Fracking in BC

An open letter to Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources

Four conditions are laid out from the provincial government for liquefied natural gas to be considered beneficial to British Columbia. Some of these conditions are: “must include express guarantees of jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians,” and “must protect our air, land, and water, including living up to our climate commitments.” Throughout the procedures of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, many different safety and health concerns come up that do not fit these conditions and be a danger to the people of BC.

Most importantly, there are multiple ways that our drinking water could get contaminated. The pipes towards the shale layer may leak and flow into groundwater. The surface water could easily be contaminated as well- fracking fluid, full of unknown toxic chemicals, are left in a pit to sit and simply evaporate after being pumped in and out of the shale layer. Besides water contamination, the whole earth’s atmosphere gets affected when methane gas escapes from the system into the atmosphere, and physical danger of wells exploding, and has been suspicion that fracking has been the reason for significant earthquakes occurring in what should be an earthquake-safe zone.

In theory, fracking seems to create more jobs and help the economy. However, the safety risks for the people and environment should be a greater factor and BC should be discouraging the development of liquified natural gases.

Thank you.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-gas-oil

http://www.bcmj.org/council-health-promotion/fracking-bc-public-health-concern

Weathering

 

  1. What is the difference between weathering, erosion and deposition?

Weathering is the breaking down of rocks. Erosion is the movement and transportation of the fallen material, most of the time with gravity, water, or wind. Deposition is the material building up.

  1. How does the hydrosphere affect weathering, erosion and deposition?

High amount of precipitation is linked with strong chemical and physical weathering. Frost shattering happens when water gets in the cracks of rocks and expands. With chemical weathering, rain dissolves carbon dioxide gas to create solution, oxidizes minerals, and creates a process of hydrolysis. Water is also involved in erosion as a way that materials are transported and deposited in a different place.

  1. List the positives and negatives of degradation to people.

Positives= Fertile soil deposits, flattens land to sea level

Negatives= Degrading and slanting of buildings, cracks in ground, avalanches, rock slides,

  1. Explain how humans may contribute to weathering (physical and chemical).

Humans physically contribute to weathering by walking

  1. Explain how physical weathering could end up increasing the rate of chemical weathering.

Physical weathering could break down the rocks enough to create a larger surface area that could increase the rate of chemical weathering

  1. What is the relationship between climate and weathering?

Hot climates with high amounts of precipitation brings more chemical and physical weathering. Dry, cooler climates suggest not enough water for weathering.

  1. Why would crystal growth occur less frequently in humid regions?

Crystal growth occurs when salt crystals grow and break the rock. These salt crystals only collect in cracks of rocks as water evaporates and leaves behind the salt

  1. Why do soils develop faster and deeper in tropical areas than in cooler, temperate latitudes like southern Canada?

Hotter tropical areas has an increased rate of chemical weathering, developing soils faster. Canada has cooler temperatures where physical weathering is more common.

Plate Tectonics

1. Explain why the plastic nature of the asthenosphere and convection currents are important to the theory of plate tectonics.

The lithosphere sits/floats on top of the asthenosphere. Convection currents describe cycle of hotter materials rising, cooling at the top, and is pushed down as it becomes cooler. Once it reaches the bottom again, the material heats up and rises again.

2. Which type of plate boundary is:

  • Found at mid-ocean ridges? Diverging
  • Most often associated with forming mountain belts on continents? Converging
  • Associated with the San Andreas fault? Transform

3. Is it better to live near a regularly active fault line or an inactive fault line? Explain.

It is better to live near regular active faults because the pressure building up from the plates are constantly relieved at smaller scales, rather than causing severe damage.

4. Explain why volcanic activity along transform faults is relatively rare.

Transform faults involve two plates sliding past each other and there is no plate being pushed under, creating great pressure, conditions where volcanos are likely to form to release that pressure.

5. Use a plate boundary map to explain why Japan and Indonesia should face more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. (provide the map you used in your post)

Japan lies where three different plates collide (Pacific, Eurasia, Philippine). This explains how there will be more plate movement and therefore, more frequent earthquakes. Indonesia also lies on the boundary of two converging plates (Indo-Australian and Eurasian) where earthquakes will happen frequently.

6. Use a plate boundary map and explain how plate tectonics would affect where you live.

The coast of BC runs along the fault between the North American plate, Juan de Fuca plate, and Pacific plate. The slipping of the transform fault would cause massive earthquakes.

7. Use a plate boundary map and explain the relationship between the position of volcanoes, fault lines and plate movement.

Volcanos form along converging faults and created because of the pressure building up from subduction zones. For example, as the Pacific plate moves northwest, many volcanos formed where the Pacific plate is subducted under the other plates.

8. Using a plate boundary map and the population density map below, which countries are at risk of having many people affected by earthquakes and volcanic activity?

Southern Europe, Italy (Eurasian and African plates)

Japan (Pacific, Eurasia, Philippine plates)

Indonesia (Indo-Australian and Eurasian plates)

 

Rock and Its Role

  1. How do the formation of rocks affect your life?

Intrusive igneous rocks often form mineral deposits. These metals are everywhere in my daily life, such as electronic parts of my laptop. Limestone is a common type of non-clastic sedimentary rock. Chalk, made from limestone, is one of my favourite art mediums to work with when working on a large expressive work. Graphite is found in metamorphic and igneous rocks and affects my life being a key component of pencils lead.

  1. In what ways is the rock cycle affected by the energy within the earth, the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere?

The energy, high temperatures and pressure, from within the earth changes igneous and sedimentary rocks into metamorphic rocks. This energy also pushes lava and rocks up, determining whether the igneous rock is intrusive or extrusive. The atmosphere and hydrosphere erode the exposed rocks. These two spheres also transport small particles, creating layers that are pressured down by the more layers collected above and forming sedimentary rocks. Earth’s internal energy may later change these rocks into metamorphic rocks and the rock cycle is continued.

  1. Explain why sedimentary rocks usually do not contain metallic minerals.

Sedimentary rocks usually do not contain metallic minerals because they are formed by small inorganic (clastic) or organic (non-clastic) materials that forms a rock through pressure. The denser metallic minerals are deposited in the rivers, rather than carried all the way to the oceans.

  1. Look ahead to the map on page 87, explain where in Canada you would expect to find metamorphic rocks forming.

Metamorphic rocks are found where plates collide and there is massive heat and pressure that are required for metamorphic rocks to form. In Canada, we find metamorphic rocks forming where mountain ranges eroded and are exposed, such as the Canadian Shield, and can expect forming where plates collide to form new mountain ranges, such as the Rocky Mountains.

  1. If you were attempting to discover oil and gas deposits in Canada, what conditions would you be looking for?

Oil and gas deposits are created within sedimentary rocks, where the pressure pushes out the oil and gas out of the rocks. In Canada, we would look for sedimentary rocks that are folded to trap the oil/gas into a reservoir under groundwater.

  1. Explain how it is possible to distinguish between sedimentary and metamorphic rocks that appear layered.

Metamorphic rocks may have veins of minerals along the layers, created with the heat and pressure needed to become metamorphic. Because of the pressure, metamorphic rocks are also more denser and harder.

  1. Use the rock type map of Canada to identify the major rock types for each province/territory and the possible resources that may add to their economy.

BC/Yukon = Intrusive, Volcanic, Sedimentary (Metallic minerals)

Alberta = Sedimentary (Oil, Natural gases)

Saskatchewan = Sedimentary, Metamorphic (Oil, Natural gases)

Northwest Territories/Manitoba/Ontario = Sedimentary, Intrusive (Metallic minerals, oil)

Quebec/Newfoundland and Labrador/Nunavut = Intrusive, Metamorphic (Minerals, Durable building materials)

Nova Scotia/ New Brunswick/ PEI = Intrusive, Sedimentary (Minerals)

  1. Explain how rocks can affect politics and economics around the world. Give specific examples

These different types of rocks can affect politics and economics through the different resources we can gather from them. Fossil fuels and metals are resources traded around the world, with the prices constantly changing depending on the supply and demand.  The metals are also a cause of people migrating to dig up precious metals. For example, the gold rush brought people to the west coast of North America.

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