AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science

Assessment of sediment runoff from natural gas well development sites.

by David Loran Havens

Institution: University of North Texas
Year: 2007
Keywords: Erosion; sediment; runoff; gas well; Gas well drilling  – Environmental aspects.; Sedimentation and deposition.; Runoff.
Record ID: 1811193
Full text PDF: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3665/


Storm water sediment runoff from disturbed landscapes has the potential to impair aquatic environments. Small construction sites of 1-5 acres in the United States are currently regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to minimize storm water runoff damages to the environment. Gas well construction sites are similar to other construction sites in how the landscape is altered, but are not similarly regulated. This study identified sediment runoff from gas well development sites by collecting it in traps and weirs, and by measuring sediment debris lobes. Sediment primarily consisted of silt and clay sized particles. Sediments from two gas well sites formed five debris lobes that ranged in size from 325 to 3,290 square feet. Sediment loadings estimated from the debris lobes averaged 57.1 tons per year/acre. Future studies should focus on further quantification of sediment movement off of gas well sites and identify effective erosion control methods.