Extraction Series

There are a multitude of specialized fields in geology. As a hydrogeologist, my interests have led me to the study of groundwater. This series includes images of rural groundwater well sites—one in the testing phase and one being pumped for a public water supply. Later in my career, as I became concerned about issues of energy and fossil fuels, I was drawn to create the image showing shale gas extraction. We plumb the earth for resources of many types and to many different ends.

Extraction Series Aquifer Test

Aquifer Test

This image shows a hillside in southeastern Vermont where I participated in an aquifer test to see if the well would provide adequate water supply for an assisted living facility planned for the local rural population.

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Pennsylvania –
Shale Gas

I undertook this work to answer questions for myself and to help others understand more about the practice of shale gas extraction, commonly referred to as “fracking.” The location is in North-Central Pennsylvania, and the view is looking east‑northeast.  This image represents a depth of three miles and a width of eight.  A close inspection reveals five well sites (pads) on the land surface with shale gas wells installed in the Marcellus Shale.

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JWells PA ShaleGas ExtractionPage HiRes Earth Exposure Extraction Series
Extraction Series Groundwater Septic Systems

Groundwater –
Septic Systems

The water department in a moderately sized town in central New England allowed me access to this well site and to their files of groundwater studies of the area. This well is one of five wells that serve the town. I wanted to photograph a site such as this one because roughly half of Americans get their drinking water from groundwater.

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