Fracking and Earthquakes: An Arkansas Case Study

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This presentation employs map animation to display three years of earthquakes (March 2009-February 2011) in north-central Arkansas, and uses spatial-analysis buffers to identify the number of people and the critical facilities at risk.

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Fracking and Earthquakes: An Arkansas Case Study

  1. 1. An Arkansas Case Study Nancy Cole Intro to GIS Class May 2, 2012
  2. 2. U.S. Shale-Gas Fields Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  3. 3. Arkansas’ Fayetteville Shale Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  4. 4. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  5. 5. Fayetteville Shale Gas Rig Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  6. 6. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  7. 7. Fracking-Fluid Holding Pond in Arkansas Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  8. 8. UIC or Underground Injection Control Well Used for the disposal of fracking fluids Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  9. 9. Data Sources 1. Well Data: Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission GeoStor Web site 2. Earthquake Data: Center for Earthquake Research and Information Web site 3. Basemap: U.S. Census Bureau 2010 TIGER/Line shapefiles Web site 4. Population Data: U.S. Census Bureau Fact Finder 2 Web site 5. Critical-Facility Locations: U.S. Geological Survey’s GNIS (Geographic Names Information System) Web site Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  10. 10. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  11. 11. Methods Overview Primarily Faulkner County 3 Years: March 2009-2012 8 fracking-disposal wells 1,483 earthquakes Magnitude Graph of Earthquakes 03/01/2009 - 02/29/2012 4 3 2 1 0 25-Aug-09 23-Nov-09 21-Feb-10 22-May-10 20-Aug-10 18-Nov-10 16-Feb-11 17-May-11 15-Aug-11 13-Nov-11 Date Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions 11-Feb-12
  12. 12. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  13. 13. Earthquake Magnitude Scale Richter Magnitude Estimated Effects 2.5 or less Usually not felt, but can be recorded by seismograph. 2.5 to 5.4 Often felt, but only causes minor damage. 5.5 to 6.0 Slight damage to buildings and other structures. 6.1 to 6.9 May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas. 7.0 to 7.9 Major earthquake. Serious damage. 8.0 or greater Great earthquake. Can totally destroy communities near the epicenter. Source: Michigan Tech Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  14. 14. Frequency of Occurrence of Earthquakes Magnitude Annual Average 8 and higher 1¹ 7 - 7.9 15 ¹ 6 - 6.9 134 ² 5 - 5.9 1,319 ² 4 - 4.9 13,000 (estimated) 3 - 3.9 130,000 (estimated) 2 - 2.9 1,300,000 (estimated) ¹ Based on observations since 1900. Source: U.S. Geological Survey Introduction Background Data Methods ² Based on observations since 1990. Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  15. 15. Primary Tools 1. Map animation When and where did the earthquakes occur? 2. Spatial-analysis buffers How many people were at risk? What “critical facilities” were at risk? Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  16. 16. Map animation - When and where did the earthquakes occur? Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  17. 17. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  18. 18. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  19. 19. Spatial analysis buffers - What “critical facilities” were at risk? 5-Mile Radius Facilities/County Cleburne Airports 0 Bridges 0 Dams 0 Hospitals 0 Schools 0 Conway 0 0 0 0 0 Faulkner 3 0 4 0 9 Van Buren 0 0 0 0 0 Total 3 0 4 0 9 Van Buren 0 0 0 0 3 Total 5 4 7 0 17 10-Mile Radius Facilities/County Cleburne Airports 0 Bridges 0 Dams 0 Hospitals 0 Schools 2 Introduction Background Data Conway 0 0 0 0 0 Methods Faulkner 5 4 7 0 12 Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  20. 20. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  21. 21. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  22. 22. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  23. 23. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  24. 24. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  25. 25. Conclusions Steve Horton concluded: 1. The close spatial and temporal correlation of the Guy-Greenbrier earthquake “swarm” with disposal-well use – at high volumes and pressures – indicate that fluid-injection triggered the earthquakes. 2. Similar earthquakes were triggered in the 1960s in Colorado at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (5.2 magnitude) and Paradox Valley (4.3 magnitude). 3. The peak of the Arkansas earthquake swarm tended to lag disposal activity at wells 6 and 7 by 15 weeks. 4. The newly-identified Guy-Greenbrier fault could produce a magnitude 6.0 earthquake. 5. The location of fracking-waste disposal wells should be regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions
  26. 26. Introduction Background Data Methods Tools Results Maps Conclusions

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