Spatial Visualization: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom : Fracking

Follow the link and explore the interactive map. Then answer the following questions.

Spatial Visualization: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom by the Smithsonian Magazine

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In this spatial visualization module, you will explore an interactive on the Shale Gas Boom in the United States. The interactive was part of a Smithsonian Magazine Special Report on Energy Innovation. Recall the discussion from Chapter Five, People and Resources on the shifting global carbon economy, the rise of shale gas, and of the technology of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing. The interactive consists of three maps, each with a description and legend. There is also a related article located below the interactive map to read. Connect what you have read in Chapter Five about resources, laws of resource use, and the case of oil to the extraction of shale gas that is presented in the interactive.

The first page of the interactive starts with the first map “Mapping the Shale Gas Boom.” At the top of the map are three labeled links: “Intro” as a short description; “Map” that returns to the map view; and “Legend” that brings up the symbology for the map. Click on the areas on the map to see the data about that field. You can zoom in and out as appropriate using the navigation buttons on the top-left of the map. To move between parts of the interactive follow the navigation links at the bottom of the interactive.

Scroll to the bottom and read the brief article. Scroll back to the top and begin with the first map, “Major Shale Plays.” Click on the button with 1-2-3 and lines. This will reveal the entire Intro description.
1. What type of rock is shale? 5.1
a. sandstone
b. sedimentary
c. hydrocarbon
d. fossil

2. The geology of some basins makes extraction of natural gas too expensive or complicated. However, in some areas, extraction is considered both technically possible and profitable.
What gas industry term is used to refer to such areas? 5.1
a. shale
b. plays
c. basins
d. formations

3. In 2009, what were the two most lucrative shale extraction areas in the United States? 5.1
a. Marcellus and Barnett
b. Great Basin and Canyonlands
c. White Mountains and North Platte
d. Ozarks and Everglades

Click on “Next map: State by State Comparison?” Click around the map and legend to get familiar with symbology and patterns.

4. What three states led in natural gas extraction from fracturing? 5.2
a. West Virginia, North Dakota, and Oklahoma
b. Alaska, West Virginia, and Texas
c. Texas, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana
d. Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and California

5. At 2.9 trillion cubic feet, what state produced the most shale gas in 2011? 5.2
a. Pennsylvania
b. Texas
c. Louisiana
d. North Dakota

6. There are massive amounts of natural gas reserves locked up in the rocks of many states.
What are the estimated reserves in Arkansas? 5.2
a. 85,264 billion cubic feet
b. 2,492 billion cubic feet
c. 857,393 million cubic feet
d. 14,808 billion cubic feet

Click on “Next map: Where is Fracking Happening?” Make sure to review the legend and particularly the data symbols.
7. Political ecology is the study of how political and economic principles impact human-environment relations. For example, each State has its own laws governing land management practices, like resource extraction. In cases where the geological situation is similar, a difference in political economy can render a significant difference in fracking’s economic geography.
What boundary example shows the most apparent difference between two States’ fracking geography? 5.3
a. Utah-Colorado border
b. West Virginia-Ohio border
c. Texas-Louisiana border
d. Pennsylvania-New York border

8. Locate the gas well closest to Columbus OH, near the center of the State.
What is the well named and when was it first fractured? 5.3
a. William Dixon A 6H on March 15, 2010
b. Deltic Timber 11-13 2-23H on Aug 3, 2008
c. Sensibaugh Living Trust 1H on July 12, 2012
d. Cowher B 1H on September 6, 2011

9. What is NOT part of the fracking process that releases natural gas from sedimentary rock deposits? 5.3
a. Jackhammers pound the surface to fracture the underground deposits.
b. Large drills bore long horizontal holes directly into the deposits.
c. Pressurized water, chemicals, and sand are injected into wells.
d. Chemical solution fractures the rock and releases the gas trapped inside.

10. What State has more oil wells than gas wells? 5.4
a. California
b. Oklahoma
c. Texas
d. North Dakota

11. What percentage of natural gas used in the United Sates comes from shale deposits? 5.4
a. 33%
b. 40%
c. 66%
d. 75%

12. The EIA expects shale gas production to _____ by 2040. 5.4
a. decrease
b. double
c. triple
d. quadruple

13. What is NOT one of the factors that contributed to the increase in hydraulic fracturing production? 5.5
a. relatively high oil prices
b. advances in 3D seismic imaging
c. innovations in renewable energy sources
d. developments in sensor technology

14. What American region has the most shale gas deposits? 5.5
a. Pacific Northwest
b. The Carolinas
c. New England
d. The Gulf Coast

15. There are no major fault lines running the central plains State of Oklahoma. Yet, according to the United States Geologic Survey (USGS), there were more earthquakes between the years of 2009–2014 than the previous 38 years.
What statement is the best speculation on the increase of earthquakes in previously not-prone Oklahoma? 5.5
a. Hydraulic fracturing in a region is correlated with a rise in seismic activity.
b. Hydraulic fracturing is not spatial or temporally correlated to seismic activity.
c. Seismic activity fluctuates so much that it is difficult to make any inferences or correlations.
d. Hydraulic fracturing is certain to lead to massive earthquakes in a heavily extracted region.

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