Abstract: As drilling for unconventional hydrocarbon resources has proceeded in states across the USA, some studies have suggested thatcontamination of water resources is rare relative to the number of shale gas wells. When problems occur, however, they can besignificant in specific areas. For stakeholders to understand the impact on water quality therefore requires both investigations into individual contamination incidents and investigations that try to assess the frequency of contamination. This talk will address several well-known incidents from around the country, including how the incident occurred and what was observed. In addition, the talk will addressthe use of data analytics to look for evidence of impacts in water quality data regionally. Assessing the impact of shale gas development on water resources requires all such approaches to improve decision making.
About: Susan L. Brantley serves as Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, where she also serves as Director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute.Working with Penn State students since 1986, she has published morethan 200 publications and taught and investigated all aspects of water-rock-biota interaction. She has developed models for soil formation on rocks of different composition under different conditions as well as investigated water-mineral reactions in buried rocks. Her work also includes studies of the impacts of human activities such as shale-gas development on water quality, and how to work with the public on concerns related to hydraulic fracturing.