Research objectives

Natural gas production has increased considerably in the US. While there are great economic benefits to new drilling techniques, there is a large uncertainty about fugitive emissions released during fracking activity. The broad objectives of the Jake’s Run research project are to:

1. Quantify baseline and fugitive methane emissions during fracking activity

2. Identify biological and geological sources of methane emissions

3. Attribute measured methane fluxes to different components of the hydrofracking process

Research approach

We have combined a top-down observation approach by observing long-term methane concentrations from a single measurement tower with periodic manual chamber measurements. To determine the biological and geological sources of methane concentration, we measure continuous atmospheric fluxes of 13C isotopes in methane.

The Jake’s Run AmeriFlux Site is located in Jake’s Run, West Virginia about 15 miles from Morgantown, WV. Data collected at the Jake’s Run site is used to monitor atmospheric methane concentration, model methane dispersion, and determine natural and fracking- related sources of methane.

To learn more about natural and anthropogenic sources of methane, visit