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Unveiling Geothermal Insights: Symroc's Sensor Takes Center Stage


As Canada pursues net-zero CO2 emissions targets, geothermal energy represents a promising solution, especially in northern Yukon communities such as Burwash Landing. Currently, Burwash Landing relies on importing diesel for power and heating and would benefit from a reliable source of renewable energy. Our study uses horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) measurements from nine temporary broadband seismometers to refine shear-wave velocity models for the upper 500 meters (about 1640.42 ft) of the Earth's crust. These models constrain layering and structure within shallow sediments, depth to bedrock, and discontinuities within the bedrock. These results provide reliable estimates of the thickness of sedimentary cover overlying bedrock. Bedrock depths vary from 50 to 450 meters (about 1476.38 ft), deepening to the northeast of the Denali fault, and following a power-law increase with depth through sediments. These insights improve the geological understanding around this portion of the Denali fault and contribute to constructing comprehensive models for the development of geothermal energy in the region [1].

Symroc's Sensor: A Vital Component

At the heart of this research lies Symroc's innovative sensor technology. Let us explore how Symroc's contribution enhanced our understanding:

  1. High-Quality Data Collection: Symroc's sensor captured ambient seismic noise with remarkable precision. This data formed the foundation for HVSR measurements, allowing researchers to estimate fundamental resonance frequencies of shear waves.

  2. Refining Velocity Models: By incorporating Symroc's data, scientists developed 1-D shear-wave velocity models for specific stations near Burwash Landing. These models provide critical information about the shallow seismic velocity structure.

  3. Geothermal Potential Assessment: Symroc's sensor helped identify areas with elevated crustal temperatures, especially close to the Denali fault. The inferred geothermal gradient suggests temperatures of 40 to 45°C at a depth of 1 kilometer. Such warm conditions are promising for harnessing geothermal energy [1].

Infrastructure Challenges and Symroc's Solution

While geothermal exploration is exciting, it comes with its share of challenges. Burwash Landing faces infrastructure limitations, making it essential to deploy low-power, easy-to-install, and easy-to-operate broadband stations. Symroc's systems uniquely satisfy these requirements:

  1. Low Power: Symroc's sensor operates efficiently with minimal power consumption. This is crucial for remote locations where energy resources are scarce.

  2. Ease of Installation: Symroc's design ensures straightforward installation, even in challenging terrains. Researchers can quickly deploy the stations without extensive logistical support.

  3. Broadband Performance: Symroc's systems excel in capturing a wide range of frequencies, essential for accurate HVSR measurements.

Implications and Future Prospects

The study's findings have significant implications:

  1. Resource Assessment: Symroc's sensor contributes to assessing the geothermal resource potential near Burwash Landing. Understanding shear-wave velocities and subsurface structures informs future exploration efforts.

  2. Community Impact: If harnessed effectively, geothermal energy could transform Burwash Landing's energy landscape. Reliable, renewable power could replace diesel dependency, benefiting both the environment and the community.

In conclusion, Symroc's sensor played a pivotal role in advancing geothermal research. As we continue our journey toward sustainable energy solutions, let us celebrate the collaboration between innovative technology and scientific curiosity. 🌿🔍


  1. Berumen-Borrego, F., Gilbert, H., Dettmer, J., Gosselin, J.M., & Shahsavari, P. (2024). Shear-wave velocities from broadband HVSR measurements for geothermal resource assessment near Burwash Landing, Yukon. In: Yukon Exploration and Geology Technical Papers 2023, L.H. Weston, and Purple Rock Inc. (eds.), Yukon Geological Survey, p. 1–15. Read the full article here. [1]

  2. Shear-wave velocities from broadband HVSR measurements for geothermal ...

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