Alberta Oil Sands, 1st Edition

Energy, Industry and the Environment

Alberta Oil Sands, 1st Edition,Kevin Percy,ISBN9780080977607

K Percy   





229 X 152

Presents the work of an international, multidisciplinary scientific team measuring and monitoring the environmental effects of recovery of the oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands

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Key Features

  • Covers measurement of emissions from very large industrial sources in a region with huge international media profile
  • Validation of measurement technologies can be applied globally
  • The new approaches to ecological monitoring described can be applied in other forested regions


At 170 billion barrels, Canada's Oil Sands are the third largest reserves of developable oil in the world. The Oil Sands now produce about 1.6 million barrels per day, with production expected to double by 2025 to about 3.7 million barrels per day. The Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in northeastern Alberta is the largest of the three oil sands deposits. Bitumen in the oil sands is recovered through one of two primary methods – mining and drilling. About 20 per cent of the reserves are close to the surface and can be mined using large shovels and trucks. Of concern are the effects of the industrial development on the environment. Both human-made and natural sources emit oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, trace elements and persistent organic compounds. Of additional concern are ground level ozone and greenhouse gases.

Because of the requirement on operators to comply with the air quality regulatory policies, and to address public concerns, the not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) has since 1997 been closely monitoring air quality in AOSR. In 2008, WBEA assembled a distinguished group of international scientists who have been conducting measurements and practical research on various aspects of air emissions and their potential effects on terrestrial receptors. This book is a synthesis of the concepts and results of those on-going studies. It contains 19 chapters ranging from a global perspective of energy production, measurement methodologies and behavior of various air pollutants during fossil fuel production in a boreal forest ecosystem, towards designing and deploying a multi-disciplinary, proactive, and long-term environmental monitoring system that will also meet regulatory expectations.


Environmental scientists, ecologists, forest effects investigators, academic researchers and teachers, air quality regulators, policy administrators and industry managers

Kevin Percy

Affiliations and Expertise

Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Alberta Oil Sands, 1st Edition

Developments in Environmental Science





Introduction to the Book Series

Chapter 1. Energy Production: A Global Perspective

1.1 The Situation

1.2 Some Remedies

1.3 Summary


Chapter 2. Energy Developments in Canada’s Oil Sands

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Early Days

2.3 Opportunities and Challenges

2.4 The Path Forward


Chapter 3. Energy and Environment: Toward Achieving the Balance in Alberta

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

3.3 Water Management

3.4 Land Use and Waste Management

3.5 Summary


Chapter 4. Air Quality in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region 2011

4.1 The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network

4.2 Major Emission Sources in the Athabasca Oil Sands

4.3 Continuously Monitored Air Pollutants

4.4 Time-Integrated Measurements

4.5 2011 Air Quality Health Index Values

4.6 Trends and Other Regions

4.7 Summary



Chapter 5. Development and Application of Statistical Approaches for Reducing Uncertainty in Ambient Air Quality Data

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Recent Attempts Related to Uncertainty

5.3 ISO Measurement Uncertainty Estimation Methodology

5.4 Alternative Approach to Uncertainty Using the Weibull Distribution

5.5 MCMs for Uncertainty Estimation

5.6 Estimation of Uncertainty in WBEA Measurements

5.7 Conclusions



Chapter 6. Co-measurement of Volatile Organic and Sulfur Compounds in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region by Dual Detector Pneumatic Focusing Gas Chromatography

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Background Review

6.3 Experimental Methods—Pneumatic Focusing Gas Chromatography

6.4 Current Locations for PFGC Monitoring in the AOSR

6.5 Results and Discussion

6.6 Recent Sulfur Measurements

6.7 Summary and Conclusions



Chapter 7. Overview of Real-World Emission Characterization Methods

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Stationary Source Emissions

7.3 Engine Exhaust Emissions

7.4 Fugitive Dust Emissions

7.5 Emerging Technologies for Source Characterization



Chapter 8. Measurement of Real-World Stack Emissions with a Dilution Sampling System

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Material and Methods

8.3 Results and Discussion

8.4 Summary



Chapter 9. Applying the Forest Health Approach to Monitoring Boreal Ecosystems in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Terrestrial Environmental Monitoring in the Athabasca Oil Sands Prior to 2008

9.3 Defining Forest Health

9.4 TEEM Forest Health Network Design

9.5 Investigative Studies to Enhance the TEEM Program

9.6 Summary



Chapter 10. Ecological Analogues for Biomonitoring Industrial Sulfur Emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Overview of Methods

10.3 Results

10.4 Application Examples

10.5 Conclusions


Chapter 11. Tracing Industrial Nitrogen and Sulfur Emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region Using Stable Isotopes

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Study Area and Sampling

11.3 Methods

11.4 Results and Discussion

11.5 Summary

11.6 Acknowledgments


Chapter 12. Air Quality Modeling in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Historical Model Applications

12.3 WBEA Case Study: Model Input

12.4 WBEA Case Study: CALPUFF Model Options

12.5 WBEA Case Study: Model Performance

12.6 WBEA Case Study: Deposition

12.7 WBEA Case Study: Lichen Comparison

12.8 Conclusions



Chapter 13. WBEA Receptor Modeling Study in the Athabasca Oil Sands

Chapter 14. Method for Extraction and Multielement Analysis of Hypogymnia physodes samples from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

14.1 Introduction

14.2 Materials and Methods

14.3 Results and Discussion

14.4 Conclusions



Chapter 15. Coupling Lead Isotopes and Element Concentrations in Epiphytic Lichens to Track Sources of Air Emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

15.1 Introduction

15.2 Materials and Methods

15.3 Results

15.4 Discussion

15.5 Conclusions



Chapter 16. Mercury Concentration and Isotopic Composition of Epiphytic Tree Lichens in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

16.1 Introduction

16.2 Methods

16.3 Results and Discussion

16.4 Proposed Mechanism to Explain Hg Isotopic Variability

16.5 Conclusions



Chapter 17. Measurement of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Epiphytic Lichens for Receptor Modeling in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR): A Pilot Study

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Methods

17.3 Results

17.4 Discussion

17.5 Conclusions



Chapter 18. Receptor Modeling of Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and Spatial Distribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

18.1 Introduction

18.2 Methods

18.3 Results and Discussion

18.4 Conclusions



Chapter 19. Concluding Remarks

19.1 Introduction

19.2 Summary of Book Content

19.3 Symposium Panel Discussion

19.4 Future Perspectives



Quotes and reviews

"This volume contains papers presented at an eponymous international symposium held in conjunction with the 43rd International Air Pollution Workshop (May 2011), in Alberta, Canada. These papers, along with other included material, come from projects undertaken by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA), which has, since 2008, undertaken intense study of environmental monitoring activities." --Reference and Research Book News, October 2013

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