon sequestration. In every case, the underlying cause is a change in the state of stress acting on a pre-existing fault that leads to reduced clamping force or increased shear tendency. While there are examples of small earthquakes in western Canada induced by potash mining, most reported cases are fluid-induced. Cases considered here include small earthquakes up to about M4 from conventional hydrocarbon production, enhanced oil recovery, brine disposal and hydraulic fracturing. Ongoing research shows that fluid-induced seismicity is localized within a few specific areas (i.e. less than 1% of wells drilled are linked to induced seismicity), but more research is needed to fully understand the underlying risk factors and to calibrate ground-shaking models sufficiently for robust forecasting of specific scenarios. Risk management protocols have been introduced by regulators in some areas, through the implementation of traffic-light systems for hydraulic fracturing. While there have been economic consequences and public concern, to date these cases in western Canada have not resulted in any reported injuries. Learnings from this region may be valuable to inform public policy in other parts of the world.

Professor Dave Eaton received his B.Sc. from Queen's University in 1984 and M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in 1988 and 1992. He rejoined the University of Calgary in 2007 after an 11-year academic career at the University of Western Ontario. His postdoctoral research experience included work at Arco's Research and Technical Services (Plano, Texas) and the Geological Survey of Canada (Ottawa). He is presently co-director of the Microseismic Industry Consortium, a novel, applied-research geophysical initiative dedicated to the advancement of research, education and technological innovations in microseismic methods and their practical applications for resource development. In addition to microseismic monitoring and induced seismicity, his current research is also focused on intraplate earthquake swarms, and the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath continents.

Andy Esarte
Shaken: Canmore's Awakening to a Reality of Steep Creek Hazards

While debris floods and debris flows have regularly occurred throughout the history of the Bow Valley , these processes were not well understood or quantified. In June of 2013 an extreme rainfall event changed the community of Canmore forever, unleashing torrents of water and debris into neighborhoods, businesses, and infrastructure over a terrorizing twenty-four hour period. Mr. Esarte will provide a firsthand account of responding to debris flows and debris floods, the process of recovery and reconstruction, and how a program of hazard and risk assessment is moving the community towards a resilient future.

Andy Esarte is a civil engineer with a background in project management and for the past six years he has managed the engineering department for the Town of Canmore. With local flooding in 2012 and an extreme rainfall event in 2013 leading to a number of destructive debris floods and debris flows in the community, flood risk management has been a focus of Mr. Esarte's work. His efforts have led him to Austria, Switzerland, and throughout British Columbia in search of expertise and best practice in steep creek risk management.

Markus Schnorbus
Climate change and geohazards: projected changes in precipitation and runoff

The anticipated intensification of the global water cycle due to climate change and its effect on hydrologic systems is expected to manifest in changes in precipitation and runoff extremes. As certain geohazards, such as debris floods, debris flows and other types of landslides, can be triggered by intense and/or prolonged rainfall, snowmelt, rain-on-snow or runoff, a concern is that the non-stationarity of these extremes may drive changes in the magnitude and frequency of geohazard events. This, in turn, may require adjustments of risk management strategies. There is mounting and compelling evidence that the magnitude of extreme precipitation events will increase with continued global warming. However, much less information, or consensus, is available on the potential effect of climate change on extreme runoff. This presentation will discuss some of the more recent research examining future changes in precipitation and runoff extremes in Canada. As well, results from an ongoing modelling study will be presented in an attempt to assess future trends in precipitation and runoff extremes in select case study regions in British Columbia.

Markus Schnorbus is a hydrologist and the lead of the Hydrologic Impacts Theme at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), where he leads applied research to assess the hydrologic effects of climate change throughout British Columbia. Markus' current research uses process-based hydrology models to quantify changes in snow dynamics, glacier runoff, streamflow extremes (flood and drought), reservoir inflow and water temperature, all with the aim of assisting adaptation planning. Prior to joining PCIC Markus was a Hydrologic Modelling Scientist and Forecaster with the BC Ministry of Environment, River Forecast Centre, where he was engaged in the analysis of observed climate and hydrometric data and the application of various hydrologic models for flood, drought and seasonal streamflow forecasting. Markus has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Royal Military College and a MASc in forest hydrology from the University of British Columbia.

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Join us at Geohazards 7, Canmore, Alberta, June 3 - 6, 2018
The Canadian
Geotechnical Society
La Société canadienne
de géotechnique