The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Slate and Oil...

Shale on the shores of Lake Huron

The Great Lakes Basin has a bowl of shale underneath it, nested between other layers (sandstone, limestone, etc.).  

Sometimes the edge of this layer is exposed along the shoreline like near Alpena on Lake Huron and north of Traverse City on Lake Michigan. 

This stone naturally traps oil and natural gas within it, and there are places along the shoreline where oil is seeping out of these rock layers and into the lakes. 

This is a natural process that has been going on around the Great Lakes for thousands of years.

Oil seeps out from the shale layer

The patters are beautiful and colorful...

There are companies that want to frack this layer of shale in Michigan to extract the resources trapped there. 

The companies say that fracking is safe, but they will not disclose everything added to the fracking fluid. the oil/water mixture merges with the lake.

And the used fracking fluid is so toxic it is disposed of by pumping it deep underground, far underneath the water table.  

In this way, millions of gallons of fresh water are poisoned and removed from use forever.

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