Welcome to Avner Vengosh Research Group web site!
The major theme of this research group is the elucidation of magnitude and mechanisms of water quality degradation and impacts on ecosystems and human health. The geochemical and isotopic variations in water are used as natural “fingerprints” for tracing the origin, migration, and fate of contaminants in the environment.
March 7, 2014: A new report “A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States” was published in Environmental Science &Technology. This paper provides a critical review of all available literature on the possible risks of water resources from shale gas development and hydraulic fracturing. This is one of the few attempts to provide a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the state of knowledge with respect the possible effects of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing on water resources in the US. A copy of the paper is provided es405118y.
March 6, 2014: Our study on the environmental effects of shale Gas wastewater Named ES&T’s Best Science Paper for 2013 (!). Out of 1,600 papers published in ES&T during 2013, the journal editors selected our paper. The ES&T announcement and interview with the paper authors Nat Warner and Avner Vengosh is presented here. Duke press release is presented here. A link to the paper is provided here.
February 5, 2014: Avner Vengosh giving a talk on the “Myths and Reality of Water Contamination from Fracking” at Duke Center for International Studies.
December 31, 2013: The paper on elevated level of radioactivity in hydtraulic fracturing fluids and radium accumulation on sediments in a disposal site in PA was selected for the Top 11 Energy & Environmental Infographics of 2013.
December 24, 2013: A new study on the beneficial use of blending hydraulic fracturing fluids with acid mine drainage shows that much of the radioactivity of flowback water from shale gas would be reduced due to co-precipitation of Sr-barite minerals. The study was published in Environmental Science and Technology es_HF-AMD mix. See Duke Press Release. The study was reported Nature World News, NPR-PA, ABC-news, NSF news, Brazil Sun, and Water World.
November 5, 2013: A new study on arsenic occurrence in toenail keratin suggests that a person’s exposure to arsenic in drinking water can be detected by simple measurements of arsenic in the nails. The study was published in Journal Of Exposure Science And Environmental Epidemiology. See Duke press release of the study.
October 2, 2013: A new study finds elevated levels of radioactivity, salts and metals in river water and sediments at a site where treated water from oil and gas operations is discharged into a western Pennsylvania creek. The study was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. See Duke Press release. The study was reported by ACS web site, USA-Today, The Guardian Bloomberg Scientific American the Voice of Russia radio and many others. A copy of the paper is here.EST_impacts of shale gas wastewater
August 15, 2013: A new study characterizes the carbon, sulfur and strontium isotopic imprints of effluents from mountaintop mining and their affect on streams in West Virginia. The study was published in Environmental Science and Technology. See Duke press release. The study was reported by Appalachian Voices. Get paper here (EST_MTM isotopes)
June 24, 2013: A new study finds Higher Levels of Stray Gases Found in Water Wells Near Shale Gas Sites. The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS). See Duke press release. Get paper (PNAS_Jacksonetal2013).
May 30, 2013: Avner Vengosh presents ”Risks of shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing to water resources in the US” at “Workshop on Risks of Unconventional Shale Gas Development” hosted by the National Academy of Science. The presentation See presentation here.
May 15, 2013: Study Finds No Evidence of Water Contamination from Shale Gas Drilling in Arkansas published in Applied Geochemistry . See Duke press release. Also AP report published in the Washington Post.
February 16, 2013: Vengosh interviewed by WCNC-TV on water contamination by coal ash ponds in North Carolina.
November 6, 2012: Geological Society America meeting, Pardee Keynote Sessions – Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts on Water Resources in the United States , Charlotte, North Carolina.
Duke team at GSA 2012; From left: Cidney Christie (MEM, 2012), Alissa While (B.Sc., 2011), Brit Merola (PhD student), Nat Warner (PhD student), David Vinson (PhD, 2011), Avner Vengosh (EOS faculty), and Tom Darrah (Research Scientist)
November 5, 2012: Radioactive Water Threatens Middle East . Spiegel Online International, Germany.
October 18, 2012: Avner Vengosh to Testify on Environmental Impacts of Energy Production at Oct. 18 Congressional Briefing (Abstract_energy_AERC_Vengosh ). The extend presentation was presented at the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers (AERC) symposium and posted on-line.
October 15, 2012: High Levels of Coal Ash Contaminants Found in N.C. Waters: A new paper entitled “The Impact of Coal Combustion Residue Effluent on Water Resources: A North Carolina Example” was published in Environmental Science and Technology (see paper here).
July 9, 2012: A new paper entitled ” Geochemical evidence for possible natural migration of Marcellus Formation brine to shallow aquifers in Pennsylvania” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS). One of the many media coverage and an interview with WRAL-TV is presented here.
March 10, 2012: Fieldwork to study water quality in Vietnam
Seminar at the Faculty of Environmental Science, University of Science, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
March 18, 2012: Fracking in New Zealand: Vengosh interviewed to 60 minutes New Zealand.
Vengosh presents the fracking research at the marae (welcome) Māori ceremony; Gisbone, North Island, New Zealand
January 9, 2012: Reynolds Theater, Bryan Center, Duke University
Environmental and social implications of Hydraulic fracturing and shale gas drilling in the United States: An integrative workshop for the evaluation of the state of science and policy (frackingflyer3rdP)
October 9-12, 2011: Presentations at the 2011 American Geological Society (GSA) meeting (Minneapolis, MN):
Vengosh, A., Merola, B.R., Ruhl, L., Warner, N., Lindberg, T., Di Giulio, R.T. (2011) Strontium isotope variations as a proxy for selenium contamination from mountaintop mining. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 43, No. 5, p. 345.
Ruhl. L., Vengosh, A., Dwyer, G. (2011). Geochemical charactarization of the environmental impacts of coal combustion products: lessons from the Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 409.
Warner, N. Osborn, S., Jackson, R., Vengosh, A. (2011). Boron and strontium isotopes as sensitive tracers for indicating potential shallow groundwater contamination from Marcellus Formation brines. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 566.
Osborn, S., Warner, N., Vengosh, A., Jackson, R. (2011). Dissolved gas geochemistry of shallow groundwater systems in Pennsylvania and New York, associated with natural gas extraction. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 567.
September 30, 2011 – PhD students Laura Ruhl and Brittany Merola win international awards
(more about IAGC fellow see here).
Vengosh receives the Fellow of International Association of Geochemistry Award award at the International Geochemistry Symposium – Applied Isotope Geochemisty (AIG-9), Tarragona, Spain, September 2011.
For more news see here.