Investigator:

Madeline Yozwiak

Advisor: Meg Urry

Description:

The growth of shale gas has moved production to new regions of the country, primarily Pennsylvania and rich Marcellus shale.  This project seeks to develop a method to quantify vegetation loss as a result of drilling, in order to better understand the extent of deforestation and land clearing for well pads.  Focusing on Bradford County, which has the highest concentration of permitted unconventional wells, the results of the analysis indicate that the relative vegetation loss within areas immediately permitted rigs was greater than that of the county as a whole.  Further analysis will be conducted on changes in light pollution and methane concentrations, as well as applying the vegetation method across counties and years.