As we use the Earth’s resources, we inevitably impact it, in particular resources that are acquired from under the surface, like coal seam gas (GCS). Currently limited evidence is available on the environmental impacts of GCS.1
To gain a clearer understanding of the environmental impacts caused by GCS production, a project is now underway in NSW. It began in March 2016 and will be run for four years to monitor movements of the Earth’s surface. It is being conducted by Geoscience Australia and the NSW Department of Industry’s Division of Resources in the town of Camden.
The project will use a combination of new and historic satellite imagery and GNSS data to measure any ground subsidence. It will also use a network of 20 geodetic monitoring stations to check for indications of increased seismic activity.
These monitoring stations consist of a mounted GNSS receiver and a pair of radar reflectors, which will provide easily detectable reference points in the satellite imagery. The GNSS data will be transmitted in real time and measured monthly to provide an independent dataset of ground movements.
Research results from the Camden environmental monitoring project will be published on the NSW Department of Industry Resources & Energy website.