Feature Projects

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Glacier Mass Balance

An open-pit copper-gold mine in the Boundary Ranges of northwestern British Columbia plans to access an ore body under the toe of a receding glacier. The changing glacial melt rate and meltwater volume affect the design of the mine's waste treatment and hydroelectric power generation. As part of a continuing study, Statlu has installed and monitored  hydrometric gauges in steep tributary streams to the glacier and at the glacier outlet. We evaluate how much of the outflow originates from interceptable and divertable inflows to the glacier, and use this to develop a preliminary mass balance and water balance for the area. We have begun to quantify correlations between seasonal snowpack, temperature, precipitation and runoff. These correlations allow us to more accurately estimate the contribution of melting ice to the observed runoff and to estimate glacier-averaged ice loss.

Slesse Park Landslide Investigation

Near Christmas Day in 2015, a landslide reached Chilliwack River in an area known as the Slesse Park Clayslides in the Chilliwack Valley. The Fraser Valley Regional District retained Statlu to investigate the landslide, determine its causes, evaluate whether there was an immediate threat to public safety, and recommend mitigation measures. Statlu found that the landslide had initiated upslope of the clayslides, and that there was no immediate risk to public safety, but also determined that past mitigative works designed to stabilize the clayslides were outside their design parameters and may not have been functioning as designed. We recommended a program of additional work to better characterize and evaluate the longer-term hazard.

Duuguusd Road Deactivation

Designation of the Duuguusd Conservancy on Haida Gwaii's Graham Island meant that several dozen kilometers of old forest road were no longer needed and required permanent deactivation in order to mitigate hydrologic and terrain stability hazards. Statlu conducted an overview hazard assessment to identify areas of low, moderate, high and very high hazard. Subsequently we conducted field assessments of all of the moderate, high and very high hazard road segments as well as a selection of the low-hazard segments chosen to ensure that our delineation of low hazard segments was accurate. We developed prescriptions to permanently deactivate all road segments in order to ensure that hydrologic function was restored through the disconnection of ditch networks and restoration of stream channels, and that unstable or potentially unstable road fills were pulled back, recontoured and replanted.