« Geoscience is the scientific study of the planet Earth and its many different natural geologic systems.  It includes the study and investigation of Earth’s minerals, soil, water and energy resources: how Earth’s natural systems work today, how they operated in the recent and ancient past, and how we expect they may behave in the future. Geoscience is real-world science, relevant to us all, everyday. »

Earth science aims to understand our planet’s many different systems, what it produces and reworks, and how humans are connected to its natural cycles and resources. Earth scientists are the people who do all of this and more!


The geotechnical field is a mixture of science (geology, geo-mechanics) and engineering techniques whose aim is to guide designers and manufacturers to adequately start projects (anticipated settlement, subsidence, liquefaction) in their community and to better prepared for natural hazards (sliding, erosion, earthquakes).

Engineers apply the principles of geology and engineering to assess the acceptability of proposed sites for different types of use, such as road construction, transportation corridor, mine sites, bridges, etc. They use data, technical and geological principles to study rocks and surface deposits as well as surface water and groundwater. They study the geological factors and natural hazards that affect structures erected such as bridges, buildings, airports, roads and dams. The geological principles allow us to help locate and develop natural resources and study natural phenomena hazards such as landslides.

Geotechnical technicians assist engineers and geologists in their field of work. They maintain inventory of cores, collect and analyze samples of rock and sediment and do the daily drilling follow-up.

Geotechnical engineers focus on adapting constructions to soil and rocks in the natural terrain. No simple or complex work resting on the natural terrain can be designed or built in the absence of a survey and a geotechnical evaluation.

The degree of precision of geotechnical studies directly influence the optimization of the cost of foundations of structures and prevents a wide range of structural disorders during or after construction.

Geotechnical teams manage drilling crews; carry out tests of many kinds on-site and in our laboratories. It is therefore afield where technical and professional competence is based on instrumentation and specialized equipment.

Groupe ABS is constantly expanding its range of measuring instruments in order to offer our customers a wider range of services.

Groupe ABS is one of the few engineering firms in Quebec to have its own geotechnical drilling equipment which increases the competitiveness of our geotechnical team in the marketplace.

Geotechnical engineering is a field of practice somewhere between science and technology, where professional curiosity and personal development is a definite key to maintaining professional identity.

Groupe ABS encourages its geotechnical teams to become involved with academic societies (Canadian Geotechnical Society, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, to name but a few) in order to keep up with the latest trends. We receive specialized literature and periodically attend technical conferences, enhancing knowledge and passion for the craft; two elements that make all the difference in geotechnical engineering.

Geotechnical services target a wide range of customers in all sectors :

  • Transport infrastructures (roads, bridges, airports, railways)
  • Municipal Infrastructures
  • Buildings (private, commercial or industrial)
  • Energy facilities (dykes, dams, transmission lines, wind turbines)
  • Telecommunications
  • Mining and natural resources
Valérie Seigneur, ing., M. Sc. A.
Valérie Seigneur, ing., M. Sc. A.
Rock mechanics

Geotechnical engineering is as old as humanity and is essential to prevent some damage or even serious accidents. The practice of this profession is a source of accomplishment and pride. Securing the works gives the geotechnical engineer the feeling of being useful to society

A survey conducted by the “Union Syndicale Géotechnique” (in France) over a span of 13 years and involving 530 cases of geotechnical disasters showed that in about 65% of the cases geotechnical engineering was stopped too early. The price paid for geotechnical negligence is high, especially since it is established that the full cost of geotechnical engineering typically represents less than 1% of a given project cost.



The professional practice involving the environment is now a field of activity with many varied job profiles :

  • The environmental geologist studies the interactions between humans and the environment. He finds solutions to problems related to pollution, waste management, urbanization and natural hazards;
  • The environmental engineer develops solutions to environmental problems such as air pollution, groundwater and wastewater disposal. He develops new approaches and new tools for the protection and conservation of the environment;
  • The hydrogeologist studies the existence, the flow and the quality of surface and ground waters. He is interested in the sustainability of groundwater and contamination. providing waste management consulting services, environmental impact assessments and site remediation;
  • The biologist studies living organisms in the context of environmental assessments, wildlife and plant inventories.

An important part of the current activity in environment is to detect and attempt to fix yesterday’s mistakes and carelessness: management of contaminated soils and waste, disposal or recovery of biogases.

Every day, human activity continues to be a source of significant pollution (waste such as used snow, toxic releases) from which environmental professionals help identify and mitigate as best as possible.

Evaluations and environmental site rehabilitation today affect all types of zoning (residential, commercial and industrial). The regulation covers both the protection of human health in the short term as well as the establishment of a framework for sustainable development. The control of this regulatory framework is at least as important as understanding the technical principles involved here.

Groupe ABS has a pool of specialists (engineers, geologists, biologists) with the best credentials which are inevitable in this particular field :

  • Certified Experts MDDELCC (Section IV.2.1 of the EQA)
  • Certified Environmental Assessor of Sites (CESA)

Environmental services pursue a wide range of clients from all areas :

  • Individuals, Small to mid size businesses
  • Developers and real estate developers
  • Municipalities and governments
  • Heavy industries (paper mill, petroleum industry, aerospace sector)
  • Banks and lawyers
Valérie Seigneur, ing., M. Sc. A.
Valérie Seigneur, ing., M. Sc. A.
Robert Marier, géo.
Robert Marier, géo.
Rehabilitation of contaminated soil

The protection of the environment, subject more than ever to increasing human activity, has become a major issue in the last 30 years. The ever growing complexity of environmental laws and regulations require more than ever the development of target expertise.

Robert Marier

Montreal, having been the industrial centre of Canada for almost a century, has at present nearly 1,500 contaminated sites believed to represent almost 30% of its territory. Participating in the redevelopment of this land is one of the many attractions of the trade.



Geophysics applied to civil engineering is a geoscience which mixes geology and wave physics to complement geotechnical and environmental studies. Geophysics enables knowing the site geology and measuring the physical properties of in situ soil and rock, in a non-destructive way.

The geophysical engineer in Quebec is normally a geological engineer specialized in geophysics. By mastering the physics of seismic, acoustic, and electromagnetic waves as well as electricity in different geomaterials, the geophysical expert is able to propose the best combination of geophysical methods for the site investigation. Geophysics can be extended to topographic, hydrographic and drone imagery surveys.

Geotechnical technicians assist engineers and geophysicists in their fieldwork. Their responsibility is to collect the best quality of geophysical data to facilitate interpretation.

There are three ways to know the geology of a site: surface observations, geophysical surveys or drilling. The site geology should be well-known before starting a major project. A geophysical survey beforehand can be used to depict the rock and thus optimize the subsequent drilling campaign. Drilling is necessary to calibrate and verify the results of geophysical surveys.

Geophysics uses surveying techniques (seismic, electrical and electromagnetic) from the surface or boreholes. Geophysics is an economic science that optimizes soil investigation in a non-destructive way. For example, in geotechnics, a seismic refraction survey can be used to interpolate and profile the rock between boreholes. In environmental studies, an electromagnetic survey (EM31 and ground penetrating radar) may reveal the presence of buried tanks or the extent of soil contamination.

Groupe ABS geophysics team is made up of specialized engineers and technicians. We have almost 10 years of experience in geophysics applied for major construction projects across the country and in Africa.

Geophysical services target a wide range of clients across all sectors :

  • Transport infrastructure (roads, bridges, airports, railways)
  • Buildings (private, commercial or industrial)
  • Power facilities (dikes, dams, transmission lines, wind turbines)
  • Telecommunications
  • Mines and natural resources
Nicolas Beaulieu, ing.
Nicolas Beaulieu, ing.

Geophysics is a powerful technology that will grow significantly in the coming years. Geophysics is in the same technological category as drones and artificial intelligence.

Nicolas Beaulieu

Geophysics can help to economically select the best place for the construction of a major structure.

Nicolas Beaulieu

Geophysics is not there to replace drilling but rather to optimize geological investigations. Geophysics combined with drilling helps to avoid claims and surprises that cause unnecessary delays.

Nicolas Beaulieu