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Electromagnetic surveys can be collected in the air, on the surface, and in boreholes, covering different scales and allowing different targets to be imaged. These methods are sensitive to electrical resistivity, which varies as geologic formations change. In this case history, airborne EM is used to characterize the background geology of the Athabasca oil sands where Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage is planned for the future. The case study is based on the extended abstract “From exploration to reclamation: using EM methods at SAGD sites in the Athabasca oil sands” [DO16b]. The readers can anticipate to learn the following:

  1. How EM can be applied to heavy oil studies
  2. Airborne EM acquisition system and airborne data
  3. Limitations of different EM surveys