Laura Bond's Graduate Defense Seminar
Laura Bond, an ESGP graduate student, will present "Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing Infrastructure on Storm Runoff Characteristics" as her Graduate Defense Seminar in 245 Kottman Hall.
The United States has seen a dramatic rise in the number of horizontal hydraulic fracturing wells drilled since 2009. Each well requires supporting infrastructure that includes a large well pad along with access roads and pipelines that result in the removal of vegetation and the creation of bare ground or gravel conditions that can alter the patterns of storm runoff. The objective of this study was to explore the effects of the addition of land conversion for shale oil and gas development to the existing land uses of eastern Ohio watersheds has on the storm flow characteristics of the streams. Using stream flow records, land cover from satellite photos, and other publically available land data, the density of wells within treatment watersheds and the proportion of upland area used in non-vegetated land cover was compared with storm flow characteristics for the watersheds before and after energy development and with neighboring control watersheds. Significant decreases in storm runoff duration, maximum instantaneous discharge, and volume were seen in only one of the six treatment watersheds after shale oil and gas development was added to the watershed. A significant decrease in storm runoff duration was seen in one of the four control watersheds.
Laura's advisor is Elizabeth M. Toman.