ISGS - July 2006 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
Yongqi Lu and Massoud Rostam-
Abadi with some of the testing
Study Completed on Markets for Activated Carbon from Corn Fiber
June 2006 saw the completion of a two-year project funded by the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR) to evaluate potential new markets for corn-fiber as a biobased feedstock for producing activated carbon. The study focused on developing an expanded market for corn fiber activated carbon for various pollution-control systems, particularly for the removal of volatile organic compounds from air streams and organic compounds from water streams. Corn-derived activated carbon was compared with two commercial activated carbons. On the basis of surface-area, the performances of the three activated carbons were equivalent for the systems tested. Calgon Carbon Corporation, the world's largest granular-activated carbon producer, has expressed interest in exploring the use of corn fiber for producing activated carbon and has met with ISGS researchers and others to discuss further testing. (Contact: M. Rostam-Abadi)
Sunrise at Illinois Beach State
Asbestos Task Force Report for Illinois Beach State Park Released
On June 23, 2006, the Office of the Attorney General released the final report of the Asbestos Task Force study, which examined asbestos contamination in beach sand at Illinois Beach State Park. The lead authors of the report are with the Great Lakes Center for Excellence in Environmental Health at University of Illinois at Chicago. An ISGS coastal geologist is a contributing author. This detailed study determined that there is no asbestos risk to public health for visitors to the state park. The report also provides recommendations for the continuing management of beach sand at the state park. (Contact: M. Chrzastowski)
Coal Education Workshop
ISGS staff members assisted the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Coal Development, at its 2006 Coal Education Conference in June giving conference presentations and helping to lead tours of coal mines in southern Illinois. More than 100 teachers, from grade school through high school levels, attended the four-day conference to learn about coal and obtain continuing-education credits by incorporating coal-based lessons into their teaching plans. ISGS staff presented talks to the teachers on coal formation and Illinois Basin stratigraphy, coal bed methane, and geological sequestration of CO2 in addition to providing posters, maps, demonstrations, and other visual aids. ISGS provided newly developed posters, which included maps of the coal geology and mined areas along with production data and related information, for the specific mine workings that were visited. Staff members also helped lead tours and answer questions during visits of surface and underground coal mines and coal-fueled power plants in southern Illinois. (Contact: D. Morse)
Transportation Research Board (TRB) Summer Workshop
Mark Yacucci and Brian Trask at
At the request of conference host Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), ISGS staff took on a major role in this annual summer conference, held in Chicago, Illinois. The conference included sessions on environmental site assessments for transportation projects; the new All Appropriate Inquiries standards for site assessments; waste management practices on the Dan Ryan Expressway reconstruction project; and numerous other topics related to environmental issues in transportation. At IDOT's invitation, ISGS scientists presented "Site Assessment Process Selected for the Chicago Regional Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program" and "Preliminary Environmental Assessment of a Corridor for a New Bridge over the Mississippi River." The ISGS booth contained a PowerPoint presentation on the ISGS-IDOT extranet, publications on site assessment case studies, and ISGS postcards, bookmarks, and other publications. One of the IDOT sponsors praised it as the best-prepared and most informative of the exhibits. (Contact: A. Erdmann)
Near and Far Science in Illinois (NFSI) Workshops
ISGS staff member Bob Vaiden talks during the workshop.
The Rock Island Regional Office of Education (ROE) has continued to fund ISGS participation in its NFSI workshops. One or two workshops have been taught annually Augusta College for almost 10 years. Each workshop has 20-25 participants, all of whom are elementary, middle, or high school teachers from the Rock Island ROE area, which covers several counties. Each workshop involves one day in the classroom and one day in the field. Classroom topics provide teachers with an overview of different areas of geology, such as geologic time, plate tectonics, stratigraphy, fossils, geologic resources, and the Ice Age. Much of the information is presented in the form of activities that teachers can use in their classes, and during the workshop, teachers are often "on the move" as one activity follows another. The field trips travel to local quarries and pits, fossil localities, and other areas that illustrate the geologic history of the area. This year's NFSI geology workshop was conducted by two ISGS geologists in June. Twenty-four teachers attended the workshop. The ISGS has already been requested to return in June 2007 for next year's NFSI workshop. (Contact: R. Vaiden)Evaluation of Seismic Shaking Risk in the St. Louis Metro Region: ISGS Collaborates with the University of Missouri-Rolla
ISGS staff members met with researchers from the University of Missouri-Rolla to discuss the use of ISGS digital surficial geology maps and data for production of seismic hazard maps for the greater St. Louis Metro region as part of the St. Louis Urban Hazard Mapping Project. The project is a collaborative effort that includes the US Geological Survey, the Missouri and Illinois State Geological Surveys, the University of Missouri-Rolla, St. Louis University and several national consulting firms with offices in St. Louis. Hard copy and digital surficial geology, bedrock topography, and loess thickness maps at 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 scales were provided by the ISGS to the University. (Contact: R. Bauer)
ISGS staff members Steven
Brown and Andres Stumpf
examine an outcrop.
Construction of a flood-control basin about one mile west of Champaign between the Pesotum Moraine and the headwaters of the Kaskaskia River has provided ISGS geologists a glimpse of the local variation of glacial and other surficial deposits in the greater Champaign area. In addition, fossils in the lake sediment record climate change following the Ice Age. Radiocarbon ages from organic matter in the lake sediment document the last time glacial ice was present in the Champaign area. Geologists think the site was formed in an area that had abundant meltwater that flowed across a low-gradient alluvial fan. This environment that would not have supported the weight of a person, but allowed the growth of small, scrubby plants, and the occasional bonsai-like dwarf tree bowed earthward from the constant howling winds. This site, and similar sites, will help ISGS geologists continue to develop models of the local geology that can directly aid housing and other developers plan development. (Contact: S. Brown)
Staff Participate in Utility Locating Exercise
Four ISGS geologists participated in the inaugural Midwest Regional Locate Rodeo for underground utility locators, held in Manteno, Illinois. The geologists served as event judges and scorekeepers for the event, which featured dozens of professional locators demonstrating their locating skills and competing for the chance to represent their companies at the national event in Atlanta held later this summer. Representatives of the Illinois Commerce Commission, public utility companies, and JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) were present, and the event was also open to the public. The ISGS has a strong interest in accuracy of underground locating of utilities because of the hundreds of boreholes drilled into the subsurface by ISGS staff every year. (Contact: G. Kientop)
Publications and Reports Released
Two external publications and seven unpublished reports were released this month. The citations for the publications follow.
Cali, S., P. Sheff, R. Sokas, M. Chrzastowski, and L. Lasky, 2006, Illinois Beach State Park (IBSP): Determination of Asbestos Contamination in Beach Nourishment Sand, Final Report of Findings: Chicago, Illinois, University of Illinois at Chicago, Center for Excellence in Environmental Health, 53 p. plus 5 appendices.
Saunders, J., G.D. Campbell, J. McCullum, and B.B. Curry, 2006, Lincoln's Grand Old Mammoth: The Living Museum, v. 68, nos. 2,3, p. 17-25.
Updated 07/19/2012 SLD