ISGS - April 2007 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
New Maps Show How Much Soils Will Amplify Earthquake Ground Motions
Engineering geologists at the Illinois State Geological Survey have completed a map for the southernmost 34 counties in Illinois. The new map shows soil classes, which indicate how much soils may amplify earthquake ground motions at a particular site. Such maps form the basis for damage estimates for those counties. The estimates will be developed for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency by the Mid-America Earthquake Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The estimates will be used by state and local emergency managers for formulating various response plans, exercises, and possible mitigation efforts in those counties. This greatly revised map is based on much more detailed information about soil property changes with depth. (Contact: R. Bauer)
Scott Chen and Yongqi Lu
examine the supply/demand for
energy in the Illinois Basin
Energy Use and CO2 Emission Outlooks in Illinois Basin
A study has been completed that developed a baseline scenario of mid-term energy use and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Illinois Basin. The study forecasts the energy demand, electricity supply, and CO2 emissions for the Illinois Basin from 2005 to 2030. The baseline scenario provides a basis for comparison and for further evaluation of impacts of CO2 sequestration and other controls on future energy. The forecast for both primary and secondary energy consumption was performed for five major sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and electricity) for Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The study carefully analyzed the predicted of electricity generation, energy structure, and electricity efficiency, which are key factors impacting future CO2 emissions. The results of this study indicated that during the 2005-2030 time period, the average annual growth rate of total energy use in the Illinois Basin will increase 1.27%. Total electricity generation will increase 1.54% annually. Coal will continue to be the primary source for electricity generation in the Illinois Basin, increasing slightly from the present 72% to 76% of total electricity generation by 2030. According to the baseline scenario, the total annual CO2 emissions in the Illinois Basin will increase from the current 700 million tons to 1,056 million tons by 2030. The electricity generation sector is projected to contribute 46.5 and 48.5% of the total CO2 emissions during this period. (Contact: M. Rostam-Abadi)
ISGS Expertise Aids Beach Building at Illinois Beach State Park
Supplying sand for wave transport along the shore of Illinois Beach State Park is an important part of coastal stewardship by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to counter erosional processes. A stockpile of sand is maintained at the north end of the state park to act as a feeder beach, which is eroded by northerly waves and "feeds" sand to the beaches to the south. In recent years, the sand stockpile had become a public relations issue because of concerns that the sand included asbestos-containing material (ACM). The ACM was primarily from asbestos-cement pipe (transite) used at a former housing development on what is now state park land. Sampling and testing by the IDNR, Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), University of Illinois Chicago, and the federal Centers for Disease Control all confirmed the minimal occurrence of the ACM and the lack of public health risk from this sand. However, to avoid future concerns, from March 12 to 23, 2007, the entire remaining stockpile of approximately 6,000 cubic yards of sand was excavated and trucked from the beach and permanently disposed at a landfill. Subsequently, from March 27 until April 6, 2007, a new supply of 26,000 cubic yards of sand from a Lake County sand pit was delivered to the park to build a new feeder beach under the guidance of the ISGS. This new feeder beach provides a sand supply that has no associated history with ACM. (Contact: M. Chrzastowski)Three-dimensional Geologic Mapping Provides Information for New Municipal Water Wells in the Village of Barrington.
Geologic mapping in northeastern Illinois, funded through the Central Great Lakes Mapping Coalition, the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, and the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), has been an ongoing priority of the ISGS. Geologic mapping teams have established cooperative relationships with community groups, government agencies, and municipal organizations in the region. These relationships have been valuable for the success of those mapping programs. Geologic mapping and associated research conducted by the ISGS has provided timely information for local communities that allows them to make informed decisions about planning, development, and water resources. Mutual cooperation with these organizations has provided the ISGS mapping teams with access to properties to collect geologic data by drilling boreholes and installing observation wells to monitor water levels. The wells are part of the groundwater monitoring system ISGS scientists are developing in northeastern Illinois.
The Barrington area is a current focus of STATEMAP mapping efforts. The ISGS mapping teams have drilled at least seven stratigraphic borings and installed observation wells within a six-mile radius of the Barrington area. Representatives from the Village of Barrington were aware of the ongoing drilling and groundwater monitoring of glacial sediments in the area. With this knowledge, the Director of Public Works for the village contacted the ISGS seeking information about the geology and water resources at proposed locations for two new municipal water wells within village properties. The ISGS has begun preliminary discussions with village administrators and their contracted engineers to help them better understand the geologic framework and potential groundwater resources in the proposed water-well locations. Further discussions about the geologic framework and collaborative data acquisition are scheduled for later in April. (Contacts: M. Barnhardt, J. Thomason, D. Larson, and A. Stumpf).
Water Resources Planning Efforts Progressing
On January 9, 2006, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, issued Executive Order 2006-01, which called for the development of a comprehensive, statewide water-supply planning and management strategy. In response, a strategy development process was initiated for northeastern Illinois in November 2006 with the creation of a regional water-supply planning group facilitated by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The 35 members represent nine stakeholder groups in northeastern Illinois. More information about the Regional Water-Supply Planning Group for northeastern Illinois is available from CMAP's Web site (http://www.chicagoareaplanning.org/watersupply/). A regional water-supply planning committee for east-central Illinois was organized in February 2007, facilitated by the Mahomet Aquifer Consortium (MAC). The 12-member Water Resources Planning Committee for East-Central Illinois consists of representatives from 12 stakeholder groups in that area. More information about the committee is available from the MAC Web site (http://www.mahometaquiferconsortium.org/). The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) is compiling existing information about the hydrogeology of northeastern and east-central Illinois to make it available to the two planning groups. The data will be analyzed with respect to the information needed to address water-supply planning and management issues. These analyses will help identify what additional information is needed for the planning process. Information about the overall water-supply planning process can be found by contacting the ISWS. (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/wsp/) (Contact: D. Larson)Geologists Help State and Federal Agencies Determine Origin of Sediment at the Ottawa, Illinois, Superfund Site
Ottawa, Illinois, was previously the site for several facilities producing watch dials that glowed in the dark as a result of radioactive substances combined with the paint. The factories are gone now, but some manufacturing waste products remain, combined with other human-made and natural deposits and dumped at various localities in the Ottawa area. Consequently, a number of sites are under remediation. An Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) geologist met with geologists and engineers from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Weston Solutions, Inc. at one such Superfund remediation site in Ottawa to help them solve a geologic problem: the origin of the material. The contamination at this site is the result of fill material from numerous sources, including radium-bearing materials from the Radium Dial Co. or Luminous Processes, Inc. Excavations at site NPL-9A in downtown Ottawa revealed a black sandy, peaty layer that occurs between the underlying St. Peter Sandstone and the overlying definitive fill material. The black sandy material exhibits some radioactivity, but the overlying fill does not. The site geologists were unsure whether the material is a natural deposit or anthropogenic fill. Determination of the origin of the dark horizon will influence remediation decisions. If the material is a natural deposit or is composed of natural deposits, then its removal might not be necessary; being able to leave it in place would reduce remediation costs. A sample was collected and brought to the ISGS for analysis. Initial analysis indicated that the material is composed mostly of quartz sand grains (approximately 80% by volume). These very fine- to medium-sized, frosted, subrounded grains are very similar to the underlying St. Peter Sandstone. The radioactivity of the sample is only slightly higher than that of background samples, suggesting that the material may be non-anthropogenic. Possible origins include post-St. Peter, pre-Pennsylvanian deposition, post- Pennsylvanian deposition, or even prehistoric deposition. (Contact: C.P. Weibel and S. Brown).
ISGS Staff Member Assists in Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Conservation Efforts
A representative of the Wetlands Geology Section attended a meeting held in Romeoville, concerning hydrologic studies related to the habitat conservation plans for the federally endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly. The purpose of the meeting was to identify common data sets that could be used in the multiple ongoing hydrogeologic studies in the area. Participants included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Preserve District of Will County, Will County Stormwater Management Planning Committee, the Village of Romeoville, the City of Crest Hill, Integrated Lakes Management Inc., Applied Ecological Services, STS Consultants, Graef Anhalt Schloemer & Associates, and Hanson Material Service. (Contact: C. Knight)
Potential Source of Limestone for Desulfurization Scrubbers Will Be Studied
The Illinois Clean Coal Institute has accepted the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) proposal entitled "Limestone Fines—An Economically Viable Source of Sorbents for Desulfurization? The project will characterize limestone fines in Illinois quarries, especially those located near existing and future coal-fired power plants, for potential use in flue-gas desulfurization scrubbers. To be economically viable, the scrubbers need local, low-cost sources of high-quality limestone. An abundant but largely unused source of limestone for scrubbers may be the by-product fines produced by the stone-crushing equipment at all limestone quarries. Utilization of quarry fines as a scrubbing agent could provide two major cost-savings: (1) because the material has already been crushed down to the appropriate size needed for sulfur scrubbing, no additional energy cost is associated with grinding, and (2) because the fines are considered waste material, they are widely available at quarries at a very low cost. Quarry fines have not been fully characterized to date, and their chemical, mineralogical, and physical properties and their reactivities with respect to sulfur oxide capture are not known. To determine the quality and suitability of these potentially effective and low-cost sources for scrubbing agents, ISGS scientists will analyze the fines from a representative selection of quarries, focusing on those near existing and potential coal-fired power plants. Results from this project will be useful in selecting the best product at an affordable cost for each power plant with specific sorbent needs. (Contact: Z. Lasemi)
Updated 07/23/2012 SLD