ISGS - October 2006 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
Part of the new Data Poster on
Coalbed Methane Research
Drilling in Illinois.
ISGS Geologists Receive Awards
In recognition of her exemplary record of distinguished service to the Institute and the profession, geologist emeritus Myrna Killey was given the Honorary Membership Award by the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) at its annual meeting in Minneapolis on September 26, 2006. The AIPG award citation [slightly edited] noted that "Myrna M. Killey has contributed almost 40 continuous years of education, leadership, and service to the profession of geology. In the 1970s, Myrna completed Ball State University's master's degree program in geology. [At] the Survey, she specialized in Quaternary geology and early Ice Age sediments in western Illinois. She led projects in applied studies such as the state's first landslide inventory, a major geotechnical site investigation at Argonne National Laboratory, and the geologic characterization of watersheds to serve citizens interested in restoring and maintaining watershed ecosystems in Illinois. Myrna was also sought after for many Survey team projects, including investigation of a hazardous waste site in southwestern Illinois, siting studies for the Superconducting Super Collider in Illinois, the Great Flood of 1993, and most recently the inauguration of a series of publications on the geology of state parks in Illinois. She also authored a popular publication for the Survey, Illinois' Ice Age Legacy and is senior author on two other popular publications, Illinois Groundwater: A Vital Geologic Resource, and Land-Use Decisions and Geology: Getting Past "Out of Sight, Out of Mind." Myrna also has a long record of service to the profession of geology. She became a Certified Professional Geologist with AIPG in 1982 and a Licensed Professional Geologist in the state of Illinois in 1997. She was elected AIPG's national Treasurer in 1993-1994 and national Editor in 1999-2000, receiving two AIPG Presidential Certificates of Merit along the way. She was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 1995 and received, with other co-authors of The Great Flood of 1993, GSA's John C. Frye Memorial Award in Environmental Geology in 1997." (Contact: M. Killey)
ISGS scientists received both the Best Paper and Best Poster awards from the Energy Minerals Division at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Eastern Section meeting in Buffalo, New York, in early October 2006. David Morse, Ilham Demir, Tom Moore and Scott Elrick were presented with the Best Poster Award for their poster, Coalbed Methane Research Drilling in Illinois—New Data." Tom Moore, Ilham Demir, and David Morse were presented with the Best Paper Award for their paper, "Illinois Basin Coalbed Gas: Is There a Play?". (Contact: D. Morse)
ISGS Participants in IDOT Fall Program Meeting
Two ISGS staff members attended the annual Illinois Department of Transportation fall program planning meeting in Springfield for IDOT Bureau of Design and Environment (BDE) staff from the Central Office and all nine IDOT districts. One ISGS geologist provided input into BDE's environmental process as it relates to local roads projects; these projects are primarily funded and constructed by local road agencies such as municipalities, counties, and townships, which may not have their own environmental process in place but which may involve state property and therefore still need to comply with environmental regulations. Also at this meeting, a second geologist answered questions about the IDOT-ISGS Extranet from the environmental staff of IDOT's BDE. IDOT wetlands staff also demonstrated the new area of IDOT's Web site where IDOT districts can find ISGS wetlands reports; this part of IDOT's Web site is also publicly available and can be accessed directly. (Contacts: A. Erdmann and M. Yacucci)
Six Abandoned Coal Mine Maps Completed
The maps of abandoned mines in six 7.5-minute quadrangles in La Salle, Livingston, and Moultrie Counties were completed. These maps and accompanying directories, which contain detailed information on the mine histories and sources of information, have been delivered in both paper and digital format to Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund (IMSIF), the project sponsor, and are being released to the public at this time. The quadrangles are Streator North, Streator South, Long Point, Leonore, Cadwell and Lovington. These maps and directories will help government planners, developers, and private citizens identify undermined areas. (Contact: C. Chenoweth)
Oil Potential from Lower Paleozoic Rocks
Lower Paleozoic rocks of the Illinois Basin represent an important, yet under-explored target. Of the 4 billion barrels of oil produced from the Illinois Basin, only 7.5 percent has been from lower Paleozoic rocks.
The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) funded a project to develop a digital play portfolio for the lower Paleozoic rocks that could improve exploration and development strategies in the Illinois Basin. The funding for the third and final year of this program was eliminated by the U.S. DOE and replaced with a no cost extension. As a result, a meeting of members of the Illinois Basin Consortium was held at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Eastern Section annual convention in Buffalo, New York, October 8 to 11, 2006, to prioritize and clarify which deliverables can be completed under the new circumstances. Final decisions have yet to be made and will be based on the proceedings of this meeting. It is hoped that most of the large deliverables can still be completed.
The work for this contract consists of mapping existing Devonian, Silurian, and Ordovician production in the Illinois Basin. A digital catalog of examples of lower Paleozoic reservoirs in the Illinois Basin is being developed as examples of prospective targets for exploration and development. A digital, interactive stratigraphic column of lower Paleozoic rocks in the Illinois Basin also is being developed. Construction of a digital cross section grid that illustrates both present-day structure and paleo-structure to be used for structural evolution analysis is a major task. Analysis of Basin-wide relationships of unconformities, paleogeographic, and isopach maps is planned to characterize established Devonian and older production. The potential for undiscovered older (deeper) Paleozoic plays will be analyzed and related to possible analogous Paleozoic plays in adjacent basins. Analysis of the existing seismic data grid will explore possible untapped play strategies related to re-mobilization of structures over geologic time, refine the role of offsetting of structures with depth, and examine the role of deeply seated faults and other structural features that may have influenced reef development.
Four papers, a poster and a workshop associated with this project,
were presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Eastern Section meeting in Buffalo:
• Selected Illinois Basin Lower Paleozoic Cores by John P. Grube, Beverly Seyler, Bryan G. Huff, Joan E. Crockett, Steve R. Gustison, Rex A. Knepp, Randy
D. Lipking, Philip M. Johanek.
• Petroleum Potential for the Lower Paleozoic Strata in the Illinois Basin by Beverly Seyler, John P. Grube, Joan E. Crockett, Philip M. Johanek, Bryan G. Huff,
Rex A. Knepp, Steven R. Gustison, Randy D. Lipking
• Advances in Understanding Devonian and Silurian Subcrop Plays in Illinois by Joan E. Crockett and Randolph D. Lipking.
• Under-Explored Lower Paleozoic Strata in Illinois Beverly Seyler, John P. Grube, Joan E. Crockett, Philip M. Johanek, Bryan G. Huff, Rex A. Knepp, Steven
R. Gustison, Randy D. Lipking.
(Contact: Bev Seyler)
Geologic Mapping Efforts Contribute to Local Education about Glacial Geology and Groundwater Resources
As part of an ongoing geologic mapping effort in Lake County, three ISGS geologists and the ISGS drilling crew drilled a borehole and installed a water-level observation well at the Village of Deer Park, Vehe Farm Park. The geologic mapping has been funded by Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (CGLGMC) and the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. Subsurface exploration provides critical information for three-dimensional visualization of the glacial deposits and characterization of physical properties that effect groundwater flow. The observation well has been added to a regional network of wells ISGS geologists are monitoring on a quarterly basis to study long-term water levels in this part of northeastern Illinois.
In addition, the Survey is cooperating with the village administrators and the Vehe Farm Foundation to develop educational displays and exhibits about the glacial geology and history and their relationship to local ecology and groundwater resources. The Park includes a restored historic barn that will be used as a village meeting space and education center. It is expected to have a high volume of visitors, including local earth science school field trips. The ISGS photographer video recorded the complete sequence of drilling the borehole, retrieving and describing the core, completing the downhole geophysical logging, and installing the water level observation well. The video capture will contribute to the education exhibits. Some of the sediment samples and solid core of the local bedrock will also be contributed to the educational exhibits. (Contacts: M. Barnhardt and D. Larson)
Results of Geologic Mapping Provides Information for Local Planning
On September 20, 2006, ISGS geologists met with the Executive Director of the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) to discuss some aspects of the BACOG Water Resources Initiative Report. BACOG includes seven villages and two townships in southern Lake and adjoining counties. The meeting was held at the Deer Park Village Hall to take advantage of the presence of several project geologists who were onsite that week during the drilling of a borehole at the village education center. Attendees included the three BACOG representatives, the Village President of Deer Park, five ISGS geologists, and the District Director for Environmental Issues for Congresswoman Melissa Bean, 8th Congressional District. The attendees visited the drilling site where project geologists explained the drilling operations, the sediment cores as they were retrieved, and the importance of interpreting the sediments to better understand the subsurface distribution of the different geological sediments and the subsequent modeling of the hydrostratigraphy. (Contacts: M. Barnhardt and D. Larson)
Detection of Carbon Dioxide Emissions in a Field of Soybeans Using Airborne Thermal Infrared Imagery
Thermal infrared imagery 750
feet above ground from Illinois
Department of Transportation
The millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas that are expected to be recovered from coal gasification, such as the FutureGen power generating stations, are proposed to be injected underground into shallow and deep subsurface reservoirs. But will the greenhouse gas remain there? ISGS scientists are testing the use of remote sensing surveillance as a method to detect leaks occurring over a large area of the reservoir. A recently completed test was undertaken to determine whether CO2—a colorless, odorless, common gas—could be detected if leaking among row crops in agricultural, central Illinois.
Researchers at the SoyFACE facility, an internationally renowned climate-change research facility at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), determined that when soybeans react with high concentration of CO2, stomata in the plant leaves constrict, causing water to be retained, thereby preventing transpiration and cooling. Consequently, the CO2-affected plants become warmer than surrounding unaffected plants.
On the photograph, the subtle, linear light-toned area between the round and square reference marks (A and B) shows the warm plants reacting to CO2 gas released to simulate an underground leak. The arrow points to a corn plant among a mature soybean canopy at the UIUC South Farm.
Based on this phenomenon, a collaboration between geologists, agronomists, plant/crop scientists, and agricultural meteorologists from several UIUC departments and three state agencies devised an experiment, partly funded by the UIUC Research Board, to determine whether remote sensing could be used to detect the reaction of soybeans to high concentrations of CO2.
To simulate a surface release leak from a 3,000-foot-deep underground reservoir, garden hoses were laid between soybean rows, and CO2 was released from point source (sprinklers) and cracks (pipes). Aerial thermal infrared (TIR) imagery was obtained using the Illinois Department of Transportation helicopter. Field measurements were guided by a special air-to-ground transmitter that permitted the ground crew to observe the TIR imagery as it was recorded, thereby greatly improving measurements, a real-time strategy not known to have been used previously.
Aerial thermal infrared imagery showed that the CO2-affected soybeans were noticeably warmer than surrounding unaffected beans (see figure). The heat plumes were detected both along the crop rows and following wind direction. The initial success of the experiment shows that significant gas escapes could be identified by remote sensing methods. (Contacts: C. Stohr and I. Krapac)
Publications and Reports Released
Agnihotri, A., J.P.B. Mota, M. Rostam-Abadi, M.J. Rood, 2006. Adsorption Site Analysis of Impurity Embedded Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Bundles. Carbon, vol. 44, p. 2366-2383.
Updated 07/23/2012 SLD