we will drill down (pun intended) on the controversies that surround hydraulic fracturing, typically shortened to “hydro-fracking”, for natural gas

For this assignment, we will drill down (pun intended) on the controversies that surround hydraulic fracturing, typically shortened to “hydro-fracking”, for natural gas. This process is not new, but technological innovations in recent years have made it a much more practical and widespread technique to obtain natural gas. Fracking has supporters and detractors, but many states are now allowing fracking, and the practice is so widespread and effective that the prices for natural gas have fallen precipitously in recent years. However, there have been a host of environmental concerns with the rapid increase in the use of fracking. These include health issues created by water and air pollutants, damage to once wild and pristine environments that cannot be undone, and also earthquakes.

This assignment asks you to analyze an article from a Houston newspaper by A. Kuchment that reviews recent research on the increase in the number of earthquakes in Texas. This increase has apparently been linked to the increased use of fracking techniques. The US Geologic Survey has also published information on this issue. Learn more from the following reading and viewing opportunities before you begin the assignment.

Participating in this activity will enable you to demonstrate mastery of Module Level Outcome 2.

First:

Carefully read the news article:

  • Kuchment, A. (2016, May 21).  Fracking activities caused majority of recent Texas quakes (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Standard Times.
  • Take notes and pay special attention to the language used in the news article.

Next, for your comparison to the news article, your information from the “scientific community”:

  • View: Oklahoma Earthquakes and the Rise in Fracking (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video, 10:12 mins]
  • Read: US Geologic Survey Myths and Misconceptions about Fracking and Earthquakes (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  • Review the Abstract (on page 1) and Discussion and Conclusions (on pp. 13-15) from: Frohlich, C., DeShon, H., Stump, B., Hayward, C., Hornbach, M., & Walter, J. I. (2016).  A historical review of induced earthquakes in Texas (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Seismological Research Letters, 87(4).

Finally, submit the following: 

  • Complete the Science Tool Kit attached herePreview the document [DOCX, File size 28.4 KB] for your analysis of the news article by Kuchment

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