bpwhite:hydraulic_fracturing_in_us

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bpwhite:hydraulic_fracturing_in_us [2019/08/01 00:25]
bpwhite created
bpwhite:hydraulic_fracturing_in_us [2019/11/11 07:14] (current)
bpwhite
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 Edited for grammar/​syntax:​ 07/31/2019 Edited for grammar/​syntax:​ 07/31/2019
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-Hydraulic fracturing, a shale gas mining process that allows untapped gas resources to be harvested from ancient rock offers an economic boon for the United States. However, the pathways through which hydraulic fracturing can extoll negative effects on the environment have remained largely uninvestigated. One pathway, groundwater contamination has the potential to contaminate streams and other freshwater sources above ground. Groundwater contamination can occur when wastewater, the liquid byproduct of shale gas well formation, is recovered and either reused or sent to a water treatment facility. Another pathway is the direct contamination of underground freshwater aquifers from fracturing fluids due to the seepage of liquid through both existing and newly formed cracks in shale rock. A third pathway, increased seismic activity can be triggered during the well injection process leading to felt seismicity (earthquakes felt by humans). The differences in the potential that these pathways have for causing environmental harm will be explored in this paper, and the current status of experimental evidence demonstrating (or failing to demonstrate) environmental harm will be reviewed.+[[geology:​hydraulic_fracturing|Hydraulic fracturing]], a shale gas mining process that allows untapped gas resources to be harvested from ancient rock offers an economic boon for the United States. However, the pathways through which hydraulic fracturing can extoll negative effects on the environment have remained largely uninvestigated. One pathway, groundwater contamination has the potential to contaminate streams and other freshwater sources above ground. Groundwater contamination can occur when wastewater, the liquid byproduct of shale gas well formation, is recovered and either reused or sent to a water treatment facility. Another pathway is the direct contamination of underground freshwater aquifers from fracturing fluids due to the seepage of liquid through both existing and newly formed cracks in shale rock. A third pathway, increased seismic activity can be triggered during the well injection process leading to felt seismicity (earthquakes felt by humans). The differences in the potential that these pathways have for causing environmental harm will be explored in this paper, and the current status of experimental evidence demonstrating (or failing to demonstrate) environmental harm will be reviewed.
  
 Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as ‘fracturing’ or ‘fracking’,​ became an industry-standard practice during the 1980s, although shale gas plays (contiguous geologic areas where shale gas can be harvested from) have been mined since the early 1900s (Curtis 2002, Vidic 2013). Fracturing is the process in which many cracks, fractures, are created in Devonian (~300 million years old) shale rock via the injection of a high-pressure liquid slurry. Shale rock is a type of sedimentary rock that consists of compacted layers of mud, silt, and other organic matter accumulated over millions of years. This densely compacted material facilitates the generation of both thermogenic (generated via intense heat and pressure) and biogenic (microbially generated) methane (CH4) gas creation (Curtis 2002, Cokar 2013). The high pressures induced on the shale rock by this injected slurry causes many fractures the size and type of which are determined by the pre-existing tectonic conditions (Hubbert and Willis 1972). When fractures are formed by the injection, normally unattainable natural gas begins to seep out of the rocks, a process called desorption and can be collected under negative pressure at a surface well. During well completion, a percentage of the fracturing fluids used to create the fractures can be recovered and either reused or treated. Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as ‘fracturing’ or ‘fracking’,​ became an industry-standard practice during the 1980s, although shale gas plays (contiguous geologic areas where shale gas can be harvested from) have been mined since the early 1900s (Curtis 2002, Vidic 2013). Fracturing is the process in which many cracks, fractures, are created in Devonian (~300 million years old) shale rock via the injection of a high-pressure liquid slurry. Shale rock is a type of sedimentary rock that consists of compacted layers of mud, silt, and other organic matter accumulated over millions of years. This densely compacted material facilitates the generation of both thermogenic (generated via intense heat and pressure) and biogenic (microbially generated) methane (CH4) gas creation (Curtis 2002, Cokar 2013). The high pressures induced on the shale rock by this injected slurry causes many fractures the size and type of which are determined by the pre-existing tectonic conditions (Hubbert and Willis 1972). When fractures are formed by the injection, normally unattainable natural gas begins to seep out of the rocks, a process called desorption and can be collected under negative pressure at a surface well. During well completion, a percentage of the fracturing fluids used to create the fractures can be recovered and either reused or treated.
bpwhite/hydraulic_fracturing_in_us.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/11 07:14 by bpwhite