Giving Freight Rail Tracks A Boost
Published: Thursday, 21 May 2015 12:19
In Wisconsin, train tracks are having a ballast problem. Temperature and vibration can destabilize ballast over time, keeping it from safely transferring the weight of a loaded train to the soil below, draining water and preventing vegetation from crowding the tracks. Also, fine grains of frac sand are leaking from rail cars, accumulating in rail bed ballast and, during a rainstorm, turning into mushy, track-loosening mud.
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Frac Sand Sources in the United States
Published: Tuesday, 19 May 2015 14:45
By Mary Ellen Benson and Anna B. Wilson, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver.
The past decade has seen a surge in mineral industry activity targeting the highly pure silica sand deposits of the upper Midwest of the United States for use as frac sand in hydraulic fracturing of unconventional petroleum reservoirs. This frac sand mining boom has resulted from the technological advances in the recovery of petroleum from tight reservoirs that have promoted expansion of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, all of which are driven by the increasing global demand for energy.
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