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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Shale Oil and Gas Development on Rangelands in the Permian Basin Region: An Assessment Using High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data

Department of Business and Technology Management, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Pl, Socorro, NM 87801, USA
Academic Editor: Emanuel Peres
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(4), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13040824
Received: 16 January 2021 / Revised: 20 February 2021 / Accepted: 20 February 2021 / Published: 23 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Remote Sensing in Agroforestry)
The environmental impact of shale energy development is a growing concern in the US and worldwide. Although the topic is well-studied in general, shale development’s impact on drylands has received much less attention in the literature. This study focuses on the effect of shale development on land cover in the Permian Basin region—a unique arid/semi-arid landscape experiencing an unprecedented intensity of drilling and production activities. By taking advantage of the high-resolution remote sensing land cover data, we develop a fixed-effects panel (longitudinal) data regression model to control unobserved spatial heterogeneities and regionwide trends. The model allows us to understand the land cover’s dynamics over the past decade of shale development. The results show that shale development had moderate negative but statistically significant impacts on shrubland and grassland/pasture. The effect is more strongly associated with the hydrocarbon production volume and less with the number of oil and gas wells drilled. Between shrubland and grassland/pasture, the impact on shrubland is more pronounced in terms of magnitude. The dominance of shrubland in the region likely explains the result. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale energy; oil and natural gas; land cover; ecological footprint; remote sensing data; climate change; drylands; spatial-temporal dynamics shale energy; oil and natural gas; land cover; ecological footprint; remote sensing data; climate change; drylands; spatial-temporal dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, H. The Impact of Shale Oil and Gas Development on Rangelands in the Permian Basin Region: An Assessment Using High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 824. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13040824

AMA Style

Wang H. The Impact of Shale Oil and Gas Development on Rangelands in the Permian Basin Region: An Assessment Using High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(4):824. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13040824

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Haoying. 2021. "The Impact of Shale Oil and Gas Development on Rangelands in the Permian Basin Region: An Assessment Using High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data" Remote Sens. 13, no. 4: 824. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13040824

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