CSG linked to possible methane rises

IT’S A GAS: Dr Isaac Santos, one of the SCU scientists giving a free public lecture on CSG issues.
IT’S A GAS: Dr Isaac Santos, one of the SCU scientists giving a free public lecture on CSG issues.

COAL seam gas mining may have an effect on methane concentrations in air and water according to new research by scientists from Southern Cross University.

Dr Isaac Santos and Dr Damien Maher from the University's Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research will present their findings at a free public lecture next week.

The scientists and their research students have spent time in Queensland collecting preliminary data from large CSG fields to compare it with data from NSW.

"We have performed snapshot surveys of methane concentrations in the atmosphere and creeks near Tara in Southern Queensland and in the Richmond River catchment in Northern NSW," Dr Maher said.

"The concentrations of methane were much higher in the atmosphere and creek waters around Tara than in Northern NSW."

"Mining in the Tara region is at full speed, while in Northern NSW we are still at the exploration stage. Contrasting the two regions provides insight into how to best manage CSG in the Northern Rivers area."

Dr Santos said the lecture would report on original scientific results to be published in peer reviewed scientific journals in the coming months.

"The current discussions on CSG are often based on anecdotal evidence, old observations not designed to assess CSG or data obtained overseas.

"The lack of site-specific baseline data is staggering."

He said the aim of the lecture was to convey complex scientific concepts in a simple and understandable manner.

Dr Santos and Dr Maher will speak for 30 minutes each and take questions after the lecture.

The lecture will be held at the Whitebrook Theatre, Southern Cross University, Military Rd, East Lismore on Wednesday, November 14, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

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