ISGS - June 2006 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
Illinois Wins Two of the Four Semifinal Sites for the FutureGen Power Plant
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) provided the geological and carbon sequestration reservoir analysis, and many of the GIS map products, for the proposals that netted Illinois two of the four semifinal sites being considered for the FutureGen power plant project, as announced by the U.S. Department of Energy and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance on July 25, 2006. The sites are located near Tuscola and Mattoon, Illinois. Seven states offered twelve sites in the first round of the competition; the other two semifinal sites are in Texas. ISGS researchers addressed the geology and engineering characteristics of the subsurface reservoirs that could handle up to 1 million metric tons of CO2 per year over the life of the plant, determined where other injection wells exist, defined the seismic stability of potential sites, helped define pipeline corridors potentially needed to move the CO2, provided base maps and aerial photographs of the sites, and prepared text and maps for the proposals. In addition, ISGS staff attended public meetings in these communities to explain CO2 sequestration and helped to explain the entire project to the public, as well as to increase awareness of the role of greenhouse gases like CO2 and the potential for climate change.
FutureGen is a new way to use coal that gasifies the coal and produces a synthetic fuel gas of carbon monoxide and hydrogen that can drive a turbine for electric generation. This is the basis of the $1 billion federal FutureGen project which will consist of a near-zero emission integrated gasification combined cycle plant with sequestration of 90 percent of the plant’s carbon dioxide (CO2) production. By sequestering the CO2 in geological reservoirs, emissions of this greenhouse gas to the atmosphere are eliminated and the global climate change impacts of the CO2 are avoided. FutureGen will be a first-of-its-kind facility to fully integrate carbon sequestration while eliminating many of the other emissions associated with coal use in conventional pulverized coal power plants. It will be a world-class research facility that will greatly expand our understanding of clean coal technology and of carbon sequestration to avoid global climate change.
With more than $20 million in carbon sequestration research underway since 2003 and planned through 2009, ISGS will continue to meet Illinois’ need for geological expertise related to FutureGen and similar advanced coal technology projects. Other projects include a $1 billion synthetic natural gas development in Illinois and various efforts to also use gasification to generate liquid hydrocarbon fuels from coal and for electric generation. The CO2 from these operations will be generated where it could be used to produce some of the up to 1.3 billion barrels of unrecovered oil in the Illinois Basin’s mature oil reservoirs, thus potentially extending the productive life of the Basin for decades. (Contact: R. Finley)
New Detailed Imagery of Northeastern Illinois is Available Online
Aerial view of the Chicago Loop.
Detailed, full color aerial photographs for the six-county Chicago Urban Area are now available online free of charge. The images can be accessed and downloaded from the Illinois Clearinghouse Web site The high-resolution, full-color imagery for northeastern Illinois shows many features of the land surface, including landforms, streams and lakes, land use, transportation networks, critical infrastructure, cities, buildings, and much more. The highly detailed images provide a base map that is very useful for many purposes, including projects that use mapping tools such as geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing software.
The online availability of these high-quality photographs has been met with tremendous enthusiasm from the mapping community in Illinois. This method of distribution is the realization of years of collaboration and planning between staff members at the ISGS, USGS, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and others. Agencies supporting data acquisition include the USGS, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, IDOT, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, IEPA, Illinois Department of Revenue, Illinois Historical Preservation Agency, Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, and McHenry County. The total cost of the data acquisition phase of the project was about $2,200,000. Eventually, images for the entire State of Illinois will be available. (Contact: R. Krumm)
Steve Gustison, John Grube, and
Bev Seyler look at waterflood data.
Waterflood Data Goes Online
The ISGS oil and gas waterflood data layer is now available to the public via the Illinois Oil and Gas Resources Internet Map Service This service includes a map layer of waterflood units in Illinois as well as the oil and water production data, thickness, porosity, permeability, and other pertinent data for over 1,600 waterflood units dating to 1946. Members of the Oil and Gas Section have since met with representatives from British Petroleum who were on a visit to gather information regarding enhanced oil recovery using injection of CO2. They were particularly interested in the ISGS waterflood database. (Contact: J. Cokinos)
"The Magnificent Mile" Assessment Completed
Dan Adomaitis operating a
GeoProbe on Michigan Avenue
The reconstruction of North Michigan Avenue from East Oak Street to the Chicago River in Chicago is proposed to ensure that the Magnificent Mile retains its character as a beautiful, vibrant, economically thriving, and diverse destination for shoppers and travelers. The ISGS completed the preliminary environmental assessment for this project for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in May 2006. The project study area was approximately 1 mile long and involved some of the most expensive real estate in the oldest section of Chicago. Potential environmental hazards were investigated at approximately 55 properties. The information provided by ISGS will be used by IDOT to continue more in-depth environmental work. (Contact: M. Collier)
Illinois River Sediment Sampling
Rich Cahill looking at cores.
Four sediment cores were collected from the Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Fulton County by the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) in cooperation with the Waste Management and Research Center. The cores were described, subsampled, and photographed at ISGS, and samples have been submitted for geotechnical and chemical analyses. Sedimentation rates will be determined on the cores. The lakes from which these samples were collected are isolated from the Illinois River and have not been previously sampled for sediment quality.
In 2002, 37 sediment cores were collected by ISWS in the Peoria Pool of the Illinois Waterway for a project sponsored by the Rock Island District of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Recently, funding was obtained to complete partial analysis on 24 of the cores for organic carbon, unit weight, and cesium-137 radiometric dating. Trace metals and mercury analysis will be submitted to an outside contract laboratory. (Contact: R. Cahill)
Workshop Presented on Well Log Analysis
Over 40 participants attended a Petroleum Technology Transfer Council workshop on June 13 and 14 at Grayville, Illinois. George Asquith, of the Department of Geosciences at Texas Tech University, gave a presentation on carbonate well log analysis that included a flow chart, case studies, and problems. The advanced well log analysis workshop received high ratings from attendees.
Downhole Logging Helps Evaluate Quarry Geology
The ISGS has been involved in a project to help evaluate the geology and hydrogeology at two major rock quarries in northern Illinois. The Survey's efforts involved stratigraphic picks and lithologic descriptions and geophysical logging of 16 core holes at the two quarries. The goals of this project are (1) to help increase the overall accuracy in evaluating the geology and hydrogeology so the owners can make more informed decisions and (2) to expose the aggregate industry to the potential for enhanced technology (borehole geophysics) for evaluating geology, rock quality, and hydrogeology. The ISGS hopes that the aggregate industry in Illinois will eventually adopt borehole geophysics as a standard technique when evaluating limestone/dolomite and groundwater resources in Illinois. (Contact: T. Young)
Information Provided on Limestone for Power Plants
An ISGS geologist provided information to a major electric utility company on limestone resources in the Cave-In-Rock area (Hardin County) that are suitable for use in coal-fired power plants for the purpose of desulfurization. The area under consideration is mainly underlain by the St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve Limestones. The upper part of the St. Louis Limestone and the oolitic intervals within the Ste. Genevieve Limestone contain high-calcium limestone beds that are suitable raw material for desulfurization in scrubber units. Information was also provided on potential resources of high-calcium limestone in the Joppa area (Massac County). (Contact: Z. Lasemi)
Publications and Reports Released
Three journal articles, one reprint, and eleven unpublished reports were released this month.
Forman, S.L., M. Spaeth, L. Marín, J. Pierson, J. Gómez, F. Bunch, and A. Valdez, 2006, Episodic late Holocene dune movements on the Sand-sheet Area, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, San Luis Valley, Colorado, USA: Quaternary Research, v. 66, no. 1, p. 97-108.
Herzog, B., 2006, New NGWA Robert Storm award: The Hydrogeologist, Newsletter of the GSA Hydrogeology Division, June, no. 64, p. 11.
Panno, S.V., 2006, Karst aquifers: Can they be protected? [Guest editorial]: Ground Water, v. 44, no. 4, p. 494.
Updated 07/19/2012 SLD