First risk assessment of shale gas fracking to biodiversity

Jun 17, 2013

Fracking, the controversial method of mining shale gas, is widespread across Pennsylvania, covering up to 280,000 km² of the Appalachian Basin. New research in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences explores the threat posed to biodiversity including pollution from toxic chemicals, the building of well pads and pipelines, and changes to wetlands.

" has engendered a great deal of controversy, largely because of its impact on human health, but effects on and resources have scarcely been addressed in the public debate," said study author Erik Kiviat.

"This study indicated a wide range of potential impacts, some of which could be severe, including salinization of soils and surface waters and fragmentation of forests. The degree of industrialization of shale gas landscapes, and the 285,000 km² extent of the Marcellus and Utica shale gas region alone, should require great caution regarding impacts on biodiversity."

Explore further: Pilot plant for the removal of extreme gas charges from deep waters installed

More information: Erik Kiviat, 'Risks to biodiversity from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales', Annals of the New York Academy of Science, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/nyas.12146

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UK 'likely' to have 102 trln cubic feet of shale gas

Jun 03, 2013

British exploration company IGas Energy on Monday said it believed it was sitting on a far bigger amount of shale gas than thought, ahead of controversial drilling work to begin this year in northwest England.

Analysis of fracking wastewater yields some surprises

Jan 22, 2013

Hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are producing less wastewater per unit of gas recovered than conventional wells would. But the scale of fracking operations in the Marcellus shale region is so vast that the wastewater ...

Recommended for you

How will climate change transform agriculture?

6 minutes ago

Climate change impacts will require major but very uncertain transformations of global agriculture systems by mid-century, according to new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Report: Radiation leak at nuclear dump was small

11 minutes ago

A final report by independent researchers shows the radiation leak from the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico was small and localized.

Confucian thought and China's environmental dilemmas

4 hours ago

Conventional wisdom holds that China - the world's most populous country - is an inveterate polluter, that it puts economic goals above conservation in every instance. So China's recent moves toward an apparent ...

Deforestation threatens species richness in streams

4 hours ago

With a population of 1.3 billion, China is under immense pressure to convert suitable areas into arable land in order to ensure a continued food supply for its people. Accordingly, China is among the top ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

d_robison
not rated yet Jun 17, 2013
Amazing writing...article consists of two quotes and a link to the actual paper. Journalism at its finest.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.