The BGS and EA have today released maps which show the depth and location of the important underground aquifers in England and Wales and their relationship with the shale oil and gas deposits which lie beneath them. We welcome these maps, which contain important information that will help inform decisions over where it might be possible to safely exploit shale resources by fracking. However, in and around Kent, the vertical separation of the aquifers and the shale which lie beneath them is only a very small part of the information that must be taken into account.
The Geology of the Weald is naturally heavily fractured as the result of ground movements in the distant past. It is densely packed with planes of structural weakness which, if fracking were to go ahead, could well open or re-open fissures which would allow the contamination or loss of important aquifers.
In the light of recent calls to ‘cut red tape’ and lighten the burden of regulation on the oil and gas industry, we retain serious concerns over the prospect of fracking in the geologically vulnerable region which is the Weald.
See information about the maps here: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/news/docs/aquifersAndShales_FINAL.pdf
(Contains BGS materials: copyright NERC 2014)
July 3, 2014