Defense Date

Spring 4-3-2017

Availability

One-year Embargo

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Environmental Science and Management (ESM)

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

John Stolz

Committee Member

Daniel Bain

Committee Member

Brady Porter

Keywords

Contamination, Hydraulic Fracturing, Impact, Mass Ratios, Water Quality

Abstract

Concerns over the potential impacts of extractive activities on water quality have long existed. Hydraulic fracturing has now become common in Pennsylvania, but whether it has impacted water resources is still unclear. Previous studies have been done on localized areas often focusing on county or municipality boundaries. However, as water follows watershed boundaries this work aimed to study water quality at the watershed level. Four hundred forty-four groundwater samples were collected from the water wells of homeowner volunteers and three hundred twenty-two surface water samples were collected from streams throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania in areas with and without unconventional drilling at homeowner’s request. All samples were analyzed for anion, cation, and light hydrocarbon concentrations. Mass ratios were then used to determine if a source had been impacted. Results indicate instances of potential water quality impact from oil and gas activities in the Connoquenessing and Upper Ohio Watersheds.

Format

PDF

Language

English

Available for download on Saturday, May 12, 2018

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