U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)


Tue June 30, 2015

Fracking's Water Impact Varies Across Colorado And Other Boom States

Trucks pump water, sand and chemicals down a well during the hydraulic fracturing process.
Stephanie Paige Ogburn KUNC

Opponents of hydraulic fracturing often comment on its high water use. Yet a comprehensive total of just how much water used during the process of hydraulic fracturing has been hard to come by.  

A new U.S. Geological Survey study tallied up the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing -- the process where water is injected underground, along with a mix of sand and chemicals, to fracture rock and release hydrocarbons. The analysis found that certain types of wells, in specific production basins, used a lot more water than others.

Read more


Thu April 23, 2015
Around the Nation

Oklahomans Feel Way More Earthquakes Than Californians; Now They Know Why

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:25 pm

Austin Holland, research seismologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, gestures to a chart of Oklahoma earthquakes in June 2014 as he talks about recent earthquake activity at his offices at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. The state had three times as many earthquakes as California last year.
Sue Ogrocki AP

A magnitude-3.0 earthquake is small, but most people can feel it. Historically, Oklahoma got less than two of those a year, but in 2013 it became two a week.

It's only gotten more active since then — last year, the state had three times as many earthquakes as in the entire seismically active state of California.

Read more


Thu February 19, 2015

Scientists Call For Better Monitoring, Transparency With Injection Linked Quakes

Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo., January 2013.
William Ellsworth USGS

Scientists with the University of Colorado Boulder and the U.S. Geological Survey are calling for changes in monitoring and addressing human-caused earthquakes.

Over the past 13 years, many parts of the United States that are not earthquake prone have begun experiencing significant quake activity. In Colorado and other states east of the Rocky Mountains, the earthquakes are linked to injection of wastewater from oil and gas production.

The paper, published Feb. 19 in the journal Science, calls for better monitoring of these earthquakes and injection wells linked to such quakes. The ultimate goal is to use such monitoring to change the wastewater injection activities that cause the quakes, reducing risk to humans and property.

Read more


Tue January 13, 2015

Learning How White-Nose Kills Bats May Be Key To Saving Them

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist holds a little brown bat.
Ann Froschauer USFWS

White-Nose Syndrome, a disease famous for killing millions of bats in the Eastern United States, has not yet made its way to Colorado – something wildlife managers are happy about. It's still an issue of concern, though, and at the U.S. Geological Survey's Fort Collins Science Center, a researcher has helped make a breakthrough in scientists' understanding of the deadly fungus.

Read more


Tue January 13, 2015

Good News For Bats! Things Are Looking Up For Stemming Disease Spread

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:01 am

This October 2008 photo, provided by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, shows a brown bat with its nose crusted in fungus.
Ryan von Linden AP

The bat disease known as white-nose syndrome has been spreading fast, killing millions of animals. But for the first time, scientists are seeing hopeful signs that some bat colonies are recovering and new breakthroughs could help researchers develop better strategies for helping bats survive.

Read more