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Temporal variation in groundwater quality in the Permian Basin of Texas, a region of increasing unconventional oil and gas development

A groundwater monitoring well.

A groundwater monitoring well. (Photo: SonoranDesertNPS | wikimedia)

In this study the researchers found that some constituents of frack fluids remained stable over time, but others experienced significant variation over the period of study. Notable findings include significant changes in total organic carbon and pH along with ephemeral detections of ethanol, bromide, and dichloromethane after the initial sampling phase. These data provide insight into the potentially transient nature of compounds associated with groundwater contamination in areas experiencing UD activity.

Key findings:

  • Dramatic fluctuations in chemical detections and pH over time.
  • Bromide concentrations increased with expansion of drilling activity.
  • Data provide insight into the life span of possible contamination events.
  • Bibliography:
    Zacariah L. Hildenbrand, Doug D. Carlton Jr., Brian E. Fontenot, Jesse M. Meik, Jayme L. Walton, Jonathan B. Thacker, Stephanie Korlie, C. Phillip Shelor, Akinde F. Kadjo, Adelaide Clark, Sascha Usenko, Jason S. Hamilton, Phillip M. Mach, Guido F. Verbeck IV, Paul Hudak, Kevin A. SchugTemporal variation in groundwater quality in the Permian Basin of Texas, a region of increasing unconventional oil and gas development
    Science of The Total Environment Volume 562, 15 August 2016, Pages 906–913
    Available online 26 April 2016

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