Methane occurrence is associated with sodium-rich valley waters in domestic wells overlying the Marcellus shale in New York State

Kayla M. Christian, Laura K. Lautz, Gregory D. Hoke, Donald I. Siegel, Zunli Lu, John Kessler

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

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Abstract

Prior work suggests spatial parameters (e.g., landscape position, distance to nearest gas well) can be used to estimate the amount of dissolved methane in domestic drinking water wells overlying the deep Marcellus Shale. New York (NY) provides an opportunity to investigate methane occurrence prior to expansion of high-volume hydraulic fracturing because unconventional gas production is currently banned in the state. We sampled domestic groundwater wells for methane in 2013 (n=137) across five counties of NY bordering Pennsylvania, and then resampled a subset of those wells in 2014 for methane concentrations and δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4. The majority of waters from wells sampled (77%) had low concentrations of methane (10 mg/L). Dissolved methane concentrations did not change as a function of proximity to existing vertical gas wells, nor other parameters indicating subsurface planes of weakness (i.e., faults or lineaments). Methane levels were significantly higher in wells closer to hydrography flow lines, and most strongly correlated to Na-HCO3 water type. The distribution of methane between Ca-HCO3 (n=76) and Na-HCO3 (n=23) water types significantly differed (p

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalWater Resources Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2016

Fingerprint

shale
methane
sodium
well
valley
water
gas well
parameter
hydrography
lineament
gas production
drinking water
groundwater
county
hydraulic fracturing
distribution
water well

Keywords

  • Contamination
  • Groundwater
  • Shale gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

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title = "Methane occurrence is associated with sodium-rich valley waters in domestic wells overlying the Marcellus shale in New York State",
abstract = "Prior work suggests spatial parameters (e.g., landscape position, distance to nearest gas well) can be used to estimate the amount of dissolved methane in domestic drinking water wells overlying the deep Marcellus Shale. New York (NY) provides an opportunity to investigate methane occurrence prior to expansion of high-volume hydraulic fracturing because unconventional gas production is currently banned in the state. We sampled domestic groundwater wells for methane in 2013 (n=137) across five counties of NY bordering Pennsylvania, and then resampled a subset of those wells in 2014 for methane concentrations and δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4. The majority of waters from wells sampled (77%) had low concentrations of methane (10 mg/L). Dissolved methane concentrations did not change as a function of proximity to existing vertical gas wells, nor other parameters indicating subsurface planes of weakness (i.e., faults or lineaments). Methane levels were significantly higher in wells closer to hydrography flow lines, and most strongly correlated to Na-HCO3 water type. The distribution of methane between Ca-HCO3 (n=76) and Na-HCO3 (n=23) water types significantly differed (p",
keywords = "Contamination, Groundwater, Shale gas",
author = "Christian, {Kayla M.} and Lautz, {Laura K.} and Hoke, {Gregory D.} and Siegel, {Donald I.} and Zunli Lu and John Kessler",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1002/2015WR017805",
journal = "Water Resources Research",
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publisher = "American Geophysical Union",

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T1 - Methane occurrence is associated with sodium-rich valley waters in domestic wells overlying the Marcellus shale in New York State

AU - Christian,Kayla M.

AU - Lautz,Laura K.

AU - Hoke,Gregory D.

AU - Siegel,Donald I.

AU - Lu,Zunli

AU - Kessler,John

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Prior work suggests spatial parameters (e.g., landscape position, distance to nearest gas well) can be used to estimate the amount of dissolved methane in domestic drinking water wells overlying the deep Marcellus Shale. New York (NY) provides an opportunity to investigate methane occurrence prior to expansion of high-volume hydraulic fracturing because unconventional gas production is currently banned in the state. We sampled domestic groundwater wells for methane in 2013 (n=137) across five counties of NY bordering Pennsylvania, and then resampled a subset of those wells in 2014 for methane concentrations and δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4. The majority of waters from wells sampled (77%) had low concentrations of methane (10 mg/L). Dissolved methane concentrations did not change as a function of proximity to existing vertical gas wells, nor other parameters indicating subsurface planes of weakness (i.e., faults or lineaments). Methane levels were significantly higher in wells closer to hydrography flow lines, and most strongly correlated to Na-HCO3 water type. The distribution of methane between Ca-HCO3 (n=76) and Na-HCO3 (n=23) water types significantly differed (p

AB - Prior work suggests spatial parameters (e.g., landscape position, distance to nearest gas well) can be used to estimate the amount of dissolved methane in domestic drinking water wells overlying the deep Marcellus Shale. New York (NY) provides an opportunity to investigate methane occurrence prior to expansion of high-volume hydraulic fracturing because unconventional gas production is currently banned in the state. We sampled domestic groundwater wells for methane in 2013 (n=137) across five counties of NY bordering Pennsylvania, and then resampled a subset of those wells in 2014 for methane concentrations and δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4. The majority of waters from wells sampled (77%) had low concentrations of methane (10 mg/L). Dissolved methane concentrations did not change as a function of proximity to existing vertical gas wells, nor other parameters indicating subsurface planes of weakness (i.e., faults or lineaments). Methane levels were significantly higher in wells closer to hydrography flow lines, and most strongly correlated to Na-HCO3 water type. The distribution of methane between Ca-HCO3 (n=76) and Na-HCO3 (n=23) water types significantly differed (p

KW - Contamination

KW - Groundwater

KW - Shale gas

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