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Hydraulic Fracturing Topic of Free USGS Lecture Wednesday

Hydraulic Fracturing Topic of Free USGS Lecture Wednesday

RESTON, Va.— Hydraulic fracturing— a technology used to extract unconventional oil and natural gas from previously impermeable, compact rock — is the topic of a free public lecture Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Geological Survey National Center in Reston, Va. A panel of USGS experts will discuss the opportunities and impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing.

The USGS public lectures are held monthly in Reston, Virginia. For more information and directions visit the Public Lecture Series website.

Unconventional gas now accounts for more than half of the natural gas produced in the United States and unconventional oil development is fueling boomtowns in some areas of the country. The process of hydraulic fracturing involves injecting wells with water, sand, and chemicals at very high pressure to extract gas and oil.

Doug Duncan, associate coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program, will address the increasing role that unconventional oil and gas resources play in the nation’s petroleum endowment. USGS hydrologist Dennis Risser will discuss some of the major water availability and quality challenges associated with natural gas development, with a focus on the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Bill Leith, associate coordinator the USGS Hazards Program, will conclude the lecture by discussing the potential connection between disposal of waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes.

The USGS is the authoritative, unbiased source for assessments of the world’s oil and gas reserves.

The lecture is in a federal facility and a photo ID is required for entry. Those unable to attend can follow the lecture series on Twitter @USGSLive.

These evening events are free to the public and intended to familiarize a general audience with science issues that are meaningful to their daily lives. USGS speakers are selected for their ability and enthusiasm to share their expertise with an audience that may be unfamiliar with the topic.

The series provides the public an opportunity to interact with USGS scientists and ask questions about recent developments in Natural Hazards; Water; Energy Minerals and Environmental Health; Climate and Land Use Change; Ecosystems; and Core Science Systems. Ultimately, the goal is to create a better understanding of the importance and value of USGS science in action.

USGS Newsroom

More information

Parameter Value Description
Magnitude mb The magnitude for the event.
Longitude ° East Decimal degrees longitude. Negative values for western longitudes.
Latitude ° North Decimal degrees latitude. Negative values for southern latitudes.
Depth km Depth of the event in kilometers.
Place Textual description of named geographic region near to the event. This may be a city name, or a Flinn-Engdahl Region name.
Time 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Time when the event occurred. UTC/GMT
Updated 1970-01-01 00:00:00 Time when the event was most recently updated. UTC/GMT
Timezone offset Timezone offset from UTC in minutes at the event epicenter.
Felt The total number of felt reports
CDI The maximum reported intensity for the event.
MMI The maximum estimated instrumental intensity for the event.
Alert Level The alert level from the PAGER earthquake impact scale. Green, Yellow, Orange or Red.
Review Status Indicates whether the event has been reviewed by a human.
Tsunami This flag is set to "1" for large events in oceanic regions and "0" otherwise. The existence or value of this flag does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist.
SIG A number describing how significant the event is. Larger numbers indicate a more significant event.
Network The ID of a data contributor. Identifies the network considered to be the preferred source of information for this event.
Sources A comma-separated list of network contributors.
Number of Stations Used The total number of Number of seismic stations which reported P- and S-arrival times for this earthquake.
Horizontal Distance Horizontal distance from the epicenter to the nearest station (in degrees).
Root Mean Square sec The root-mean-square (RMS) travel time residual, in sec, using all weights.
Azimuthal Gap The largest azimuthal gap between azimuthally adjacent stations (in degrees).
Magnitude Type The method or algorithm used to calculate the preferred magnitude for the event.
Event Type Type of seismic event.
Event ID Id of event.
Event Code An identifying code assigned by, and unique from, the corresponding source for the event.
Event IDS A comma-separated list of event ids that are associated to an event.

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