Monday, June 23rd, 2014 - Dr. Toti Larson gives us the real insight into “fracking”, methane, and groundwater as seen by stable isotopes


Dr. Toti Larson, a research engineer at the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT Austin took some time with us to talk about his research in stable isotope geochemistry. Using stable isotopes, currently, Dr. Larson tries to track methane in groundwater. Methane exists naturally in groundwater due to microbial activity, but there are concerns whether hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") may be introducing methane into groundwater and aquifers. In this episode, Dr. Larson dispels many myths associated with the process of hydraulic fracturing and clearly explains the issues, concerns and problems that surround the topic. Tune in to learn about the science behind methane in groundwater, and also about the interesting world of stable isotopes that can shed light on processes as varied as nuclear forensics to the diets of birds and deer!