SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – The debate over fracking may soon be coming to Saskatchewan. A recent study by the Ecological Sciences Department at the University of Saskatchewan has concluded that the mating habits of several species of Forest Beetle are disrupted by regional fracking and the resultant pressure shifts in boreal rock formations.
The study was conducted by a specialized team of grad students and Earth First volunteers with the aim of protecting the rare and nearly endanger Black Willow Forest Beetle, known only to certain regions of northern Saskatchewan.
The study began when we noticed a sharp decline n the number of damaged pine trees around recreational properties in northern areas of the province. We began to count and assess the populations and discovered a sharp decline over the years when fracking became more rampant in the southern areas of the province.
We realize that the regions are several hundred kilometres apart, but they are still connected through rock beds in the subsurface. When the Wathawaiea Sandstone is fracture-completed near Stoughton, the pressure transmits through the rocks all the way up to northern areas and disrupts mating habits of these very special insects. For that reason, we have determined that Saskatchewan needs to ban fracking. – Milo Subtrefuge, Professor at the ESD, UofS
The study used several hundred iPhone 5s units as hardware, running a specialized app that detects vibration through its gyro-gravitational system. The seismic detection app was then used at 100m spacing over beetle-dense territory to determine the amount of vibration cause by fracking.
A summer student in a truck was then charged with surveilling each drilling rig in Saskatchewan and when ever a fracture completion was induced, she called the monitoring station to coordinate and see if the completion could be correlated to the vibrations seen in the iPhone hardware. The results were staggering.
Every time a fracture completion began we would see terrible vibrations in our detection array on the ground in northern regions, and the beetles would stop humping and just sit there. Basically go dormant and not even eat. It was really sad. We would fine out the pumps would shut off, the completion would end, and our sensor array would show very little vibration or pressure, and within half an hour the beetles would mate again. We have to stop this fracking! – Amandya Rosalia Tschechnovic, monitoring station manager
The study has been submitted for review by the Saskatchewan government, but t is unclear if it will gain traction with politicians in the province. When asked