This study assesses the composition and fate of flowback and production waters from drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania. It is motivated by the desire to more fully understand and address the concerns over the impact of drilling for natural gas in
Pennsylvania. The most intriguing components of flowback water, chloride, sodium, calcium, magnesium, sulfate and radium, increase with the amount of flowback returned from a well after hydraulic stimulation. The greatest increases in chloride for evolved,
permeable brine and modern flowback water are 207,000 mg/L and 105,305 mg/L, respectively; for total radium (combined 226Ra and 228Ra) in flowback, the highest level reported is 10,640 pCi/L.
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