METHANE: WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT GET INTO GROUNDWATER?
By Matt Hammer  |   July 2nd, 2015
   
questions about methane in groundwaterMethane (CH4) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and combustible gas that typically makes up 70 to 98 percent of the mixture known as natural gas.  Methane is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon that can be found underground in both shallow and deep rock formations, including coal beds, and is also commonly associated with marshes and landfills.  Methane can be created by thermogenic processes under heat and pressure typical of deep formations; or by methanogenic processes that include carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction (to produce sub-surface microbial gas), and fermentation (to produce near-surface microbial gas) that is typical of shallow formations, landfills, or marshes. 
 
The presence of methane in water wells is relatively common.  It may occur naturally, generated within an aquifer (i.e., groundwater) source rock formation, or as the result of migration through natural pathways.  However, it may also be present when current or historical human activities such as landfills, coal mining and drilling for oil and gas create conditions for gas migration.    Methane can be present in a water well as a gas dissolved within the groundwater (dissolved gas) or as free gas.    
 
For more information and resources you can download our Methane Fact Sheet HERE
Matt Hammer, Senior Project Manager
Matt has nearly 20 years of consulting experience in water resources and environmental investigation and remediation.  He has worked with clients in the oil and gas sector, the industrial sector, and with state and federal agencies.  His experience includes site characterization, predictive numerical modeling, data management and emergency response.  Matt’s training and specialization is in quantitative hydrogeology, including aquifer test design, and in numerical and analytical groundwater modeling.
 
He holds a Master of Science, Geological Sciences (Specializing in Hydrogeology) from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science, Geology from Miami University.
 
 
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