Assessment of Land Cover Change Due to Shale Gas Development in Harrison County, Ohio

Authors: Pramila Paudyal*, The University of Akron
Topics: Landscape, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Landcover, well-pads, gathering pipelines, forest patch
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The development of shale gas has a significant impact on the landscape. Clearing of existing land cover for well-pads, road access, and gathering pipelines are its common impacts. This research thus is focused on the changes in the land cover associated with the infrastructure development of shale gas in Harrison County, Ohio. This research answers the following research questions 1). What is the amount of changes in land cover that occurred because of shale gas development? 2). What is the amount of forest fragmentation in Harrison County? The changes in the land cover are being analyzed with the visual examination of the images and digitization. The aerial image, for the year 2006 is considered as pre-shale gas development year while the image for 2014 as the post shale gas development year. Polygons are created and categorized into the different feature class. The classes for 2014 are categorized as well-pads, roads, pipelines, and disturbed areas and for 2006 as forest, cultivated and herbaceous land. The process of overlaying polygons for two different years results in the quantification of land cover changes. National Landcover Data (NLCD) for the year 2006 will be used. The polygons created for 2014 will be used to create updated NLCD. Both images will then be used in Fragstats for the quantification of forest change and forest patches. The forest fragmentation is supposed to happen in the larger extent and forest land cover is supposed to convert to shale gas infrastructure.

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