Alberta Oil Sands

Alberta Oil Sands

Energy, Industry and the Environment

1st Edition - October 26, 2012

Write a review

  • Editor: K.E. Percy
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080977607
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080977676

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (Mobi, PDF, EPub)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


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.

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


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

Table of Contents

  • 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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 528
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2012
  • Published: October 26, 2012
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780080977607
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080977676

About the Series Volume Editor

K.E. Percy

Affiliations and Expertise

Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for "Alberta Oil Sands"