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Environmental Geoscience Program

Environmental Geoscience Program

Launched in 2009 and renewed in 2014, the Environmental Geoscience Program is a federal research program that provides innovative scientific information that makes it possible to distinguish between the environmental effects of natural resource development and those produced by natural processes. As part of this mandate, developing new approaches in geoscience supports the responsible use and development of Canada’s natural resources through informed decision-making.

The Environmental Geoscience Program focuses on:

  • Developing methods and techniques to assess the baseline conditions of resource-rich natural systems.
  • Improving methods and increasing knowledge of geoscience for responsible management of environmental risks. These lead to better detection, understanding and modelling of the impact of natural resource development on the environment.
  • Training and mentoring to increase the number of highly skilled personnel in the area of responsible natural resource development in Canada.


The Environmental Geoscience Program conducts research and development in areas that have an high potential for economic development. Four main areas of research are targeted:

Characterize aquifer vulnerability to shale gas development
Characterize and understand seismicity induced by shale gas development

Identify contaminant sources in water and air using geochemistry methods

Define geoenvironmental characteristics of areas with critical metals potential, particularly rare earth elements
Define geoenvironmental characteristics in the North, particularly in prospective gold sites and former or current gold developments

Develop geophysical methods for measuring, monitoring and verifying the  injection, the storage and the geological environment of C02

  1. Shale gas
  2. Oil sands
  3. Metal mining
  4. Geological carbon storage


Scientists aim to identify knowledge gaps and increase knowledge by understanding baseline conditions of natural systems, among other things. They also provide new tools to develop methods for the monitoring and management of the environmental impacts of natural resources development. 

This research is carried out in collaboration with university, industry and other stakeholders from the federal, provincial and territorial governments. A better understanding of complex environmental systems is achieved through multidisciplinary partnerships that ensure independent results. Projects under the Environmental Geoscience Program deliver geoscience information accessible to Canadians to inform decision-making and aim at improving regulations and environmental performance.

Latest Environmental Geoscience Program Publications

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