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Establishing the baseline in groundwater chemistry in connection with shale-gas exploration: Vale of Pickering, UK

Smedley, Pauline L.; Ward, Robert S.; Bearcock, Jenny M.; Bowes, Michael J.. 2017 Establishing the baseline in groundwater chemistry in connection with shale-gas exploration: Vale of Pickering, UK. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 17. 678-681. 10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.143

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Abstract/Summary

The baseline chemistry of groundwater from two aquifers in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, has been investigated ahead of a proposal to explore for shale gas, planning permission for which has recently been granted. Groundwater in a shallow aquifer including Quaternary and/or Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay deposits shows compositions distinct from a Corallian (Jurassic) Limestone aquifer, reflecting different lithologies and hydrogeological conditions. Corallian groundwaters along the margins of the vale are controlled by reaction with carbonate, with redox conditions varying according to degree of aquifer confinement. Superficial aquifer groundwaters are confined and strongly reducing, with some observed high concentrations of dissolved CH4 (up to 37 mg/L; Feb 2016 data). This appears to be of mixed biogenic-thermogenic origin but further work is needed to determine whether the source includes a deeper hydrocarbon reservoir contributing via fractures, or a shallower source in the Quaternary or Kimmeridge sediments. The data show a shallow aquifer with a high-CH4 baseline which pre-dates any shale-gas activity.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.proeps.2016.12.143
ISSN: 18785220
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater and methane, Groundwater quality
Date made live: 04 Aug 2017 15:17 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517485

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