Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Dynamics (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Graduate School

Advisor

Jackson D. Cothren

Committee Member

Ralph Davis

Second Committee Member

John V. Brahava

Third Committee Member

Greg Thoma

Abstract

In order to ensure a harmonious harness of shale-gas resources while ensuring minimal damage to the environment, it is imperative that studies to conduct to inform various aspects of managing the environment. This includes the development of reliable hydrologic models to inform in decisions concerning water and the environment.

The first objective of this study was to evaluate the predictive reliability of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model based on respective methods of LULC data classification and data type spatial resolution. Results showed that the high-resolution data classified with object-oriented image method does not provide any significant advantage in terms of the model's flow predictive reliability. The second goal focused on an application of the object-oriented image analysis technique for change detection related to shale-gas infrastructure and subsequently evaluates the impact of shale-gas infrastructure on stream-flow in the South Fork of the Little Red River (SFLRR). Results showed that since the upsurge in shale-gas related activities in the Fayetteville Shale Play (between 2006 and 2010), shale-gas related infrastructure in the SFLRR have increased by 78% corresponding to a differential increase on storm water flow by approximately 10% over a projected period of simulation. The last objective deals with the evaluation of BMP effectiveness in a shale-gas watershed using a modeling approach. Three BMPs identified to control flow were introduced and simulated for a simulation (2000 to 2009) and projected (2010 to 2020) periods. The differences in the flow output at the watershed outlet for each BMP scenario were derived by comparing baseline and respective BMP scenarios. Results indicate that the BMPs have an average effectiveness of approximately 80% in reducing storm water flow attributable to shale-gas.