ISGS - November 2005 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
Dr. Henry Vaux, Jr. speaks at the
ISGS and ISWS Host Midwest Ground Water Conference
Nearly 170 groundwater scientists, engineers, and policy makers from twelve states and one Canadian province attended the 50th Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference held in Urbana, November 1-3, 2005. The keynote address was given by Dr. Henry Vaux, Jr., former chair of the National Research Council Water and Technology Board. The address was titled "Our Growing National Water Problem: Is Research the Answer?" Other highlighted speakers were Tom Prickett, the author of well-known, widely used software for groundwater modeling, and Kevin McCray, Executive Director of the National Ground Water Association. Prickett gave an entertaining, very interesting history of ground water modeling, and McCray spoke on groundwater trends in the Midwest. Nine ISGS staff members gave presentations, and several additional staff members provided support to the conference. (Contact: B. Herzog)
Limestone for Coal Desulfurization
Zak Lasemi submitted the final contract report entitled Inventory of Illinois Limestone Resources for FGD and FBC Desulfurization Units to the Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI). The report dealt with mapping and characterization of limestone and dolomite resources in the northern half of the state and nearby counties of Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The inventory and characterization of limestone and dolomite resources are essential for promoting increased utilization of high-sulfur Illinois coal. To achieve this goal, the Illinois State Geological Survey began an ICCI-funded project for the September 03-August 04 funding cycle to locate and characterize limestone resources near utility sites in the southern half of the state. Phase II of the project completed during the September 04-August 05 funding period, concentrated on the inventory and characterization of limestone and dolomite resources in the northern half of the state. The results of the Phase II of the project include (a) chemical, mineralogical, and physical data for 100 representative samples; and (b) a GIS-based digital database and map showing the location of active limestone and dolomite quarries, the transportation network, and the location of existing coal-fired power plants. Reactivity of selected limestone and dolomite layers with respect to sulfur oxide capture under flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) and fluidized-bed combustion (FBC) conditions were also measured. Results from this study complement those from Phase I and provide a database and maps on the quality and distribution of scrubber stone resources needed for Illinois coal-fired power plants. The information from these studies will be useful to the utility industry, limestone producers, and government agencies to facilitate acquisition of the best scrubbing agent for the FGD or FBC systems to be used at existing or planned coal-fired power plants. (Contacts: Z. Lasemi and M. Rostam-Abadi)
Centennial Lecture Series Continues With "The Secret Search for Diamonds in North America"
Dr. William Shilts, left, presents
Kevin Krajick with a commerative
The audience was invited to share the experiences of two modern-day explorers as they traced an obscure and mystifying trail of geological clues through the northern Canadian wilderness to the location of the Ekati Diamond Mine in "The Secret Search for Diamonds in North America." This was the title of the talk presented by the second speaker in the ISGS Centennial Lecture Series, Kevin Krajick, to approximately 160 people at the Beckman Institute Auditorium on Thursday, November 3, 2005. Krajick signed copies of his critically acclaimed book, Barren Lands: An Epic Search of Diamonds in the North American Arctic, at a reception following the lecture. The ISGS has an interesting connection to this story. In the book's acknowledgments, Krajick gives credit to current ISGS Chief Bill Shilts "(who) served as expert advisor, preventing many mistakes". Before coming to the ISGS in 1995, Shilts spent twenty-five years at the Geological Survey of Canada where he became a noted expert on the deposits of continental glaciers. It is likely that Shilts' GSC-mandated research and techniques for conducting mineral exploration in remote arctic regions were extensively tapped by Fipke and Blusson in their diamond quest. Krajick's articles have appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Newsweek, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Science, Discover, Audubon, Smithsonian, and Natural History. Krajick is the only two-time winner of the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism. Krajick also spoke to University of Illinois students and others in Gregory Hall on Friday, November 4, 2005, and also spoke to students at Barkstall Elementary School in Champaign. Krajick told the fifth graders that many diamonds have been found by children, inspiring one girl to suggest to her friend that they spend their recess hunting for diamonds on the playground. (Contact: Jon Goodwin)
Groundwater Resource Investigations for Kendall County, Illinois
The ISGS and the ISWS are conducting a joint scientific study of the geology and groundwater resources of Kendall County, Illinois. The Surveys are providing technical information and support for the sustainable management and protection of groundwater resources by evaluating the long-term availability and sensitivity to contamination of groundwater resources in Kendall County. The ISGS is currently engaged in data mining and development of existing subsurface records and the collection of new subsurface data. Soil boring locations have been sited throughout Kendall County to add controlled data to existing shallow subsurface boring data sets. Additionally, four sites are being identified for the placement of nested piezometers where detailed sampling of drill cuttings will be collected. The piezometers also allow for the collection of hydrologic and geochemical data from shallow bedrock and unconsolidated aquifers. Surface geophysical data are being collected. Seismic reflection and shear wave seismic surveys have been conducted in two areas in eastern Kendall County. In an area southeast of Yorkville, a previously unmapped, buried bedrock valley has been identified with over 200 feet of fill; early results indicate that much of this fill is coarse sand and gravel, which could provide an additional groundwater resource for nearby communities. Further investigation of these deposits is ongoing, and one of the nested well sites is being relocated to this area. (Contact: E. Smith)
A Busy Month for PTTC Activities
The Midwest Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) and with the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, based at the ISGS, co-sponsored an in-depth workshop on the technical aspects of CO2 enhanced oil recovery. Held in Evansville, Indiana, this workshop attracted about 50 engineers, operators, and geologists from the Illinois Basin. Speakers included Scott Frailey from ISGS, two engineers from West Texas, and a speaker from a major chemical supply company who talked about control of corrosion. PTTC conducted a third workshop in its series of Well Pumper Operations and Safety Training workshops for oil well field hands in Salem, Illinois. The topics included pump operations and maintenance, electric motors, pump jacks, oil well chemicals and corrosion, and gas motors. Instructors came from service companies and operators within the Illinois Basin. This popular series was requested by oil companies to improve knowledge, safety and efficiency of field hands, many of whom are hired on contract. PTTC also set up two CO2 Sequestration Information Seminars, one in Springfield, Illinois, and one in Evansville, Indiana, to review accomplishments of the Phase I DOE-supported Midwest Sequestration Partnership study and plans for the forthcoming Phase I studies. (Contacts: D. Morse and S. Gustison)
Information for a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Article on Earthquake Effects
2001 Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) State Geologists' maps which show how soils will amplify earthquake ground motions in the central United States to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With permission, he also provided the CUSEC State Department of Transportation Task Force state emergency routes map. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is working on an extensive article on earthquake effects in the St. Louis metropolitan area. (Contact: R. Bauer)
Three ISGS publications were released this month. ISGS staff members co-authored twenty abstracts that were published this month; eighteen of these were presented by ISGS authors. Ten of the abstracts were published in OFS 2005-13, and most of the rest were published in the GSA Program with Abstracts. Five unpublished Preliminary Environmental Site Assessments were completed this month.
ISGS Circular 566. Declining Specific Capacity of High-Capacity Wells in the Mahomet Aquifer: Mineralogical and Biological Factors. S.V. Panno, K.C. Hackley, E. Mehnert, D.R. Larson, D. Canavan, and T.C. Young, 2005, 51 p.
OFS 2005-13. Program with Abstracts: 50th Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference. B.L. Herzog and H.A. Wehrmann, co-chairs, 2005, 77 p.
Open-File Series 2005-14. Annual Report for Active Wetland Compensation and Hydrologic Monitoring Sites, September 1,2004 to September 1, 2005: Illinois State Geological Survey. C.S. Fucciolo, S.E. Benton, K.W. Carr, M.V. Miller, J.J. Miner, E.T. Plankell, G.E. Pociask, B.J. Robinson, G.A. Shofner, and K.D. Weaver, 2005, 228 p.
Updated 07/19/2012 SLD