ISGS Spring 2014 Seminar Series
ISGS Seminar Series: 2 Illinois Water Centers: Opportunities for CollaborationMonday, January 27, 2014 - 11:00am
The Illinois Water Resources Center and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program are both longstanding partner programs between federal agencies and the University of Illinois. Both organizations offer grant funding, internships, community engagement expertise and opportunities for collaboration. Overviews of both programs will be presented, and some recent initiatives relevant to the mission of the Illinois State Geological Survey will be highlighted. Participants are encouraged to enter into a dialogue about future directions and opportunities for collaboration.
Seminar Series: Energy, Water, and Policy: Supporting Decision-Making with Systems AnalysisMonday, February 3, 2014 - 11:00am
Ashlynn S. Stillwell, Ph.D.
Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Many energy operations, such as power generation and mining and refining fuels, require water. At the same time, many water operations, including water and wastewater treatment and pumping, require energy. This relationship, commonly known as the energy-water nexus, presents many tradeoffs between resources that have implications in the public policy environment. Systems analysis is one approach to understanding the energy-water nexus by combining optimization, GIS multicriteria decision analysis, economics, and statistical analysis tools. This talk will present some of Dr. Stillwell's previous, current, and future work on the energy-water nexus and its relationship to public policy.
Dr. Ashlynn Stillwell is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her previous work experience includes consulting engineering at Burns & McDonnell (2006-2007) and policy research at the Congressional Research Service (2009). Dr. Stillwell received the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the American Water Works Association's 2011 Academic Achievement Award for 2nd Place Master's Thesis. Her research interests include the nexus of energy and water systems and the relationship those systems have with public policy.
ISGS Seminar Series: Middle Desmoinesian tidal channel log jams and roof flora capture cyclothem scale climate changes, presaging Desmoinesian-Missourian extinction event, and provide constraints on depositional frameworksMonday, February 17, 2014 - 11:00am
Scott Elrick, ISGS
Small channels, called 'rolls' by miners, are widespread in the middle Desmoinesian Herrin, Springfield and Danville coal seams in the Illinois basin. Eroded into the top of the coal, rolls are associated with tidally laminated gray shale roof strata, and found close to large peat-contemporaneous river systems, likely reflecting the development of mudflats along channel margins during the early phases of marine transgression. Rolls are infilled with tidally laminated gray shale, the same lithology found covering the coal. As mapped in underground mines, rolls are sinuous and occur in subparallel swarms. Individual rolls range from 10 to 100s of meters and rarely, 1,000s of meters long. They are largest and most numerous where strata overlying the coal are of coarsest grain size.
Chaotic tangles of crisscrossing, horizontal to sub-horizontal, lycopsid trees are common in many rolls. We interpret these lycopsid tree accumulations as log jams. Sigillaria is the dominant genus found in rolls and is also one of several common lycopsid trees found as upright stumps and prone logs in nearby mine roof.
We interpret rolls to be tidal channels that formed when rapid marine transgression drowned the peat swamp. Strong tidal currents scoured the peat in an estuarine setting. As tidal channels advanced inland, trees and vegetation lining the banks collapsed into the channels, lodging in bends and constricted areas, forming log jams. The vegetation and trees trapped in the channels, in and around log jams, therefore represent a spatially averaged compositional picture of the species in that section of the swamp. Multiple channels in an area may, in aggregate, be sampling many kilometers of transects through the final vegetation of the swamp.
The above observations indicate that terminal phases of all three swamp forests were characterized by extensive stands of Sigillaria growing in close association with tree and seed ferns. These assemblages bear greater similarity to the dominant peat-forming vegetation of the drier Late Pennsylvanian than to that of the Middle Pennsylvanian, and indicate these swamps experienced late-stage climate shifts from humid to wet-subhumid, with increasing rainfall seasonality, previewing larger scale climate changes that culminated in vegetational turnover at the Desmoinesian-Missourian boundary, and providing constraints on depositional frameworks of middle Pennsylvanian cyclothems.
About speaker: A native of the Champaign-Urbana area, Scott Elrick received his BS in geology from UIUC and MS from University of California, Riverside and is currently the acting section head for the Coal and Petroleum section. His research interests include the coal geology of Illinois, and the stratigraphy, paleobotany, climate and depositional history of the Late Paleozoic.
ISGS Special Seminar: HELLO??? ARE YOU READY FOR THE BIG ONE? [AKA: Important Considerations for Central US Seismicity]Monday, February 17, 2014 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Gregory L. Hempen, 2013-2014 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer, URS Corporation
Chris Cramer, Center for Earthquake Research & Information
and Nathan K. Moran, Center for Earthquake Research & Information
Recent research on the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) provides new interpretations of historic earthquakes and evaluations. Paleoseismic studies and new earthquake-source and wave-passage models have resulted in a new assessment of historic events. These assessments, in turn, will help governments, businesses, and households prepare for, and respond to, future earthquakes.
Paleoseismic studies of the NMSZ provide insight into recent millennia’s earthquakes. Comparing the paleoseismic assessments with the historic data for the 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquake Series (1811-12 Series) presents a better interpretation of the severity and number of earthquakes. Regional geologic data and site-response models allowed our development of the 1811-12 Series’ conceptual model of isoseismal maps. A cumulative isoseismal map for the 1811-12 Series also has been prepared. The isoseismal maps provide median hazards; the actual hazard in any location may have been much worse or much less.
Probabilistic and deterministic seismic models can show the seismic hazard through these new interpretations. Such seismic models can help businesses, governments and households recognize earthquake hazards and take action to mitigate earthquake impacts. The presentation includes some ways to mitigate these modeled seismic risks.
About the speaker: the 2013-2014 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer
Gregory (Greg) L. Hempen, PhD, PE, RG, has been named the 2013-2014 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer in Applied Geology. The lectureship is awarded jointly by the Environmental and Engineering Geology Division (EEGD) of the Geological Society of America and the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists. The purpose of the lectureship is to promote student awareness of Applied Geology. The Jahns’ Lectureship has been jointly awarded annually since 1988.
Greg is a Geophysicist / Geological Engineer, consulting for URS Corporation’s St. Louis Office. During his entire career, Greg has held only one title, Geophysicist. He specializes in all types of vibration mitigation from earthquakes, blasting and pile driving, and recommending appropriate geophysical studies for complex sites. His 40+-year career includes a long tenure at, and retirement from, the St. Louis District, Corps of Engineers.
Greg has conducted business for all levels of government, federal, state and local. He had worked closely with consulting firms managing studies on federal projects. He now works in the private sector, but continues studies for federal and state offices. His duties have included: site assessment of dam sites, regional earthquake studies for federal dam sites, probabilistic and deterministic appraisal of potential earthquake impacts, varied geophysical studies for different projects’ concerns (from archeological to environmental transport to groundwater to rock weaknesses), blast mitigation while effectively achieving the blasting goal, environmental mitigation, and the dreaded – “other duties, as assigned.”
Greg received a B.S. in Geophysical Engineering from St. Louis University, a M.S. in Geo-Engineering from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from the University of Missouri - Rolla (now Missouri University of Science & Technology). He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Missouri and Registered Professional Geologist in Arkansas and Missouri.
Greg has authored a variety of publications, which share the understanding of procedures instead of keeping proprietary control of methodologies. Greg has been an adjunct professor at all the engineering universities in the St. Louis area. He has taught Environmental Science classes and Geotechnical Engineering courses. His longest running class was offered once a year, “Seismology and Seismic Design” (CE 530A), Civil Engineering Department, Washington University of St. Louis, 1989 to 2004. Greg had taught at several Corps of Engineers’ professional training courses.
Some of the accolades that Greg has received are: the Otto Nuttli Award from the St. Louis Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, October 2011; a Professional (Honorary) Degree from Missouri University of Science & Technology, December 2010; award with the Army and Corps team for the Embrey Dam removal, May 2004; Johnston Service Award from AEG, October 2002; Achievement Medal for Civil Service, December 1998; and, 1991 Regional Outstanding Engineer from the Missouri River Region of the Society of American Military Engineers.
ISGS Seminar Series: Transport and Fate of nutrients and estrogen in a coupled wetland and ground water flow-through systemMonday, February 24, 2014 - 11:00am
Eric Peterson, Illinois State University
Wetlands play an important role in the reduction of nutrients in agricultural runoff and treated wastewater effluent. A component of wetlands systems, the seepage out of the wetland and subsequent groundwater flow, has been virtually ignored in understanding the transport and fate of nutrients. This study examined the flow of groundwater infiltrating from a constructed wetland receiving municipal wastewater effluent, and the fate of dissolved nutrients and estrogen hormones within the groundwater. Concentrations of nitrate, ammonium, phosphate, chloride, and estrogen hormoness were used to assess the quantity of nutrients being removed/added from the seepage compared to the total amount removed/added by surface water processes. Nitrate-Nitrogen concentrations in the surface water ranged 10.0-26.8 mg/L and ND-1.5 mg/L in groundwater. Ammonium-Nitrogen concentrations in the surface water ranged 0.05-2.3 mg/L and 0.004-4.5 mg/L in groundwater. Phosphate concentrations in the surface water ranged 0.1-3.2 mg/L and ND-0.4 mg/L in groundwater. Effluent-groundwater mixing calculations showed that a majority of the water sampled from the wells is effluent rich (50-100%). MODFLOW simulations suggest that groundwater seepage flux from the wetland was between 3% and 11% of the surface water flux through the wetland. Nitrate and phosphate removal was determined to be significant in the groundwater – 1,930 g/day and 175 g/day respectively, but ammonium concentrations increased in the groundwater by 29 g/day. Dependent on surface water retention times in the wetland, nitrate removal from the surface water ranged from 4,100 to 14,450 g/day. Ammonium and phosphate were added at rates between 21 to 74 g/day and 221 to 780 g/day, respectively. Treated effluent had the highest mean concentrations of E2, 32 ng/L, and E1, 76 ng/L. Wetland waters had slightly lower concentrations of 27 ng/L for E2 and 55 ng/L for E1. Measurable concentrations of E2 were observed only once in five of the 13 wells at a maximum concentration of 18 ng/L, while E1 was observed only in two wells. Higher concentrations of both E2 and E1 were measured in the treated effluent than in the wetlands, indicating that the wetlands are serving as a sink for E2 and E1. The absences of E2 and E1 within the ground water indicate that both are being effectively removed within the groundwater system.
About speaker: Eric Peterson earned his PhD from the University of Missouri in 2002, and joined Illinois State University in August 2002. He is one of two main faculty directly involved in the Hydrogeology MS program. His main area of research involves surface water-groundwater interaction, investigating questions in two geologic settings: karst and the glaciated plains of the Midwest. In 2013, he became the interim chair of the Dept of Geography-Geology Department at ISU.
ISGS Seminar Series: Paleoclimate Reconstruction of Pennsylvanian Paleoequatorial Environments: Coupling Terrestrial and Marine ProxiesThursday, February 27, 2014 - 11:00am
Nick Rosenau, Dolan Integration Group
The geological record is replete with archives of environmental information. As the earth transitions from a global icehouse to greenhouse climate, there is an increasing need for deep-time studies that will provide insight into how the both the terrestrial and marine realm may respond to such a climate change. The Late Paleozoic Ice Age (LPIA) represents a particularly attractive interval for this endeavor, as it encompasses the only complete icehouse to greenhouse transition on the vegetated earth, providing the closest deep-time analogue to the modern ice age.
This presentation will discuss the evolution of paleotropical climate during the LPIA through coupled lithostratigraphic and geochemical data collected from intercalated terrestrial and marine strata preserved within North American cyclothems. The morphological, mineralogical, and geochemical content of paleosols preserved within Pennsylvanian cyclothems of the Illinois basin serve as a terrestrial paleoclimate proxy and are used to investigate the interplay of basin-scale to global-scale controls responsible for their evolution during the LPIA. Deconvolution of these controls reveals that the development of Pennsylvanian-age paleosols in the Illinois basin can readily be related to Late Paleozoic glacioeustatic fluctuations, and associated climate change, as well as topographic position on the ancient landscape. The oxygen and hydrogen isotope composition of paleosol phyllosilicates are used as a quantitative terrestrial paleotemperature proxy for the Pennsylvanian tropics and reveal a significant temperature increase (~ 6ºC) at low-latitudes across the Desmoinesian–Missourian (~Moscovian–Kasimovian) boundary. Conodont apatite 18O values from organic-rich marine black shales in the Illinois basin serve as a marine paleoclimate proxy. These data reveal significant variations in conodont apatite 18O values from a single black shale member across the basin that is attributed to local factors such as enhanced continental runoff in the Illinois basin as a result of its proximity to the ancient shoreline Appalachian highlands. Collectively, these results help resolve the responses of terrestrial and marine systems to the waxing and waning of late Paleozoic Gondwanan ice sheets and provide insight into the suite of mechanisms responsible for tropical paleoenvironmental change during LPIA glacial-deglacial episodes.
About speaker: Nick Rosenau just graduated from Southern Methodist University with his Ph.D. and is currently working at Dolan Integration Group http://www.digforenergy.com (geochemistry for energy exploration).
ISGS Seminar Series: CancelledMonday, March 3, 2014 - 11:00am
Eric Carson, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
ISGS Seminar Series: A Bayesian Framework for Uncertainty Quantification and its Implementation using Sparse-Grid Collocation Schemes: with Application to Groundwater Reactive Transport ModelingTuesday, March 11, 2014 - 10:30am
Ming Ye, Associate Professor Department of Scientific Computing, Florida State University
In simulating the complex subsurface environment, an obstacle to efficient and effective quantification and reduction of predictive uncertainty is that existing methods of uncertainty quantification are too fragmented and incomplete for understanding and predicting the complex subsurface environment as a whole. To tackle this problem, we developed a comprehensive Bayesian framework from a system perspective. It uses a hierarchical structure to characterize uncertainty in model scenarios, structures, parameters, and data used for the modeling. Variance decomposition is used to quantify relative contribution from the various sources to predictive uncertainty. Based on the variance decomposition, the Sobol’ global sensitivity index is extended from parametric uncertainty to consider model and scenario uncertainty, and individual parameter sensitivity index is estimated with consideration of multiple models and scenarios. The framework is implemented using the Bayesian network, in which different uncertainty sources are described as uncertain nodes. All the nodes are characterized by multiple states, representing their uncertainty in the form of continuous and discrete probability distributions. After building the Bayesian network, we used the sparse-grid collocation schemes to enhance computational efficiency. We demonstrate the use of the developed method for groundwater reactive transport. The example considers three scenarios of precipitation due to climate change, two models that convert precipitation to groundwater recharge, and multiple random parameters of hydraulic conductivity and kinetic reaction rates. While the example is for groundwater reactive transport modeling, our methods are applicable to a wide range of environmental models. The results of uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis are useful for environmental management and decision-makers to formulate science-informed policies and strategies.
Bio: Dr. Ming Ye is an Associate Professor in the Department of Scientific Computing at the Florida State University (FSU), Tallahassee, FL. His research is mainly focused on groundwater numerical modeling and uncertainty analysis. He holds a B.S. degree in Geology from the Nanjing University, China. In 2002, he earned his Ph.D. degree in Hydrology from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Before joining FSU, he worked as a post-doc in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Assistant Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute. He received the 2012 DOE Early Career Award, and was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2012. He is serving as an Associate Editor of Water Resources Research.
ISGS Seminar Series: Yaghoob LasemiMonday, March 17, 2014 - 11:00am
Davood Jahani, ISGS GSA Presentation
ISGS Seminar Series: Spring Break (no seminar)Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 11:00am
Spring Break (no seminar)
ISGS Seminar Series: Nancy WestcottMonday, March 31, 2014 - 11:00am
Nancy Westcott, ISWS
ISGS Seminar Series: Georg GrathoffFriday, April 11, 2014 - 11:00am
Georg Grathoff, University of Greifswald, Germany
ISGS Seminar Series: Odyssey of cyclothems from Illinois to the Midcontinent and throughout the tropical Pennsylvanian worldMonday, April 14, 2014 - 11:00am
Phil Heckel, University of Iowa
ISGS Seminar Series: Guohua JingMonday, April 21, 2014 - 11:00am
Guohua Jing, ISGS/Chinese Visiting Scholar
ISGS Seminar Series: Shirley DuttonMonday, April 28, 2014 - 11:00am
Shirley Dutton, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, AAPG Distinguished Lecturer