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Hydrofracking - with Turbidity Data

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6-8, 9-12 Data Exploration & NOS

Hydrofracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a gas production technique where the natural gas is extracted from rock deep underground using a cocktail of water and chemicals (fracking fluid), injected with high pressure.  There are a number of ecological concerns related to this practice, including an increase in turbidity due to infrastructure development for the wells and reduced streamflow due to water withdrawals for the fracking process.  In this unit, students explore how fracking might affect turbidity levels using secondary data from streams in Arkansas and a first-hand investigation on turbidity in a pond microcosm.