Geophysical investigations of Svalbard reservoirs

Geophysical investigations of Svalbard reservoirs

Top image: Karoline Bælum has performed seismic investigations of the Adventdalen bedrock. Here from a seismic campaign on the road to the Longyearbyen airport. Image/illustration: Karoline Bælum/UNIS

PhD candidate Karoline Bælum has investigated subsurface reservoirs in certain areas of Spitsbergen, producing new knowledge about structures that one day can become important reservoirs for CO2 storage. Bælum will defend her PhD thesis on 10 June at UNIS.

6 June 2011
Press release from UNIS and University of Bergen 

Karoline Bælum will defend her PhD thesis ”Geophysical and geological investigations of subsurface reservoirs – case studies of Spitsbergen, Norway” on June 10, 2011 at UNIS.

Bælum’s thesis gives, through different geophysical methods, an insight into different geological areas in Svalbard that either have, or could have, reservoir properties.

The methods used by Bælum are seismic, ground penetrating radar (GPR), geoelectrical measurements and LIDAR scans. These are combined with geological data from, among other things, drill holes and field observations, in order to produce new knowledge about the structures of the Svalbard bedrock.

Bælum has investigated the Billefjorden fault zone (BFZ); Tellbreen, a smaller glacier north of Adventdalen; a paleokarst area in Billefjorden and an area close to Longyearbreen where there are plans to store CO2.

New knowledge of reservoir properties
The results of her investigations are somewhat contrary to the current, prevailing theories concerning the hydrology properties of cold, Arctic glaciers. Tellbreen has a drainage system which functions as a reservoir, storing and releasing water all year round.

Bælum’s seismic investigations of the BFZ have resulted in new knowledge about its progress and geometry, especially in the areas south of Tempelfjorden, where the fault zone is located underground.

The seismic studies of the bedrock in Adventdalen has, together with the drill holes, have resulted in a specific mapping of the bedrock layers which are suitable for CO2 storage, and test injections have already been undertaken.

Her investigations of paleokarst structures in 2D and 3D with GPR have resulted in new knowledge about these structures that can be important reservoirs and transport channels for hydrocarbons and groundwater, among other things.

Dissertation
Karoline Bælum will defend her PhD thesis; ”Geophysical and geological investigations of subsurface reservoirs – case studies of Spitsbergen, Norway”, at UNIS on 10 June at 10:00.
She will give a trial lecture entitled “Combined use of geophysical methods in mapping the upper-Jurassic rift structure on the Norwegian shelf”, on 9 June at 16:00.

About the candidate:
Karoline Bælum (born 1980 in Aarhus, Denmark) has a Master’s degree in geology/geophysics from Aarhus University and UNIS (2006). In 2007 she enrolled as a PhD student at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the University in Bergen.

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