Monitoring and modeling wetland chloride concentrations in relationship to oil and gas development

Science Center Objects

Extraction of oil and gas via unconventional methods is becoming an important aspect of energy production worldwide. Studying the effects of this development in countries where these technologies are being widely used may provide managers in other oil producing parts of the world with some insight in terms of concerns associated with development. Rapid increases in energy development in North America have caught the attention of managers as a potential stressor on wildlife habitats. Among those concerns is the potential for brines associated with hydraulic fracking to impact water chemistry in wetlands. Using a landscape scale modeling approach, we examined relationships between chloride concentrations in wetlands and patterns of energy development. We anticipate these results will provide managers with ways to think about risks to wetlands from oil and gas development and provide them with a tool for prioritizing where to look for potential contamination on the landscape.