Guest post by Darin Rockwell, Geography/Geology ’13
My role in this project was to:
1) compile additional data
2) check all data for accuracy and missing information
Project data includes well pad location, company name, permit numbers, date of drilling, and selected chemical parameter data from several sources. Sources include data from 26R forms and a New York Times article. Data were transferred from Excel™ into ArcMap™. Data was narrowed down to only 90 day production data. 90 day production data is used due to the comparison of the 26R form analysis dates and spud dates. The date differences seemed to mostly fall around 90 days. Latitude and longitude coordinates were retrieved from data on the Department of Environmental Protection website. For some data, coordinates were unavailable to retrieve. Therefore, I georeferenced points using ArcGis in order to gain xy coordinates. Each parameter is mapped to its own extent in which data is available.
I experimented with various layouts to produce maps following good cartographic principles. Final maps include contour maps, which were calculated using Inverse Distance Weighted Interpolation, overlaid with graduated symbols for values of nine parameters; Gross Alpha radiation, Gross Beta radiation, radium-226, radium-228, barium, strontium, sodium, and calcium. A final poster, 26R forms, and a few other sample maps are shown at the bottom of this blog post. It is important to note that the parameters are strictly from flowback water from the Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction process and the levels are not necessarily drinking water levels; the values are before treatment.
 Flowback Water: Water that returns to the surface at the well head after fracking
 26R forms: A form that each company is mandated to be sent to DEP annually that includes a chemical analysis of the residual waste produced at a site
 Spud Dates: The start of drilling on a well
 Georeferenced: Defining spatial reference by location in terms of projections and coordinate systems
 Inverse Distance Weighted Interpolation: predicting unknown values using the known values at certain locations using arcGIS
 Graduated Symbols: A way to represent data that includes proportionate symbols according to break values in the data