Does Hydraulic Fracturing Affect Groundwater?

Zacariah Hildenbrand, Ph.D. | Doug Carlton | Kevin Schug | Brian Fontenot

This project ended on:
20 September 2013

Help support our continued research of groundwater quality as a function of increased natural gas extraction activity.


Budget Overview

Research consummables and graduate student stipend

Meet the Researcher


I began my research career investigating the development of hormone-dependent cancers and leukemia, but in 2011, saw an opportunity to study a topic with far more questions than answers. Hydraulic fracturing and its use in unconventional natural gas extraction is a highly contentious issue, unfortunately fueled mostly by opinion, relatively devoid of scientific data. I and a couple of my friends saw this as an opportunity and initiated a study of 100 private drinking water wells within the Barnett Shale, a geological formation teeming with natural gas extraction activity.

Through an active partnership with Dr. Brian Fontenot, Dr. Kevin Schug, the Shimadzu Center for Advanced Analytical Chemistry, Assure Controls and Geotech Environmental Equipment we completed the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Our collaborators graciously provided equipment and reagents, and we performed all the sample collection, analysis and interpretation for free as a pro bono effort to provide data on this important issue.

We are continuing to study this topic in the Cline Shale of the Permian Basin region, where we are performing a time-lapse analysis of groundwater quality as a function of increased natural gas extraction activities.

Doug Carlton

2009-Current Ph.D. candidate in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington...

Kevin Schug

An Associate Professor and Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry at University of Texas at Arlington...


Project Backers

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