Environmental baseline monitoring - Vale of Pickering: Phase I - final report (2015/16)

Ward, R.S.; Allen, G.; Baptie, B.J.; Daraktchievea, Z.; Jones, D.G.; Jordan, C.J.; Purvis, R.M.; Smedley, P.L.. 2016 Environmental baseline monitoring - Vale of Pickering: Phase I - final report (2015/16). Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 96pp. (OR/16/002) (Unpublished)

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This report presents the collated results from the BGS-led project Science-based environmental baseline monitoring associated with shale gas development in the Vale of Pickering (including supplementary air quality monitoring in Lancashire). The project has been funded by a grant awarded by DECC for the period August 2015 – 31st March 2016. It complements (and extends to air quality) an on-going project, funded by BGS and the other project partners, in which similar activities are being carried out in the Fylde area of Lancashire. The project has initiated a wide-ranging environmental baseline monitoring programme that includes water quality (groundwater and surface water), seismicity, ground motion, atmospheric composition (greenhouse gases and air quality), soil gas and radon in air (indoors and outdoors). The motivation behind the project(s) was to establish independent monitoring in the area around the proposed shale gas hydraulic fracturing sites in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire (Third Energy) and in Lancashire (Cuadrilla) before any shale gas operations take place. As part of the project, instrumentation has been deployed to measure, in real-time or near real-time, a range of environmental variables (water quality, seismicity, atmospheric composition). These data are being displayed on the project’s web site ( Additional survey, sampling and monitoring has also been carried out through a co-ordinated programme of fieldwork and laboratory analysis, which has included installation of new monitoring infrastructure, to allow compilation of one of the most comprehensive environmental datasets in the UK. It is generally recognised that at least 12 months of baseline data are required. The duration of the grant award (7 months) has meant that this has not yet been possible. However there are already some very important findings emerging from the limited datasets which need be taken in to account when developing future monitoring strategy, policy and regulation. The information is not only relevant to the Vale of Pickering and Lancashire but will be more widely applicable in the UK and internationally. Although shale gas operations in other parts of the world are well-established there is a paucity of good baseline data and effective guidance on monitoring. It is hoped that the monitoring project will continue to allow at least 12 months of data for each of the work packages to be compiled and analysed. It will also allow the experience gained and the scientifically-robust findings to be used to develop and establish effective environmental monitoring strategies for shale gas and similar industrial activities.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Funders/Sponsors: BEIS
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This item has been internally reviewed, but not externally peer-reviewed.
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater
Date made live: 21 Jun 2018 08:06 +0 (UTC)

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