In situ is a latin phrase that simply means "in position", and in different contexts the term can refer to different processes. In an energy context the phrase usually means a form of mining where the rocks are kept in place, and the mineral resource is extracted. The term also comes up in police work and medical work. In the energy context, the term "in situ" often refers to:
Figure 1. A SAGD setup to extract bitumen from an oil sand deposit.
Figure 2. Open pit uranium mine in Namibia.
- In situ oil sands mining: The process of extracting bitumen from oil sands deposits located underground. This method differs from the traditional surface mining method of bitumen extraction (see Figure 1).
- In situ uranium mining: The process of injecting dissolving solutions underground which allows the uranium to flow through a system of wells to the ground above where it can be processed (see Figure 2).
For Further Reading
- Created internally by a member of the Energy Education team.
- Wikimedia Commons [Online], Available: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Arandis_Mine_quer.jpg