BGES is the only commercial geotechnical lab in Canada to offer testing on salt formations

BGES offers a full suite of geomechanical testing and analysis for salt cavern, potash, and other solution mining projects. Test programs are designed to evaluate major properties of the subsurface, including the permeability of the caprock and salt, Young’s modulus as well as compressive, tensile and shear strengths of the caprock and salt, and the salt’s unique creep behaviour. Available tests include:

Material Characterization Tests

Material characterization tests consisting of bulk density and porosity testing as well as CT scans for salt and caprock cores. For the caprocks, Atterberg limit index tests, which helps to determine liquid limit, plastic limit and plastic index, and hydrometer particle distribution analyses will also be performed.

Triaxial Analysis

At BGES, different forms of triaxial analyses are performed to determine a range physical properties for salt and caprock samples:

Constant Mean Stress Triaxial Compression (CMS):
Determines stress values at failure by increasing axial stress while decreasing confining stress so that the mean stress during the test remains constant

Constant Mean Stress Triaxial Compression with Permeability (CMSk):
Determines the effect of volume changes on the permeability of the salt sample during a compression test.

Multi-Stage Creep Test (MSCT):
Provides a good understanding of both the transient and steady-state creep behavior of the salt

Brazilian Indirect Tensile Strength (BITS) Test:
Measures the tensile strength of the salt

Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS) Test:
Determines the lower end of the failure envelope (without confining stress)


Geotechnical lab tests generate key inputs for numerical models and are therefore critical for determining cavern integrity during various stages of a cavern’s lifecycle. They also provide essential data of new cavern development project or solution mining operations.

Features & Benefits

BGES operates the only commercial lab in Canada offering geomechanical testing services for salt formations. Our Geoscience & Engineering team provides end-to-end solutions in the field and in the laboratory to obtain high-quality data as inputs for numerical model development.


BGES uses quality testing apparatus and highly-qualified technical staff to perform geomechanical testing. Additional services provided by BGES includes collecting the core at wellsite and transferring the core prudently for physical testing, providing a one-stop source for your lab testing needs.

Integration of Services

From wellsite core collection, geotechnical lab testing, cased-hole logging, reservoir and caprock injection testing, data analyses, project management, regulatory reporting, to computer simulation and numerical modelling, our comprehensive and customizable service model offers maximum flexibility for our clients.