ISGS - December 2006 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
ISGS Presents Awards
Three friends of the ISGS and six staff members were honored at the 2006 Illinois State Geological Survey Awards Program, held December 8, 2006. The awards were presented in recognition of the outstanding contributions of these individuals for the benefit of the people of Illinois. Nominations are made by staff members, and a committee of staff selects the recipients. Edmund W. Murphy, Past President of the Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund, received an Outstanding Cooperator Award in recognition of his long relationship with the ISGS in investigating and educating the public on mine subsidence damage. Mark Rood, Ph.D., also received an Outstanding Cooperator Award in recognition of his long-term dedication in working with the ISGS on many research and development programs in the field of energy and environmental engineering. Senator Richard J. Winkel, Jr., was honored as an Outstanding Advocate in appreciation of his strong support of ISGS programs and his interest, advice, and diligence in ensuring adequate appropriations for geological research and information.
The Outstanding Contribution to Survey Health and Safety Award went to Alan E. Metcalf in recognition of his long-standing efforts in organizing ISGS blood drives. Outstanding New Staff Member Award went to Vicki E. Salzman in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the ISGS through her initiative, cheerfulness, and customer-oriented service of ISGS computers. The Distinguished Achievement Award was given to Robert J. Finley, Ph.D., in recognition of his outstanding leadership in energy research and policy, with a focus on "cradle-to-grave" carbon management. Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Leon R. Follmer, Ph.D., in recognition of his more than thirty-five years of outstanding achievements and leadership in the field of paleopedology and Ardith K. Hansel, Ph.D., in recognition of her more than thirty years of outstanding achievements and leadership in the field of Quaternary geology. A new award, the Chief's Special Recognition Award, went to Joel M. Dexter, in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding work highlighting the Survey's activities through his beautiful photography of the people and places in Illinois. (Contact: B. Herzog)
2005 Orthoimagery Data Distribution
Compressed 2005 United States Geological Survey (USGS) orthoimagery has recently been made available online via the Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse (Illinois Clearinghouse) Orthophotography combines the image characteristics of an aerial photograph with the geometric qualities of a map. In a digital format, orthoimagery fulfills a fundamental role as a map base. The detailed 2005 data are useful to government, academia, and the private sector for many location-based disciplines.
For efficient management online, the orthophotography is split into two distinct collections. The first data collection covers the six-county Chicago urban area (CUA). This aerial imagery was collected on color film during the leaf-off period of spring 2005. Created in two projections, this data set comprises 8,892 data tiles. Uncompressed, the files require 630 gigabytes of disk space; the compressed files require 79 gigabytes.
The second data collection is the National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) collection, which contains the remaining 96 Illinois counties. Aerial imagery was collected on black and white film during the leaf-off period of spring 2005. Created in two projections, this data collection comprises 7,885 Digital Orthophoto Quarter Quadrangle (DOQQ) files. Uncompressed data require 1.5 terabytes of disk space; compressed data take 153 gigabytes of space.
Illinois NAPP data files were made available online on October 4, 2006. More than 125,000 data files were downloaded in the first month. Chicago urban area files were made available online on April 27, 2006. During the first six months of availability, over 711,000 data files were downloaded from the Illinois Clearinghouse, an average of 3,783 files per day. The highest demand came in August 2006, which averaged 8,612 files downloaded per day. With this signature achievement, the ISGS provided over 8,600 in-demand products to customers within Illinois, the Midwest, and the United States daily.
Prior to the first data delivery, USGS and ISGS staff publicized the creation and imminent release of these data sets. The project team fielded many inquiries about the overall collection details and the date of initial release. Among inquiries from federal agencies and Illinois state, regional, and county agencies and municipalities were notable requests from other organizations including Google, Mapquest, Microsoft Earth, Navteq, the Nature Conservancy, the National Weather Service, and FutureGen partner agency representatives. (Contact: R. Krumm)
ISGS Presentation Earns Honors
An ISGS presentation has received the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Division of Environmental Geosciences Best Paper Award at the Eastern Section AAPG meeting in Buffalo, New York, in October 2006. The presentation, authored by H.E. Leetaru, J. Freiburg, J. Rupp, and J. McBride and titled "Evaluation of Deep Saline Reservoirs and Entrapment for Carbon Sequestration Using Seismic Reflection Data," is abstracted in the 2006 Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting Abstracts, October 8-10, Buffalo, New York, page 26. The actual award will be presented to the authors in September 2007. (Contact: H. Leetaru)
Log Scanning Project Update
More than 63,800 paper files of well logs have been scanned, marking the approximate halfway point in a project that began in September 2005 with the hiring of several student hourly assistants. The rate of scanning logs was doubled to approximately 1,000 weekly in May 2006 with the purchase of a second scanner. Scanning for the state should be completed in the next 12 to 18 months. Once completed, access to log images will be available for a fee through the ILOIL Web site and through a link on the well summary page. The ISGS Database Committee supported these proposals for ISGS funding at an annual level of $20,000 to $30,000. (Contact: B. Seyler)
Mercury Emission Control Research
Five mercury emission control-related research projects are currently in progress. In two recently funded U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) projects, ISGS engineers are the key technical staff focusing on developing advanced mercury sorbents with low impact on power plant operations, and for mercury capture from elevated acid gas flue gas streams. The results from these research projects will help increase mercury removal efficiency in sorbent injection processes without impacting the operation of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) or when removing mercury from burning a high-sulfur coal flue gas.
In two projects funded by the Illinois Clean Coal Institute, ISGS chemical engineers are addressing (1) techno-economic analysis of multi-pollutant control for Illinois high-sulfur coal and (2) mercury life cycle assessment. Five site-specific techno-economic studies are being performed to identify factors that influence the cost of installation of wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems for Illinois bituminous coal and FGD, SCR, and mercury control for Powder River Basin coal. Utilities can use the results of this study in making their mercury, SO2, and NOx compliance decisions.
The goal of an ongoing study, supported by the Electric Power Research Institute, is to gain a better understanding of how various properties of the unburned carbon (UBC) in fly ash can impact the extent of capture and oxidation of mercury released from coal during combustion in utility boilers. Differences in the types of boilers and/or the operating practices of the power plants have been found to have a strong effect on the ability of the UBC particles in the fly ash to capture and/or oxidize the mercury in the flue gases. Data also have revealed that the particle size of unburned carbon, rather than the total amount of unburned carbon in fly ash, is a key parameter that can be used to estimate mercury capture. The ultimate goal of the study is to develop technical know-how that could help coal-fired power plants maximize in-flight capture and oxidation of mercury by manipulating the characteristics of the unburned carbon particles in their fly ash. (Contact: M. Rostam-Abadi)
ISGS Filter Press
An ISGS engineer has developed a patent-pending filtration process for dewatering of coal fines. The process will potentially help coal mining operations recover cleaner fine coal with low-moisture content at a time when coal processing plants handle increasingly larger quantities of fine-grained materials generated either during mining, transportation, or processing. In an Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI)-funded project, completed November 30, 2005, the ISGS team completed design and fabrication of an industrial-size filter press weighing about ten tons. A number of successful shake-down tests were performed with the unit at the Coal Research Park, Carterville, Illinois, to evaluate the performance of the unit. The filter press was moved to Champaign for storage. A draft final report was submitted to ICCI. ISGS staff members are planning to submit a proposal to ICCI to perform a field demonstration of the filter press at a coal preparation plant during the next phase of the program. (Contact: L. Khan)
Staff Member Assists Coordination Between Agencies and Railroads
In connection with a major roadway planning project in the Bedford Park area, an ISGS staff member met with representatives of the Belt Railway of Chicago (BRC), CSX Railroad (CSXT), Illinois Department of Transportation, and Edwards and Kelcey Engineering of Chicago. This meeting was held at the BRC offices in Bedford Park. Central Avenue alignment alternatives were reviewed and discussed, as well as logistical planning for the Phase II detailed design activities. These activities are to include an ISGS environmental site assessments special waste screening program. (Contact: M. Collier)
Updated 07/14/2011 SLD