Fracking and Mining

they have serious effects on the environment!--Audrey Chen

Mining

  • Definition: Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials.

Two types of mining

  • Surface mining :soil and rock which overlies the mineral deposit are removed.

  • subsurface mining: the minerals from the underground are extracted.

The differences between two types of mining

  • Surface mining indicates that minerals are located much closer to the surface and the overlying ground cover is removed ; Subsurface mining is used when the materials are deep below the surface, or obstructed by water table or rock layers which makes it impractical for the surface access to extract the minerals.

    Surface Mining
    • Safer and easier to mine than subsurface mining.
    • More damage to the surface than subsurface
    • Creates more mess than subsurface


    Subsurface Mining
    • Less damage to the surface
    • Difficult and expensive to dig the ground

Three examples of surface mining:

Fracking

  • Definition: Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals get into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out from the well.

Fracking----how it is done

  • To the fracking site
Each gas well needs an average of 400 tanker trucks to carry water to and from the fracking site.(1-8 million gallons of water!)
  • Fracturing site

The water brought in is mixed sand and chemicals to create fracking fluid and about 40,000 gallons of chemicals are used per fracturing.

  • Fracking Fluid

Up to 600 chemicals includes toxins such as uranium,, mercury.

Moreover, 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals needed to run our current gas wells.


The mixture of water and chemical reaches the end of the well and the high pressure causes the nearby shale rock to crack. As a result natural gas flows into the well.

Effects of Fracking

Human Health



Because of the high pressure, nearby shale rock cracks and natural gas flows into the well. In those water, methane concentrations are seventeen times higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells.


Contaminated well water is used for drinking water for nearby cities and towns and it is really harmful to the human body.


Environment

The waste fluid is left in open air pits to evaporate, releasing harmful VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere, creating contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone.