**** Geophysical Methods for Condition Assessment of Dykes/Levees ****
Developing methods to assess the internal condition of earthen dykes and levees used for flood control and other water-retaining applications is increasingly important as many such structures approach their design lives and are exposed to increasing stresses associated with climate change. Researchers at UNB, Mount Allison University, and Memorial University, funded by NSERC, NBIF, and NB Power are working on the development of geophysical monitoring techniques for that purpose.
In the Tantramar region of New Brunswick, where dykes protecting critical infrastructure at the head of the Bay of Fundy are threatened by sea level rise, electrical, electromagnetic and seismic methods are of interest for seeking out the hydrological and geotechnical vulnerabilities of those historic flood barriers and for guiding the design of new ones.
We currently have an MSc graduate student research opportunity to explore applications of various geophysical methods to reconnaissance for weaknesses in flood control barriers on the Tantramar Marsh, using approaches informed by advanced 3D numerical modelling combined with ongoing geotechnical investigations by provincial authorities. There is scope to adjust the focus of both projects to student interests and career goals.
Ideal candidates will have a background in Earth sciences, geological or civil engineering, physics or a related field, good quantitative skills and an aptitude for instrumentation, and field studies. Funding is available for start dates as early as May 1, 2022, but the start date can be delayed if needed. The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.
Lessons and skills learned through this project will be applicable to many industry sectors including exploration, engineering and groundwater applications. This research is a collaboration between geophysical and hydrogeological faculty at UNB (K. Butler, K. MacQuarrie), Mount Allison University (P. Lelièvre) and Memorial University (C. Farquharson) and involves engineering professionals from the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. Hence, this project can provide the student with many avenues for future academic, government or industry career trajectories.