ISGS Seminar Series Spring 2013
Survey seminars are held Mondays at 11am in the Natural Resources Building, Room 101.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Precambrian Topography in the Illinois Basin
January 7, 2013
Presented by Hannes Leetaru, Illinois State Geological Survey
The Cambrian Mt. Simon Sandstone is the most important carbon sink available for CO2 sequestration in the heavily industrialized Midwest. In the Illinois
Basin, the lower Mt. Simon Sandstone is interpreted to have been deposited in a Precambrian rift basin that formed during the breakup of the supercontinent
Rodinia. Rifting provided accommodation space for the deposition of over 2,600 feet (792 meters) of Mt. Simon siliciclastic sediments. The characterization
and operation of a CCS site is improved by understanding Precambrian basement topography and its effect on Mt. Simon Sandstone deposition.
The Illinois Basin – Decatur Project (IBDP) is a one million tonne CCS demonstration project located in Macon County, Illinois. IBDP began injection of CO2 into the Mt. Simon Sandstone in November 2011. Geologic modeling is being used to better understand CO2 plume migration as a function of Precambrian basement impact. Three-dimensional seismic reflection data suggests as much as 200 feet (61 meters) of Precambrian topographic relief is present in the study area. The Mt. Simon Sandstone appears to thin over topographic highs and thicken in the valleys. The best reservoir quality rocks were encountered in alluvial fan and braided river deposits of the lower Mt. Simon with average porosities of 22% and permeabilities of 200 mD. Regional mapping suggests that these lower Mt. Simon reservoirs are prevalent within the rift basin. Both seismic reflection data and well control data suggest that the braided river deposits formed significant lateral and vertical reservoir heterogeneity that may impact the prediction of plume migration.
Download 1/07 Seminar Flyer
Illinois Episode Glaciation in Illinois
January 14, 2013
Presented by Dave Grimley,, Illinois State Geological Survey
The Illinois Episode penultimate glaciation was the most influential Pleistocene glaciation that affected the landscape and surficial deposits in the central, western, and southern
parts of Illinois. Glaciers covered 90 % of the state during the peak of this glaciation (sometime ~ 160 to 135 thousand years ago) and left a varied assemblage of glacial, fluvial,
eolian, and lacustrine deposits, along with associated constructional and erosional landforms. This seminar will discuss interesting aspects of the history, chronology, geomorphology,
fossils, paleoecology, paleoclimate, glacial processes, and present-day societal influences of the Illinois Episode glaciation.
Download 1/14 Seminar Flyer
Ecosystem Function under Multiple Stressors: Effects of Tree Species Loss and Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Forest Nitrogen Retention
January 28, 2013
Presented by Jennifer Frateriggo, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Multiple interacting stressors are generating unprecedented challenges to ecosystem resilience, necessitating efforts to understand how ecosystems will respond to concurrent biotic and abiotic changes. To address this need, we examined the effects of Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) loss due to an exotic insect on nitrogen retention at three elevations (low, mid, high) subject to increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition in mixed hardwood stands in western North Carolina.
We found that nitrogen pools and fluxes varied substantially with elevation: total forest floor and mineral soil nitrogen increased and forest floor and soil carbon to nitrogen ratio decreased with elevation, suggesting that these high elevation pools are accumulating available nitrogen.
Contrary to expectations, subsurface leaching of inorganic nitrogen was minimal overall and was not higher in stands with hemlock mortality. Moreover,
although nitrogen loss increased with nitrogen availability in reference stands, there was no relationship between nitrogen availability and loss in stands
experiencing hemlock decline. Higher foliar nitrogen and observed increases in the growth of hardwood species in high elevation stands suggest that hemlock
decline has stimulated nitrogen uptake by healthy vegetation within this mixed forest, and may thereby contribute to decoupling the relationship between nitrogen
deposition and ecosystem nitrogen loss.
Download 1/28 Seminar Flyer
Oblivious to the Obvious: On Plugging Multiple ‘Missing in Action’ Bioturbation Holes in our Explanatory Earth Surface Process Models—in Archaeology, Ecology, Geomorphology, Pedology and Quaternary Geology
February 11, 2013
Presented by Don Johnson, U. of I. Professor Emeritus and Diana N. Johnson, U. of I. retiree, Geosciences Consultants, Champaign, IL
As earth surface process investigators and teachers we regularly remind people that science is self-correcting and no stone is left unturned in our quest for truth and
understanding. Such a lofty and desirable goal is best met under two conditions. One is that we have confidence that our explanatory models are viable and reliable, and they
reasonably explain the range of problems that confront us and answer the questions that we raise. If they aren’t reliable, and fall short in explaining some things, then we must
correct and expand them. The second is that we should always question the status quo—but do so respectfully. Our historic disciplinary gatekeepers and ‘giants’ may not always
have been right, but they gave it their best shot, and we who stand on their shoulders and may have different, possibly better, views should respect that. One way to advance our
respective disciplines is to make a conscious effort to “think outside the box”, and one tried, tested, and true method is to carefully examine the literature that is peripheral
to our immediate field of endeavor, and indeed if necessary well beyond it. In this talk we discuss how concepts of bioturbation, which comprises a wide and complex set of
fundamentally important earth surface processes, have been largely ‘missing in explanatory action’ in the traditional Earth Science fields for well over 100 years, and some
consequences for these fields.
Download 2/11 Seminar Flyer
Detection, Isolation and Characterization of Iron-Reducing Bacteria Inhabiting Deep Subsurface of the Illinois Basin, Illinois
March 4, 2013
Presented by Yiran Dong, Department of Geology, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
The deeply buried Cambrian-age Mt. Simon Sandstone within the Illinois Basin contains widely distributed iron oxide cements and warm briny formation water with high concentrations
(0.8-2.0 mM) of dissolved ferrous iron. Active iron reducers were successfully isolated from the formation water collected at a subsurface depth of 1.7-2.02 km of this geological
formation and characterized.
Download 3/4 Seminar Flyer
The (Social) Science of Work Teams
March 11, 2013
Presented by Eric Neuman, Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois
Work in all types of organizations—including scientific organizations such as those within the Prairie Research Institute—is increasingly done in teams. Although teams are assembled for technical reasons, it is often the social connections that a team’s members have to one another and to people outside their team that allows the team to realize its full potential. In this seminar, I will address some aspects of how social connections may matter for teams—but also why research in this area has struggled to provide clear guidance on the issue. I will start by briefly reviewing the literature on two areas of social connections—conflict and networks—with respect to work teams. I will then present results from a study I conducted with a Fortune 100 financial services firm that further investigates conflict and networks and sheds light on how these different types of social connections are related. Following this, I will present preliminary findings from a study of work teams that I conducted at three of the Illinois State Scientific Surveys this past Fall semester. Time permitting, I will conclude by discussing future directions for both the analysis of this data from the Surveys as well as for work team research more generally.
Download 3/11 Seminar Flyer
Two Centuries On: Historical Archaeology and the War of 1812
March 25, 2013
Presented by Mark Brastner, Historical Archaeologist ISAS
Lasting from only 1812-15, America’s “second war of independence” had a profound effect on the young nation. Despite the relatively short-term nature of the conflict, nearly the entire country was affected, including several locations in Illinois. Recent work by a consortium of avocational and professional archaeologists has led to the rediscovery of one of those long-lost sites – Fort Johnson/Cantonment Davis on the Mississippi River near Warsaw, Illinois. As presented here, archaeological testing has resulted in the identification of structural remains, domestic debris, and an extensive assemblage of artifacts associated with the former military garrison that sheds new light on what is an otherwise underappreciated chapter in Illinois history.
Download 3/25 Seminar Flyer
Undrained Shear Strength of Submarine Slopes
April 1, 2013
Presented by Cassandra J. Rutherford, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
An important aspect of risk assessment for offshore structures and submarine infrastructure is an evaluation of nearby submarine slope stability. Analysis and modeling of submarine stability slopes require knowledge of numerous soil parameters and relies on the selection of appropriate shear strength values. However, most experimental results in the literature for fine grained soils concentrate on one-dimensional response, both for monotonic and cyclic tests. Although the traditional direct simple shear device has been used to investigate cyclic loading effects on marine clay, it does not allow for complex loading conditions, which often contribute to the failure on submarine slopes.
A new advanced geotechnical laboratory testing device for the determination of undrained shear strength of marine sediments on submarine slopes under complex loading patterns is
presented. The multi-directional simple shear device (MDSS) allows loading along three independent axes, two perpendicular horizontal directions to allow any stress or strain paths in th
horizontal plane, and a third in the vertical direction. Solving many of the limitations of previous types of multi-directional direct simple shear devices, this prototype provides the
ability to apply shear stresses and complex loading paths to soil samples. This work encompasses the design, machining, and construction of the main testing device as well as the support
systems. State-of-the-art control, loading, and data acquisition systems were developed to allow testing in a large range of frequencies and stress paths. The experimental program focuse
on investigating the effects of anisotropy and shearing rate of Gulf of Mexico clay subjected to cyclic loading.
Download 4/1 Seminar Flyer
Depositional and Diagenetic History of the Cambrian Mt. Simon Sandstone and the Relationship to Illinois Basin Evolution
April 15, 2013
Presented by Jared Freiburg, ISGS
The Cambrian-age Mt. Simon Sandstone is the primary reservoir for large-scale CO2 sequestration for the Illinois Basin Decatur Project. This sandstone is ~1,600’ thick at the site; 752’ of it was selectively cut as it represented major depositional and diagenetic facies. The Upper, Middle, and Lower divisions reflect the beginning of the Sauk Sequence transgression (Upper) and there are two repeating depositional sequences (Middle and Lower). The Mt. Simon is thickest in east-central to northern Illinois and does not correlate with the Illinois Basin’s depocenter. However, the overlying Eau Claire and subsequent formations thicken towards the depocenter of the basin in southeastern Illinois implying that major evolution of the basin occurred between the deposition of the Mt. Simon and the Eau Claire.
Although the Middle and Lower Mt. Simon are depositionally similar, there are major diagenetic differences controlling reservoir properties. The Lower Mt. Simon maintains excellent
primary porosity and permeability with the addition of some secondary porosity, while the Middle Mt. Simon is very tight as a result of compaction and quartz cementation. Differences
between two very similar depositional and lithological sequences imply diagenetic changes between the Middle and Lower Mt. Simon that may reflect changing rates of deposition and burial
in the evolving basin depocenters.
Download 4/15 Seminar Flyer
Flood Risk Management
April 22, 2013
Presented by Sally McConkey, ISWS
As manager of the Coordinated Hazard Assessment and Mapping Program at the Illinois State Water Survey and Chair of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, Sally will discuss the
meaning of flood risk management and Federal Agency roles in flood risk management; the National Flood Insurance Program; and Mitigation. There will also be an overview of the impact of the
National Flood Insurance Program Reform Act of 2012.
Download 4/22 Seminar Flyer
Characterization of the Mt. Simon in the Midcontinent: Geological Considerations for Commercial-Scale, Multi-Well Injection
May 6, 2013
Presented by Charles Monson, ISGS
Commercial-scale CO2 storage efforts from multiple wells or sites in the Mt. Simon Sandstone of the Illinois Basin will cause pressure buildup and brine displacement outside of the immediate area of injection. Geologic features within the Basin and heterogeneity within the reservoir in the surrounding states will govern the magnitude of these phenomena. These features include heterogeneity of lithology, changes between depositional environments, Precambrian highs, and outcrops and subcrops of both the sink (Mt. Simon) and the seal (Eau Claire). Isopach and structure maps of the Mt. Simon in states adjacent to the Basin will be presented as a first step in anticipating flow directions and storage resource within the regional formation. Site-specific MVA protocols are well established, but much less work has been completed for large-scale regional MVA that may be cooperative between multiple sequestration storage site operators. Large-scale MVA efforts can ensure safe and responsible long-term storage of CO2 in the Illinois Basin.
Download 5/06 Seminar Flyer
The Siluro-Devonian play along the Mt. Auburn trend, Macon and Christian Counties: Recent discoveries, reservoir facies, and future potential
May 13, 2013
Presented by Yaghoob Lasemi, ISGS
One of the hottest petroleum plays in the Illinois Basin is the “Siluro-Devonian” in the southeastern margin of the Mt. Auburn trend along the southern flank of the Sangamon Arch, central
Illinois. The play includes multiple geologically related prospects within the unconformity bounded Middle Silurian and Middle Devonian strata at an average depth of 2000’. The Mt. Auburn
trend area has been a hot place of activity since 2010 with many companies obtaining acreage positions for exploration. In 2011 and 2012, a number of prolific wells were completed in Macon and
Christian Counties, respectively. The number of drilling permits that were granted for oil and gas exploration in the Silurian along the Mt. Auburn trend rose sharply in 2010, which may
reflect recent geological investigation of the Mt. Auburn trend oil fields at the ISGS. Production is from porosity zones developed in the Middle Devonian Lingle and the Middle Silurian Racine
Formations. The Lingle reservoir, the “Hibbard Sand” pay zone, is a porous dolomite, sandy dolomite, dolomitized sandstone, or limestone. The Middle Silurian reservoir is a porous dolomite
that exists near the Middle Devonian zero isopach contour line. Depositional and diagenetic models that will be presented could help in defining the approximate location of potential
Siluro-Devonian reservoirs in the unexplored areas of the Mt. Auburn trend.
Download 5/13 Seminar Flyer
Updated 05/01/13 mj