Mining and Fracking

Chase Lober & Grey Pfefferkorn

Surface Mining

Mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit are removed. This includes strip, open pit, and mountain top removal.

Strip- Excavation of Earth, rock, and other material to uncover a layered mineral reserve. Usually coal and other sedimentary rocks are mined this way.

Open Pit- Extraction of rock or minerals from an open pit. No tunneling into Earth is required.

Mountain Top Removal- Tops of mountains are removed to expose coal seams.

Effects: Destroys landscape, Higher risk of water contamination

Subsurface Mining

Extraction of minerals and ores from underground. This includes slope, drift, and shaft mining.

Slope-Mining where a sloping access shaft travels downwards towards the desired material. The mine is not vertical or horizontal like shaft or drift mines.

Drift- Horizontal method of mining usually used when the rock or mineral is on the side of a hill.

Shaft- Vertical mining in which the mine goes straight down from the top where there was initially no access to the bottom.

Effects: Emits greenhouse gases, Causes subsidence, Lowers water table which changes flow of ground water


Definition: Process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release natural gas.

-1-8 million gallons of water and 400 tanker trucks and diesel fuel are used for each fracture site

-40,000 gallons of chemicals per fracture containing 600 different chemicals

-Chemical mixture goes to end of the well where the high pressure cracks the shale rock and natural gas flows into the well

-Gas and chemicals often contaminate nearby groundwater

-Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs) are released into the atmosphere where they create ground level ozone and acid rain

Big image