Cody Fink, Crop and Soil Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA and Patrick Drohan, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Pennsylvania’s landscapes have undergone extensive oil and gas development for over 150 years. The recent discovery and development of unconventional shale gas reserves suggests extensive additional disturbance across the state is possible. Development of gas drilling infrastructure including well pads, gathering lines, frac ponds, roads, and staging areas has the potential to alter dynamic soil properties in Pennsylvania. Results will be presented from a study measuring the effects of historical conventional gas drilling infrastructure in Pennsylvania forests on dynamic soil property change over time. Total soil carbon and nitrogen levels, O and A horizon thickness, penetration resistance, bulk density, particle size analysis, and soil redox will be measured across sites from different time periods on the disturbed and non-disturbed soils. Data will be compared to measurements of soil dynamic property change on sites disturbed by recent unconventional shale gas infrastructure across the state. Comparison of unconventional and conventional gas sites will provide a platform for analysis of future landscape change which could have long lasting effects on the soil ecosystem and future land use.