A Web-Based Multicriteria Evaluation of Spatial Trade-offs Between Environmental and Economic Implications From Hydraulic Fracturing In a Shale Gas Region In Ohio

Document Type


Publication Date



Geography and Geology


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


Planning of shale gas infrastructure and drilling sites for hydraulic fracturing has important spatial implications. The evaluation of conflicting and competing objectives requires an explicit consideration of multiple criteria as they have important environmental and economic implications. This study presents a web-based multicriteria spatial decision support system (SDSS) prototype with a flexible and user-friendly interface that could provide educational or decision-making capabilities with respect to hydraulic fracturing site selection in eastern Ohio. One of the main features of this SDSS is to emphasize potential trade-offs between important factors of environmental and economic ramifications from hydraulic fracturing activities using a weighted linear combination (WLC) method. In the prototype, the GIS-enabled analytical components allow spontaneous visualization of available alternatives on maps which provide value-added features for decision support processes and derivation of final decision maps. The SDSS prototype also facilitates nonexpert participation capabilities using a mapping module, decision-making tool, group decision module, and social media sharing tools. The logical flow of successively presented forms and standardized criteria maps is used to generate visualization of trade-off scenarios and alternative solutions tailored to individual user’s preferences that are graphed for subsequent decision-making.

Find in your library