Duke study on shale gas and fracking and impact on water resources

Since 2010, research at Duke University has engaged in studying different aspects of  environmental effects of shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing. We have published the first peer-reviewed studies examining  drinking water quality and shale gas extraction (see list below).  Our current (February 2017) database includes extensive data set generated from  flowback and produced waters, effluents that are discharged to the environment, spills, surface waters, and drinking water wells near shale gas  wells in different sites in the United States . Our research has focused on (1) quantifying the quantity of of water use for hydraulic fracturing (the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing), the volume of wastewater generate from hydraulic fracturing, and the proportions between returned injected water and naturally occurring formation water that is release from the shale formation and becomes flowback and produced water ; (2) The chemistry of hydraulic fracturing fluids and oil and gas wastewater discharged to the environment; (3) The impact of spills associated with unconventional oil and gas development in North Dakota; (4) Age Dating Oil and Gas Wastewater Spill; and (5) stray gas contamination and the distinction between naturally occurring methane flow to aquifers and actual contamination from leaking of shale gas wells.

A shale gas well in Montrose, Pennsylvania – keep your speakers up!

List of Publications on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (see links to papers):

Whyte, C.J., Vengosh, A., Warner, N.R., Jackson, R.B., Muehlenbachs, K.,  Schwartz, F.W., Darrah, T.H. (2021) Geochemical evidence for fugitive gas contamination and associated water quality changes in drinking-water wells from Parker County, Texas. Science of The Total Environment, 146555. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146555

Ni, Y., Liao, F.,   Chen, J.,   Yao, L., Wei, J.,  Sui, J.  Gao, J.,   Coyte, R.M.,  Lauer, N., Vengosh, A. (2021) Multiple geochemical and isotopic (boron, strontium, carbon) indicators for reconstruction of the origin and evolution of oilfield water from Jiuquan Basin, Northwestern China. Applied Geochemistry, 104962.

Kassotis, C.D.,  Harkness, J.S.,  Vo, P.H.,  Danh C. Vu, D.C.,  Hoffman, K.,  Cinnamon, K.M.,  Cornelius-Green, J.N.,  Vengosh, A.,  Lin, C-H., Tillitt, D.E. Robin L. Kruse, R.L., McElroy, J.A. and Nagel, S.C. (2020). Endocrine disrupting activities and geochemistry of water resources associated with unconventional oil and gas activity. Science of the Total Environment, 142236.

Hoponick Redmon, J.,  Womack, D.,  Kondash, A.J.,  Lillys, T.,  Feinstein, L., Cabrales, L., Weinthal, E., and Vengosh, A. (2020). Is food irrigated with oifield produced water in the California Central Valley safe it eat? A probabilistic guman health risk assessment evaluating trace metals exposure.  Risk Analysis. https://doi.org/10.1111/risa.13641.

Kondash,A.J.,  Redmon, J.H., Lambertini, E.,  Feinstein, L.,  Weinthal, E.,  Cabrales, L., Vengosh, A. (2020) The impact of using low-saline oilfield produced water for irrigation on water and soil quality in California. Science of the Total Environment, Volume 733, 1 September 2020, 139392

Liu, D., PhD; Li, J., Zou, C., Cui, H.,  Ni, Y., Liu, J., Wu, W., Zhang, L., Coyte, R., Kondash, A.J., Vengosh, A. (2020). Recycling flowback water for hydraulic fracturing in Sichuan Basin, China: Implications for gas production, water footprint, and water quality of regenerated flowback water. Fuel. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2020.117621

Gao, J.,  Zou, C.,  Li, W., Ni Y., Liao, F., Yao, L., Suib, J., Vengosh, A. (2020) Hydrochemistry of flowback water from Changning Shale gas field and associated shallow groundwater in Southern Sichuan Basin, China: Implications for the possible impact of shale gas development on groundwater quality. Science of the Total Environment, 713, 136591.

Kondash, A.J., Patino-Echeverri, D., Vengosh, A. (2019) Quantification of the water-use reduction associated with the transition from coal to natural gas in the U.S. electricity sector. Environmental Research Letters 14, 124028.

McMahon, P.; Vengosh, A.; Davis, T.; Landon, M.; Tyne, R.; Wright, M.; Kulongoski, J.; Hunt, A.; Barry, P.; Kondash, A.; Wang, Z.; Ballentine, C. (2019). Occurrence and sources of radium in groundwater associated with oil fields in the southern San Joaquin Valley, California. Environmental Science & Technology, 53, 16, 9398-9406.

Tasker T. L., Burgos W. D., Ajemigbitse M. A., Lauer N. E., Gusa A. V., Kuatbek M., May D., Landis J. D., Alessi D. S., Johnsen A. M., Kaste J. M., Headrick K., Wilke F. D. H., McNeal M., Engle M., Jubb A. M., Vidic R., Vengosh A. and Warner N. R. (2019) Accuracy of methods for reporting inorganic element concentrations and radioactivity in oil and gas wastewaters from the Appalachian Basin, U.S. based on an inter-laboratory comparison. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, DOI: 10.1039/c8em00359a.

Ni, Y., Zou, C., Cui, H., Li, J., Lauer, N., Harkness, J., Kondash, K., Coyte, R., Dwyer, G.S., Liu, D., Dong, D., Liao, F., Vengosh, A. (2018) The origin of flowback and produced waters from Sichuan Basin, China, Environmental Science & Technology, 52, 14519-14527.

McMahon, P.B.,  Kulongoski, J.T.,  Vengosh, A., Cozzarelli, I.M., Landon, M.K., Kharaka, Y.K.,  Gillespie, J.M., Davis, T.A. (2018) Regional patterns in the geochemistry of oil-field water, southern San Joaquin Valley, California, USA. Applied Geochemistry, 98, 127-140.

Kondash, A.J., Lauer, N.E., Vengosh, A. (2018) The intensification of the water footprint of hydraulic fracturing. Science Advances, 4, (8), eaar5982; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar5982.

Zou, C., Ni, Y., Li, J., Kondash, A., Coyte, R., Lauer, N., Cui, H., Liao, F., Vengosh, A. (2018) The water footprint of hydraulic fracturing in Sichuan Basin, China. Science of the Total Environment, 630, 349–356.

Kreuzer, R.L., Darrah, T.H., Grove, B.S., Moore, M.T., Warner, N.R., Eymold, W.K., Whyte, C.J., Mitra, G., Jackson, R.B., Vengosh, A., Poreda, R.J. (2018). Structural and hydrogeological controls on hydrocarbon and brine migration into drinking water aquifers in southern New York. Groundwater 56(2), 225–244

Eymold, W.K., Swana, K., Moore, M.T., Whyte, C.J., Harkness, J.S., Talma, S., Murray, R., Moortgat, J.B., Miller, J., Vengosh, A. Darrah, T.H. (2018) Hydrocarbon-rich groundwater above shale gas formations: A Karoo Basin case-study. Groundwater, 56 (2), 204–224

Lauer, N.E., Warner, N.R., Vengosh, A. (2018) Sources of radium accumulation in stream sediments near disposal sites in Pennsylvania: Implications for disposal of conventional oil and gas wastewater. Environmental Science & Technology, 52 (3), 955–962.Harkness, J.S., Swana, S.,

Eymold, W.K., Murray, R., Vengosh, A., Darrah, T.H. (2018) Baseline Groundwater Geochemistry in the Karoo Basin, South Africa. GroundWater 56(2), 187–203 (doi:10.1111/gwat.12635).

Vengosh, A., Mitch, W.A., McKenzie, L.M. (2017) Environmental and Human Impacts of Unconventional Energy Development. Environmental Science & Technology, 51, 10271–10273.

Kondash, A.J., Albright, E., Vengosh, A. (2017) Quantity of Flowback and Produced Waters from Unconventional Oil and Gas Exploration. Science of the Total Environment, 574C, 314-321.

Lauer, N.E., Vengosh, A. (2016) Age dating oil and gas wastewater spills using radium isotopes and their decay products in impacted soil and sediment. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 3(5), 205–209.

Lauer, N.E., Harkness, J.S.,* Vengosh, A. (2016) Brine Spills Associated with Unconventional Oil Development in North Dakota. Environmental Science & Technology, 50 (10), 5389–5397.

Yu, M., Weinthal, E., Patiño-Echeverri, D., Deshusses, M.A., Zou, C. Ni, Y., Vengosh, A. (2016). Water availability for shale gas development in Sichuan Basin, China. Environmental Science & Technology, 50 (6), 2837–2845.

Drollette, B.D., Hoelzer, K., Warner, N.R., Darrah, T.H., Karatum, O., O’Connor, M.P., Nelson, R.K., Fernandez, L.A., Reddy, C.M., Vengosh, A., Jackson, R.B., Elsner, M., Plata, D.L. (2015) Elevated levels of diesel range organic compounds in groundwater near Marcellus gas operations are derived from surface activities. PNAS, 112(43):13184-9 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1511474112).

Darrah, T.H., Jackson, R.B.,, Vengosh, A.,, Warner, N.R., Whyte, C.J., Walsh, T.B., Poreda, R.J. (2015) The evolution of Devonian hydrocarbon gases in shallow aquifers of the northern Appalachian Basin: insights from integrating noble gas and hydrocarbon geochemistry. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 170, 321-355.

Kondash, A. and Vengosh, A. (2015) Water footprint of hydraulic fracturing. Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 2, 276-280.

Elsner,M.,, Schreglmann, K., Calmano, W., Bergmann, A., Vieth-Hillebrand, A., Wilke, F.D.H., Klaus-Michael Wollin, K-M., Georgi, A., Schmidt, W. Hofmann, T., Micić, V., Vengosh, A., and Mayer, B. (2015) Comment on the German draft legislation on hydraulic fracturing: The need for an accurate state of knowledge and for independent scientific research. Environmental Science & Technology, 49, 6367–6369.

Down, A., Schreglmann, K., Plata, D., Elsner, M., Warner, N., Vengosh, A., Moore, K., Coleman, D., Jackson, R.B. (2015) Pre-drilling background groundwater quality in the Deep River Triassic Basin of central North Carolina, USA. Applied Geochemistry, 60, 3-13.

Darrah, T.H., Jackson, R.B., Vengosh, A., Warner, N.R., Poreda, R.J. (2015) Noble Gases: A new technique for fugitive gas investigation in groundwater. GroundWater, 53, 23-28.

Harkness, J., Dwyer, G., Warner, N.R., Parker, K. Mitch, W.; Vengosh, A. (2015) Iodide, Bromide, and Ammonium in Hydraulic Fracturing and Oil and Gas Wastewaters: Environmental Implications. Environmental Science & Technology, 49, 1955–1963. (DOI:10.1021/es504654n).

Warner, N.R., Darrah, T.H., Jackson, R.B., Millot, R., Kloppmann, W., Vengosh, A. (2014) New tracers identify hydraulic fracturing fluids and accidental releases from oil and gas operations. Environmental Science & Technology, 48 (21), 12552–12560.

Parker, K.M., Zeng, T., Harkness, J., Vengosh, A. Mitch, W.A. (2014) Enhanced formation of disinfection by-products in shale gas wastewater-impacted Drinking Water Supplies. Environmental Science & Technology, 48, 11161-11169 (DOI: 10.1021/es5028184).

Darrah, T.H., Vengosh, A., Jackson, R.B., Warner, N.R., Poreda, R.J. (2014) Noble gases identify the mechanisms of fugitive gas contamination in drinking-water wells overlying the Marcellus and Barnett Shales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 111 no. 39, 14076–14081.

Jackson, R.B., Vengosh, A., Carey, J.W., R.J., Darrah, T.H., O’Sullivan, F., Pétron, G. (2014). The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 39:327–362 (DOI: 10.1146/annurev-environ-031113-144051)

Vengosh, A., Jackson, R.B., Warner, N.,R., Darrah, T. H., Knodash, A.J. (2014) A Critical Review of the Risks to Water Resources from Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology, 48, 8334-8348. (dx.doi.org/10.1021/es405118y).

Knodash, A.J., Warner, N.,R., Lahav, O., Vengosh, A. (2014) Radium and Barium Removal through Blending Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids with Acid Mine Drainage. Environmental Science & Technology, 48, 1334-1342.

Warner, N.R., Christie, C.A., Jackson. R.B., Vengosh, A. (2013) Impacts of shale gas wastewater disposal on water quality in western Pennsylvania. Environmental Science & Technology, 47, 11849–11857 (DOI: 10.1021/es402165b).

Jackson, R.B., Vengosh, A., Darrah, T.H., Warner, N.R., Down, A., Poreda, R.J., Osborn, S.G., Zhao, K., and Karr, J.D. (2013) Increased stray gas abundance in a subset of drinking water wells near Marcellus shale gas extraction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 110(28): 11250–11255 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221635110).

Vengosh, A., Warner N.R., Jackson, R.B., Darrah, T.H., (2013). The Effects of Shale Gas Exploration and Hydraulic Fracturing on the Quality of Water Resources in the United States. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 7, 863–866.

Warner N.R., Kresse, T.M., Hays, P.D., Down, A., Karr, J.D., Jackson, R.B., Vengosh, A. (2013) Geochemical and isotopic variations in shallow groundwater in areas of Fayetteville Shale development, north central Arkansas. Applied Geochemistry, 35, 207-220. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeochem.2013.04.013).

Warner, N.R., Jackson, R.B., Darrah, T.H., Osborn, S.G., Down, A., Zhao, K., White, A. Vengosh, A. (2012). Reply to Engelder: Potential for fluid migration from the Marcellus Formation remains possible. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 109 no. 52 E3625, DOI: doi: 10.1073/pnas.1216133110

Warner, N.R., Jackson, R.B., Darrah, T.H., Osborn, S.G., Down, A., Zhao, K., White, A. Vengosh, A. (2012). Geochemical evidence for possible natural migration of Marcellus formation brine to shallow aquifers in Pennsylvania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 109, 11961–11966 (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1121181109).

Adair, S., Pearson, B.R., J Monast, J., Vengosh, A. Jackson, R.B. (2012). Considering shale gas extraction in North Carolina: lessons from other states. Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum, XXII, 257-301.

Jackson R.B., Osborn S.G., Vengosh, A., Warner, N.R. (2011). Reply to Davis: Hydraulic fracturing remains a possible mechanism for observed methane contamination of Drinking water. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 108, E872.

Osborn, S., Vengosh, A. Warner, N. Jackson, R. (2011). Reply to Saba and Orzechowski and Schon: Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas- well drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 108, 8172–8176.

Osborn, S., Vengosh, A., Warner, N. Jackson, R. (2011). Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas drilling and hydro-fracking. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of United States of America, 108, 8172-8176.

152 page minimum spine. Editor: Matt Hotze, JEM: Esther
RTP: Diane Murphy