April 2019 Prior to the Brumadinho Tailings Dam collapse, rainfall was 3.6 times greater than the mean rainfall of the prior 10 years. February and March rainfall of this year were 3x the mean rainfall of the prior 10 years, see below figure. What preventative measures are being implemented to increase the stability and reduce the risk of collapse of existing unsafe tailings dams? News reporting doesn't mention any remedial actions being taken to increase the stability of existing unsafe tailings dams, especially those unsafe tailings dams located in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil.
February 2019 In an analysis initiated by the recent Brumadinho Tailings Dam failure, GeoSierra discovered significant surface water ponding had occurred on the crest of the Brumadinho Tailings Dam just a month before it tragically failed. Upstream tailings dams, such as the Brumadinho tailings dam, are especially prone to failure due to an increase in the pore water pressure; such as caused by surface water ponding on the dam crest, by either dam instability or piping failure.
This ponding of surface water is the most likely cause of the Brumadinho tailings dam failure. Surface waters infiltrate into the dam over time, thus significantly raising the dam's pore water pressures, which reduce the tailings mean effective stress, until liquefaction is triggered. Once liquefaction is triggered, in this case it is called "Static Liquefaction", the failure process following the liquefaction triggering is extremely dynamic and leads to flow liquefaction, as earlier seen in the tragic Aberfan disaster of 1966, and numerous tailings dams failures over the years, and more recently the Fundao tailings dam collapse of 2015, and now this recent tragic flow liquefaction failure, with its significant loss of human life and environmental damage.
BBC News reporter: Ricardo Senra, article of 22 February 2019. “There was a spring above the dam, but the pipe was broken,” he says. “The water was falling directly on to the dam. So much so that the middle of the dam was no longer dry. This was more than a month ago.”
GeoSierra's electro-osmosis system, when activated by seismic or motion sensors, stabilizes such high risk structures; such as an upstream tailings dam, during an earthquake event and/or due to excessive pore water pressures.The electro-osmosis system can be powered continuously at low current to dewater and/or permeation grout the tailings, with automatic control to raise the current to stabilize the dam, due to sensed motion or excessive pore pressures. Following the dewatering/stabilization of the tailings by electro-osmosis, decommissioning work can begin. If the electro-osmosis stabilization system was not implemented prior to decommissioning, there are extremely high risks of tailings dam failure being initiated and induced by decommissioning activities
Brumadinho Tailings Dam
Rainfall over the past 5 months of 2018, was 3.6 times greater than the mean of the past 10 years.
January 2019 GeoSierra Environmental, Inc. is finalizing the design report for a 200' deep iron PRB (Permeable Reactive Barrier) at the Savannah River Site, SC. Full scale construction will be begin later this year. Any PRB enquiries contact Deborah Schnell. The PRB construction at Norco, CA is almost complete.
Grant Hocking, GeoSierra's Founder and President, was co-inventor of four (4) patent applications in the past 18 months, relating to biomedical applications, waveform analysis and biomedical devices. This month, he has filed three (3) patent applications as the sole inventor, relating to hypertension, blood pressure, vascular blood vessel properties, ageing and exercise impact on hypertensive state, and biomedical devices to measure hypertensive state, vascular properties and vasodilation, and also measure blood pressure without a cuff.
January 2018 GeoSierra Environmental, Inc. is mobilizing for the installation of an iron PRB (Permeable Reactive Barrier) for groundwater remediation in Norco, CA.The PRB is 300' long, to be constructed from 20' depth down to a total depth of 95' BGS along a busy city street. Any PRB enquiries contact Deborah Schnell. The PRB construction will be monitored in real time by GeoSierra's active resistivity imaging technology.
August 2017 - Funding for the Geothermal Energy trial cell has been approved, subject to the bench scale performance of the lithium enrichment cell, for the final design, land and lease acquisition for construction in the 4th qtr 2018 in the Salton Sea Geothermal Field, Imperial County, California. The trial cell will extract groundwater geothermal brines, store and cycle supercritical carbon dioxide in the sub-surface for electric power generation, and extract lithium from the geothermal brines. Revenue for the trial cell is from four streams: 1) carbon dioxide storage, 2) electric power generation, 3) minerals extracted from the groundwater brine, primarily Lithium, and 4) sale of desalinated groundwater.
The lithium enrichment cell uses alternating polarity electrodes constructed from calcined petroleum coke proppant as developed by Asbury Carbons in association with GeoSierra, for GeoSierra's ERG - electric resistive heating enhanced bitumen/heavy oil recovery process - see Electric EOR. The calcined coke proppant is coated with different compounds to produce the alternating polarity lithium and chloride ion selective electrodes, that extract the lithium ions from the geothermal brines and concentrates the lithium ions in a battery grade lithium concentrate solution.
Without significant lithium revenue, baseload geothermal electrical power generation in southern California is not an attractive investment, primarily due to the lack of a meaningful tax on carbon emissions, the regulated electrical pricing is tied to the current natural gas price, and the low revenue/MWhr for baseload electricity. Using supercritical carbon dioxide as the subsurface working fluid, a large portion of the baseload generation can be provided as on-demand peak generation capacity, thus significantly increasing the revenue/MWhr. The performance of the lithium enrichment cell and the siting of the field trial in high lithium groundwater are both crucial for a successful field trial of the lithium enrichment process.
GeoSierra Environmental, Inc. has been awarded a design/build contract for a 900' long, deep (96' bgs), iron PRB for groundwater remediation in a southern Californian city. The PRB is to be constructed along a busy residential street. Any PRB enquiries contact Deborah Schnell.
March 2017 - GeoSierra recently completed a review of the UK 2011 Preese Hall well stimulations. A copy of this review and recommended alternate stimulation methods are contained in this review report. GeoSierra presented to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in January on the importance of anelasticity in petroleum geomechanics - view the abridged presentation.
December 2016 GeoSierra Environmental Inc. completed the construction of 1,100' PRB at the former Scotia Navy Depot.
October 2016 GeoSierra is under contract to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to assist MIT in a large multi- year research project on hydraulic fracturing, with specific emphasis into the interaction and propagation of hydraulic fractures with natural fractures and formation interfaces, funded by a major national oil company.
August 2016 Cascade Environmental Holdings LLC acquires GeoSierra Environmental Inc and Panther Technologies Inc to enhance their environmental capabilities and services - see announcement.
March 2016 GeoSierra's geothermal electrical power generation system in enhanced hot ductile low perm formations is in final feasibility assessment study for field pilot deployment mid-2017.
GeoSierra's carbon energy storage system in ductile turbidite reservoir legacy oil and gas fields is in final feasibility assessment study for field pilot deployment mid-2017.
GeoSierra Environmental Inc. is finalizing the design and mobilizing for the construction of a 1,000' long iron proppant Permeable Reactive Barrier at the former Scotia Navy Depot, Glenville, NY. The PRB is to be constructed to a total depth of 110', and it's injected geometry will be mapped in real-time by GeoSierra's active resistivity mapping technology. For enquiries into design/build services of PRBs in the USA contact Deborah Schnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2015 The planned in situ heavy oil recovery ERG field trial, using electric resistive heating with gravity drainage is on indefinite hold due to the low price of Kern River crude.
The stimulation of the light oil turbidite reservoirs in the Southern San Joaquin Valley using the Azi-Frac technology is postponed until the price of WTI stabilizes at $65/bbl or higher.
October 2014 GeoSierra Environmental Inc. recently completed an iron proppant PRB at a SuperFund site in Peterborough, New Hampshire for groundwater remediation. More than twenty (20) iron proppant PRBs have been installed in the USA by GeoSierra's trenchless technology.
GeoSierra's electrically conductive -8/+20 proppant and grahite electrodes are now ready for deployment in the EOR field trial of the ERG system, i.e. electrical resistive heating with gravity drainage. The first trial is planned to be conducted in a shallow heavy oil unconsolidated sand reservior in western USA.
GeoSierra's electrically conductive calcined petroleum coke proppant is available in three size distributions: coarse -8/+20, medium -20/+40 and fine -40 mesh.
GeoSierra's retrofit stimulation tool for stimulating deep existing wells in turbidite formations is not expected to be field deployable until mid-2015.