Water-quality monitoring in the Vale of Pickering

Spring water pond in the Vale of Pickering

The potential impact on water quality in the area local to the operations is an important environmental concern with shale-gas exploration and development. Pathways for contamination of water (groundwater and surface water) in the vicinity of operational sites include:

  • upward flows of fluids via borehole casings
  • migration of fluids from the shale rocks at depth
  • spillages of chemicals at the surface

Environmental safeguards need to be in place to ensure the risk of these is minimised and water-quality monitoring before development, and then throughout operation to abandonment, provides assurance.

Water-quality monitoring is being carried out by the operator at and around the Kirby Misperton. The BGS's monitoring investigations are additional and independent.


Bearcock, J B, Smedley, P L, and Milne, C J.  2015.  Baseline groundwater chemistry: the Corallian of the Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire.  BGS Open Report, OR/15/048.

Ford, J R, Hughes, L, Burke, H F, and Lee, J R.  2015.  The Vale of Pickering: an initial summary of the Quaternary/superficial geology and data holdings.  BGS Open Report, OR/15/064.

Newell, A J, Ward, R S, and Fellgett, M W.  2016.  A 3D geological model of post-Permian aquifers and aquitards in the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, UK.  BGS Open Report, OR/15/068.

Smedley, P L, Ward, R S, Allen, G, Baptie, B, Daraktchieva, Z, Jones, D G, Jordan, C J, Purvis, R M and Cigna, F.  2015.  Site selection strategy for environmental monitoring in connection with shale-gas exploration: Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire and Fylde, Lancashire.  BGS Open Report, OR/15/067.


Contact BGS enquiries for further information.