Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.


Durham Research Online
You are in:

Shallow aquifer vulnerability from subsurface fluid injection at a proposed shale gas hydraulic fracturing site.

Wilson, M. P. and Worrall, F. and Davies, R. J. and Hart, A. (2017) 'Shallow aquifer vulnerability from subsurface fluid injection at a proposed shale gas hydraulic fracturing site.', Water resources research., 53 (11). pp. 9922-9940.

Abstract

Groundwater flow resulting from a proposed hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operation was numerically modeled using 91 scenarios. Scenarios were chosen to be a combination of hydrogeological factors that a priori would control the long-term migration of fracking fluids to the shallow subsurface. These factors were induced fracture extent, cross-basin groundwater flow, deep low hydraulic conductivity strata, deep high hydraulic conductivity strata, fault hydraulic conductivity, and overpressure. The study considered the Bowland Basin, northwest England, with fracking of the Bowland Shale at ∼2000 m depth and the shallow aquifer being the Sherwood Sandstone at ∼300-500 m depth. Of the 91 scenarios, 73 scenarios resulted in tracked particles not reaching the shallow aquifer within 10000 years and 18 resulted in travel times less than 10000 years. Four factors proved to have a statistically significant impact on reducing travel time to the aquifer: increased induced fracture extent, absence of deep high hydraulic conductivity strata, relatively low fault hydraulic conductivity, and magnitude of overpressure. Modeling suggests that high hydraulic conductivity formations can be more effective barriers to vertical flow than low hydraulic conductivity formations. Furthermore, low hydraulic conductivity faults can result in subsurface pressure compartmentalization, reducing horizontal groundwater flow and encouraging vertical fluid migration. The modeled worst-case scenario, using unlikely geology and induced fracture lengths, maximum values for strata hydraulic conductivity and with conservative tracer behaviour had a particle travel time of 130 years to the base of the shallow aquifer. This study has identified hydrogeological factors which lead to aquifer vulnerability from shale exploitation.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
First Live Deposit - 17 November 2017
File format - PDF (Copyright agreement prohibits open access to the full-text)
(1716Kb)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF (Advance online version)
(1368Kb)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
(7143Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1002/2017WR021234
Publisher statement:Wilson, M. P., Worrall, F., Davies, R. J. & Hart, A. (2017). Shallow Aquifer Vulnerability From Subsurface Fluid Injection at a Proposed Shale Gas Hydraulic Fracturing Site. Water Resources Research, 10.1002/2017WR021234 (DOI). To view the published open abstract, go to https://doi.org/ and enter the DOI.
Record Created:17 Nov 2017 09:43
Last Modified:02 Jan 2018 10:51

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library