ISGS Fall 2013 Seminar Series
ISGS Seminar Series: Data Integration and Monitoring in GeophysicsMonday, September 9, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presented by: Marios Karaoulis (ISGS)
Geophysical methods provide us with a unique set of tools for studying the structure of the subsurface and of opaque manmade objects. Several of the techniques that are widely used exploit contrasts in at least one of the fundamental properties of matter such as resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, elastic parameters etc. It is reasonable to expect that more information about the subsurface could be extracted by analyzing the results of more than one of the geophysical techniques simultaneously, a process that is called data integration and joint inversion. Applications for such research could be in both shallow engineering related problems as well as in deeper structural geophysical investigations.
This seminar will present the application of resistivity, self-potential, gravity and seismic in a variety of problems, and show some ideas on how to integrate the data. In particular, Dr. Karaoulis will present the use of SP and ERT data to detect a coal fire problem, the use of time-lapse ERT to detect contamination plumes, use of geophysics during fracking and secondary oil recovery problems.
Special Seminar: Progress in 3D Geological Outcrop Mapping, Part 2Friday, September 13, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Progress in 3D Geological Outcrop Mapping, Part 2: Display and Interactive Analysis of Large High Resolution Photorealistic Geological Outcrop Models
Presented by Lionel White Geological & Historical Virtual Models, LLC and Dept. of Geosciences, University of Texas at Dallas
Draping of high resolution photos (to 1 mm per pixel!) onto a TIN mesh of the LiDAR derived model, provides an accurate, lifelike replica of the outcrop. The models are imported into ArcScene for analysis using GeoAnalysisTools software, an ESRI ArcScene Extension that provides an interactive means to study photorealistic models of geological outcrops.
The geologist can make most of the physical measurements of the outcrop that one would make in the field using the entire outcrop for measurement, rather than being limited to the areas that they can physically access in the field. The geologist can also measure feature orientation and dimensions, rapidly create down plunge cross-sections, identify sedimentary facies and annotate them, make rapid bed thickness measurements, and insert stratigraphic columns into the ArcScene project.
In support of projects at the University of Texas at Dallas, GHVM has created models of 6 km of the Jubaila formation, Middle Arab-D, southwest of Riyadh, at optical resolution to 1 mm per pixel and 3.3 km of models of the Eagle Ford Shale road cut outcrops in South Texas, along with many other smaller models. Contact Chris Stohr (244-2186) about meeting with Lionel and joining in a group demonstration of the software.
ISGS Seminar Series: A hybrid finite-difference and analytic element regional groundwater flow modelMonday, September 16, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presented by: Daniel Abrams Illinois State Water Survey
The accuracy of modeling well-stream interactions is dependent on both the proper geometric representation of the groundwater sinks and an appropriate detailing of hydrogeologic complexity. The analytic element model GFLOW represents surface waters and wells as line sinks and point sinks, respectively; hence it can accurately model the geometry of groundwater sinks. However, GFLOW is a single layer model that requires lumping of geologic complexities with depth. Alternatively, the finite difference model MODFLOW divides an aquifer into a three-dimensional grid and hence is superior to the analytic element method for representing hydrogeologic complexity. However, on a regional scale, MODFLOW cell sizes are often prohibitively large for modeling well-stream interactions.
A steady-state hybrid model has been proposed whereby the upper layer or layers of a coarse MODFLOW model are replaced by the analytic element model GFLOW. The two models are coupled by applying cell-by-cell leakage from the lower MODFLOW layers to the bottom of the GFLOW model. This hybrid model is applied to a sub-domain of the USGS model of the Lake Michigan Basin. Base flow estimates in the hybrid model are generally improvements over the original MODFLOW model when compared to a “reference” MODFLOW model with a fine mesh. The hybrid model is particularly successful in predicting base flow reductions due to nearby pumping, provided the well occurs in the GFLOW portion of the model.
ISGS Seminar Series: Rise of the Civil Robots (With Drone Flying Demo)Monday, September 23, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presented by: Joshua M. Peschel Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Peschel will discuss the use of unmanned land, sea, and aerial systems for civil and environmental engineering with specific focus on the human-robot interaction necessary for these types of systems to be of practical use in the field. A new human-robot interface for ad hoc Mission Specialists that provides role-specific visual common ground and permits shared control of the robot’s payload camera and verbal coordination with the Pilot will be discussed. Results from field experiments with 26 ad hoc responders show that the new interface provides greater role empowerment and up to two times faster task completion for untrained users. Formative observations from the field studies suggest: i) establishing common ground is both verbal and visual, ii) type of coordination (active or passive) preferred by the Mission Specialist is affected by command-level experience and perceived responsibility for the robot, and iii) a separate Pilot role is necessary regardless of preferred coordination type. This research is of importance to human-robot interaction researchers and practitioners, as well as those in the fields of robotics, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence, because it found that a human Pilot role is necessary for assistance and understanding, and that there are hidden dependencies in the human-robot team that affect Mission Specialist performance.
ISGS Seminar Series: Coupling SEAWAT and TOUGH2 Models to Protect Regional Groundwater QualityMonday, September 30, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presented by: Nathaniel Adams ISGS and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois
The Mt. Simon Formation, the basal sandstone reservoir in the Illinois Basin, is the storage reservoir for a geologic carbon sequestration (GCS) project in central Illinois (USA). The Mt. Simon is a highly saline reservoir at the injection location (Macon County), but it is a source of drinking water in Wisconsin. In the current study, we seek to couple two codes to improve our understanding of the possible effects of potential future commercial-scale GCS projects in the south on underground drinking water sources in the Illinois Basin. TOUGH2 is suitable for simulating multiphase and variable density flow problems such as GCS, while SEAWAT is suitable for variable density, groundwater flow problems.
Rather than using a single TOUGH2 model, coupling SEAWAT and TOUGH2 lowers the computational cost of modeling this system, allowing the impacts of the GCS project (increasing formation pressure) and groundwater pumping (reducing formation pressure) to be analyzed more efficiently. The use of the SEAWAT model also allows us to incorporate current and projected freshwater pumping data developed for a calibrated MODFLOW model. The migration of native brine and its impact on freshwater drinking sources will be investigated by passing pressure and salt concentration data between the models at specific time steps.
ISGS Seminar Series: No seminar due to MGSC conference (Champaign)Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:00am
No seminar due to MGSC conference (Champaign)
ISGS Seminar Series: Coal Resources and Water Inrush in ChinaMonday, October 14, 2013 - 11:00am
Presented by: Donglin Dong, Professor and Head, Department of Geological Engineering and Environment, China University of Mining and Technology, Visiting Scholar at the Illinois State Geological Survey - Prairie Research Institute
China is the largest coal producer in the world. Northern China, especially Shanxi Province, contains the largest accessible coal reserves with current commercial mining techniques. Chinese coal production increased 8.1% to 2.38 billion tons from 2005 to 2006, and there was a historically high number of mining accidents in 2005. Among the accidents, water inrush had the second highest number superseded only by gas explosions. This talk will use Linnancang Coalmine as a case study to demonstrate a modeling study for coal mining regulation and decision making support.
The hydrogeology and geological formations in Linnancang Coalmine is very complicated. The aquitard that lies between Coal Seam # 14 and the underlying Limestone Aquifer # K3 is less than 20 m thick. The whole system contains at least 10 identified faults. The largest water inrush event in 2005 had flow of over 9.25 m3/min (2,444 gpm). A 3D numerical model was developed to simulate the coal seam and aquifer system. This study concluded that increasing the designed drainage capacity by 30 % is economical, feasible, and necessary to prevent future water inrush.
ISGS Seminar Series: Geostatistical Approaches to Characterizing the Hydrogeology of Glacial DriftMonday, October 21, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presented by: John Quinn, Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Geostatistical methods provide a means for exploring that correlation structure, allowing comparisons of results from different geomorphological settings and approaches. In this study, indicator geostatistics and transition probability geostatistics are applied to nearly 300 km of drilling data derived from over 11,000 private well drilling logs and over 200 high-quality well logs from monitoring well installation. Analyses are focused on a 12,000-km2 region in central Minnesota in a setting dominated by the late-Wisconsinan Rainy, Superior, and Wadena lobes.
Results for the numerous geomorphological settings indicate overlapping geostatistical ranges, sills, and vertical lens thicknesses. A lack of stationarity was observed, consistent with a fundamental complexity of glacial depositional and erosional processes. Correlation generally varied as much between geographically distinct zones of like geomorphology as it did between zones of different geomorphology. High-resolution data associated with monitoring well installation typically deviated from the private well data; this is attributed to site-specific geology and detailed logging of thin units. Overall results underscore the difficulty in correlative assumptions in glaciated regions.
About Dr. Quinn: John J. Quinn is a Principal Hydrogeologist at Argonne National Laboratory, where he works in various areas including water resources, the energy-water nexus, geostatistical estimation of radiologically contaminated soil, and phytoremediation. He has undergraduate degrees in Geology and Geo-Engineering from Purdue University and graduate degrees in Hydrogeology from the University of Minnesota.
ISGS Seminar Series: No seminar due to GSA conference (Denver)Monday, October 28, 2013 - 11:00am
No seminar due to GSA conference (Denver)
ISGS Seminar Series: Taphonomic Epiboles Generated by Distal Tempestites from the Maquoketa Shale (Richmondian) of Pike County, Northeastern MissouriMonday, November 4, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Presented by: Joseph Devera, Illinois State Geological Survey
Cyclical deposits of alternating silty, lime-mudstones and bluish-gray shale occur in the lower part of the Maquoketa Shale in northeastern Missouri. These beds are equivalent to the Elgin Member of the Scales Formation, Maquoketa Group of Iowa and northern Illinois. Cyclic obrution deposits containing exceptionally well preserved specimens of Isotelus iowensis (Owen) have been observed from 1 to 6 m above the contact with the Kimmswick Limestone. This series of beds fits the definition of a taphonomic epibole proposed by Brett and Baird. In some instances, preservation of the carbonized alimentary canal-wall is observed. Biostratinomy of the trilobite carcasses is random in certain beds: cephalic direction yields all points of the compass, some specimens are enrolled, others out-stretched upside down or right side up or at some angle to bedding.
Anoxic muds, near storm wave base were possibly stirred by massive paleo-hurricanes. As a result, fine sediment moved down gradient as a density “cloud” transporting some organisms and burying others. Besides articulated isotelids, other whole organisms are rare but include: delicate ramose bryozoans, crinoids, conularids, other trilobite species, graptolites, and brachiopods. Not all beds yield the articulated fauna. Some beds may have been generated by proximal tempestites, tsunamites and others show bioturbation.
ISGS Seminar Series: Medieval Medicine and Hydrogeology: Scanning Aquifers to Find CuresTuesday, November 5, 2013 - 3:30pm
Presented by: Todd Halihan, Professor, Department of Geology, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Halihan’s professional interests center in subsurface characterization and sustainable water supply. He has been an associate editor for Ground Water and has served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the U.S. Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. He served as the Chair of the Hydrogeology Division of the Geological Society of America for 2013. He is also the Chief Technical Officer for Aestus, LLC.
Dr. Halihan's expertise includes developing methods for site characterization and monitoring of NAPL using Electrical Resistivity Imaging and developing methods to integrate various hydrogeophysical datasets. Dr. Halihan has geophysical experience including resistivity, electromagnetic methods, and ground penetrating radar. His hydrogeological experience includes developing analytical models for fractured and karstic aquifers and well testing techniques. Dr. Halihan has characterized numerous sites throughout the United States and abroad, including significant work in the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer of Oklahoma and the Great Artesian Basin of Australia.
ISGS Seminar Series: Oxidation of Sulfide Minerals: from Acid Mine Drainage to Life on MarsMonday, November 11, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Department of Geology
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Pyrite is the most abundant metal sulfide in nature and, therefore, has a major influence on the biogeochemical cycles of iron, sulfur, and oxygen. Oxidation of sulfide minerals near the Earth’s surface in the presence of water and oxygen frequently results in production of highly acidic, sulfate-rich solutions known as acid drainage (AD). Acid drainage is commonly associated with the extraction and processing of sulfide-bearing metalliferous ore deposits, sulfide-rich coal, and weathering of metalliferous black shales.
Recently, much interest has focused on sulfide oxidation due to the discovery of sulfate minerals on Mars and the similarity of Martian mineral assemblages with minerals associated with AD on Earth. Furthermore, the intrinsic association of sulfate minerals with liquid water is consistent with surface or near-surface water being present during Martian history. Various scenarios have been proposed for sulfate formation on Mars, including hydrothermal alteration, precipitation from evaporating brines, and volcanic aerosols. However, to date, there is no comprehensive understanding of the oxidative mechanism which satisfactory explains all the observed features. By studying Earth-analog habitats, such as the AD environments and the biological communities associated with them on Earth, we have a unique opportunity to understand both extreme environments here on Earth, including the self-contained biomes, and habitability potential of Mars.
ISGS Seminar Series: Precambrian Paleotopography in the Eastern Midwest and Ontario - Possible Analogs for Canada, Brazil, and AfricaFriday, November 15, 2013 - 10:00am to 10:30am
Presented by: Dr. Paul Potter, Emeritus Professor of Geology, University of Cincinnati
This talk is based on a lifelong casual interest in the paleotopography of the base of the Mount Simon in the Eastern Midwest, a two week visit to the central Sahara in 1970, and seven years spent in Brazil. The Sahara of south central Algeria has an arid climate and large areas of exposed Precambrian, whereas Brazil has a tropical to subtropical climate and the Precambrian underlies most of its surface. A few facts about four existing monadnocks in the eastern Midwest will be presented. First, we could learn much from the exposed Precambrian topography of these areas. Secondly, we could marshal what we know of the top of the Precambrian from our existing deep wells. In broad view, what we really need is a physiographic map of our basement much as N. M. Fenneman made 80 to 90 years ago of the United States, one that would also show the limits of its major paleo watersheds.
ISGS Seminar Series: What’s lurking in the basement? Recent insight into basement features in IndianaFriday, November 15, 2013 - 10:30am to 11:00am
Presented by: Dr. Rachel Walker, Senior Geologist, CountryMark, Indianapolis, IN.
This talk is designed to inspire discussion about the much overlooked basement of Indiana and Illinois through the use of reprocessed public magnetic data and newly acquired magnetic and seismic imaging. The data illustrates that there is a lot more action down at the basement level than indicated in prior literature and this has potential implications for oil and gas exploration in both states.
ISGS Seminar Series: Ongoing Issues with Lower Pennsylvanian StrataMonday, November 18, 2013 - 11:00am
Nathan Webb, Assistant Petroleum Geologist
Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute
Pennsylvanian sedimentary strata in the Illinois Basin (ILB) are an important economic resource. These rocks provide building materials, road base, coal, and petroleum, and in addition may provide a future reservoir for the geologic storage of anthropogenic CO2. Early interest in the economic resources of Pennsylvanian rocks led to efforts to understand this dynamic period of Earth history. The assembly of Pangaea during the Pennsylvanian through the collision of Laurentia with Gondwana caused major orogenic events that impacted the development of epeirogenic basins and deposition of sediments therein. Glaciation in the southern hemisphere created climate variability, sea-level fluctuations, and differentiation of geographic occurrences of biota. Precipitation trends over different time scales in the equatorial zones varied from humid to perhumid conditions to seasonal and seasonally-dry conditions, which impacted sediment flux into the basin. All of these factors affected the deposition of Pennsylvanian sediments.
This talk will review some of the history of geologic study of Pennsylvanian rocks, present a range of unresolved issues with the Pennsylvanian of the ILB, and explain why the ILB provides an excellent laboratory for the study of these rocks. Some of the issues that will be discussed include sedimentation in, and the architecture of, early Pennsylvanian channel fill deposits, the difficulty in developing reliable regional stratigraphic frameworks for lower Pennsylvanian strata that lack marker beds, and the relative importance of autocyclic and allocyclic controls on Pennsylvanian cyclothems. Through the synthesis of a world class database and the application of modern sedimentological and sequence stratigraphic techniques, some resolution may be sought for a handful of these issues.
ISGS Seminar Series: Critical Zone Observatory Network for Intensively Managed Landscapes (IML-CZO)Monday, December 2, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Dr. Praveen Kumar, Lovell Endowed Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Intensively managed landscapes, regions of significant land use change, serve as a cradle for economic prosperity. However, the intensity of change is responsible for unintended deterioration of our land and water environments. By understanding present day dynamics in the context of long-term co-evolution of the landscape, soil and biota, IML-CZO aims to support the assessment of short- and long-term resilience of the crucial ecological, hydrological and climatic services. IML-CZO is one of nine Critical Zone Observatories funded by the National Science Foundation to study the complex processes from the top of the canopy to the weathering zone below ground in a watershed context. IML-CZO consists of two primary sites (Upper Sangamon Basin in Illinois and Clear Creek Watershed in Iowa) and a partner site (Minnesota River Basin) to capture the geological diversity of the low relief glaciated and tile-drained landscape. This talk will provide a broad introduction to the goals and strategy being formulated for IML-CZO in the general context of the CZO program.
ISGS Special Seminar: The Role of Shale Gas in the US Energy FutureTuesday, December 3, 2013 - 2:00pm
Scott W. Tinker
Director, Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and State Geologist of Texas
The development of unconventional reservoirs followed a different path from conventional reservoirs. Independent producers led the way in US shale. In the mid 2000's, the international oil companies realized that they could grow long-term reserve positions, and the acquisition rush was on. Ironically, in the United States, land that had been broken into ever smaller tracts for nearly a century was once again being aggregated into larger, contiguous tracts in the onshore US shale gas plays. Low natural gas prices followed the increase in shale gas production. Some independents adapted quickly and led the charge into shales with natural gas liquids and oil: the Bakken in North Dakota followed by the Eagle Ford in South Texas. And once again, the major oil companies followed with acquisitions of independent producing companies in these and other shale oil plays. Where does shale stand today? There are international opportunities in shale, but those carry higher costs and political risks. There are offshore shale gas and oil, but those require expensive infrastructure and new regulatory policies. There are also the existing shale plays. Recent work on shale gas reserves and production at the Bureau of Economic Geology shows that significant economic drilling opportunities remain in the better quality and higher liquids areas.
Scott W. Tinker is director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the State Geologist of Texas, and a professor holding the Allday Endowed Chair and acting Associate Dean of Research in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and director of the Advanced Energy Consortium. Scott is past President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Association of American State Geologists, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. Tinker is a Fellow of the GSA; has received the American Geoscience Institute Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences award, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists John T. Galey, Sr., Memorial Public Service Award. Scott has given over 500 invited and keynote lectures in nearly 50 countries to groups of all kinds, and most recently co-produced and is featured in the acclaimed documentary, SWITCH. Tinker’s degrees are from the University of Colorado, the University of Michigan, and Trinity University.
Depositional settings of strata deposited during the late Paleozoic Ice AgeFriday, December 6, 2013 - 11:00am
John L. Isbell
Department of Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Traditional interpretations of depositional environments during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age (LPIA) utilized the occurrence or absence of diamictites, grooved surfaces, and outsized clasts to identify glacial deposits, and hence the size and duration of glacial events. Under this paradigm, diamictites were identified as subglacial tills, grooved surfaces as subglacially produced erosion surfaces, and outsized clasts as iceberg rafted debris. Such interpretations resulted in overestimation of the size and duration of Gondwana glaciers. Recent advances in clastic facies models recognize that multiple processes can produce diamictites, grooved surfaces and outsized clasts. This talk provides a broad overview of the depositional processes and products that occurred during the LPIA and that are being employed to redefine Gondwana glaciation.
ISGS Seminar Series: A Diplomatic Mission to Guangzhou, ChinaMonday, December 9, 2013 - 11:00am
Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute
A string of coincidences led to my joining a official delegation from the City of Urbana to Sister City Haizhu District of Guangzhou (third largest city in China) in July, and leading a delegation of US and Malawian members in November. The itinerary of the missions took months of negotiations to include visits to waste management facilities – two sewage treatment plants and an incinerator, sites that the US Consulate General had been unable to visit. The request to visit waste facilities surprised the hosts and led to an interesting trip that was quite revealing about the culture and character of China.
The seminar will include description of historic places in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Xian, and Beijing; a meeting with the Guangzhou Geological Survey; visit to Sun Yat-Sen University, and eating and shopping in China. That this was all done for a development project in Zomba, Malawi but began in Urbana.