ISGS - October 2007 Activity Highlights
October 2007 Activity Highlights
Hannes Leetaru in his office.
ISGS Staff Member Receives Best Paper Award
Hannes Leetaru and his co-authors Jared Freiburg, John Rupp (Indiana State Geological Survey), and John McBride (Brigham Young University), received the Best Paper Award at the September 2007 Eastern Section meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) in Lexington, Kentucky. The award was given for their presentation, "Evaluation of Deep Saline Reservoirs and Entrapment for Carbon Sequestration Using Seismic Reflection Data" during last year's 2006 Eastern Section of the AAPG meeting in Buffalo, New York. (Contact: H. Leetaru)ISGS Contributes to the 11th Biennial Governor's Conference on Management of the Illinois River System
This year's conference drew more than 400 participants, a record number, from federal, state, and local agencies and the general public. The ISGS, one of the conference sponsors, was active in several aspects. The ISGS participated in a technology workshop on mapping applications and data available from ISGS, organized a session, and presented one talk on the geologic and cultural history of the Illinois River and a second talk on the monitoring efforts of a floodplain restoration project at the mouth of the La Grange River. The ISGS also sponsored a general information booth. (Contact: A. Phillips)
Assessment of a Geophysical Coal Exploration Method Completed
The final technical report for the assessment of a geophysical coal exploration method was submitted to the Illinois Clean Coal Institute. The focus of these coal exploration projects are to accurately and cost effectively predict the geology of a coal field. More geologic data generally yield a better geological model of the coal field. Advances in geophysical methods may provide tools to supplement the traditional methods of coal exploration. In this study, two seismic methods, multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW) and shear wave (SH-wave) analysis, were evaluated to determine their usefulness as coal exploration tools. It was determined that (1) the MASW method was useful to model the relief on the bedrock surface. Because the geophone spacing was 5 feet, the mapping of the unconsolidated material thickness was very accurate compared with results using a typical coal exploration program. The method was not useful in modeling below the bedrock surface due to its poor vertical resolution and limited depth of penetration. (2) The SH-wave survey was able to accurately model bedrock down to 150 to 200 feet below the surface. Amplitude change, or the tuning effect, was useful to image the existing thin (less than 5 feet) coal layers. This method also allowed prediction of locations of igneous dikes, which intrude through the coal seams in this region. Two-dimensional geologic models constructed with this method were very useful in visualizing complex fault zones. This report contains data pertaining to coal thickness, depth to coals, chemical analyses of coal (sulfur, BTUs, moisture, ash), geophysical models, and stratigraphic correlations. The project was located in Saline County approximately 5 miles southeast of Harrisburg, Illinois. (Contact: B. Denny)
ISGS Staff Members Assist in Universities' Efforts in Hydrologic Advancement
Three staff members attended the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc. (CUAHSI) regional meeting in Deerfield, Illinois, on October 12, 2007. CUAHSI is seeking collaborators for the Geophysics Module of its Hydrologic Measurement Facility (HMF-Geophysics), based on experience from a pilot project funded by the National Science Foundation. The objective of HMF-Geophysics is to enable hydrologists to better use near-surface geophysical techniques as an integral part of their research. The primary role of HMF-Geophysics collaborators will be to perform short-term feasibility studies to assess the applicability of various geophysical techniques for hydrologic problems. Additional services include consulting with hydrologists on possible approaches; education of the hydrologic community about near-surface geophysics through presentations at professional meetings, development of educational materials, and organization of workshops; and identification and engagement of geophysicists at other institutions who are interested in collaborating with hydrologists on projects.
At the meeting, the ISGS staff met with CUAHSI Executive Director, Rick Hooper, to discuss opportunities for the ISGS Geophysics Section to collaborate with CUAHSI institutions in solving hydrologic problems related to groundwater-surface water interactions and shallow groundwater contamination. The extensive ISGS expertise in shallow geophysical methods to map and characterize aquifers can be of value to CUAHSI field projects. Participation in this CUAHSI program will be of value to ISGS scientists because it will provide opportunities for collaboration with other top U.S. geophysicists and hydrologists on problems involving the characterization of shallow geology and will provide opportunities for developing new methods and in-house expertise that can be directly applied to other ISGS projects. (Contact: D. Keefer)
Field Trip on Geology and Earthquakes in Southwestern Illinois
The ISGS staff and scientists from Missouri conducted a field trip for about 50 participants concerning geology and earthquake effects in southwestern Illinois. On October 12th, participants viewed seismic retrofit of bridges crossing the Mississippi River and approach bridges to this crossing, learned the geologic history of the American Bottoms, heard historical accounts of damage from past earthquakes, toured a cave that had been impacted by previous earthquakes, and viewed a feature in the soil produced by a past earthquake near Edwardsville, Illinois. Participants were from the insurance industry, city government, regional and Scott Air Force Base emergency managers, risk managers, hospital administrator, and the National Guard. The ISGS produced a 90-page field guidebook for the trip. (Contacts: R. Bauer)
Kane County Workshop on Water Supply Sustainability and Map Delivery
About 250 people gathered at the Q Center in St. Charles on September 20, 2007, to participate in a workshop sponsored by the Kane County Board. The theme of the workshop was "Implementing a Sustainable Water Supply for Kane County's Future." An ISGS geologist gave two presentations at the workshop. The first covered the Quaternary deposits in Kane County, describing the shallow and local geologic setting and showing the major Quaternary aquifers in the County and the sensitivity of these aquifers to contamination. The second presentation pertained to the regional bedrock geology and described the geologic setting and structure of the Kane County region and the hydrogeologic framework of the bedrock geology.
The final suite of geologic maps developed for the Kane County project (Water Resource Investigation for Kane County, Illinois) was delivered to Kane County at the workshop. The maps show bedrock geology, aquifer sensitivity to contamination, major Quaternary aquifers, and geologic cross sections. The suite also includes a three dimensional geologic model of Kane County. This suite of maps is the first in the new Illinois County Geologic Map series of ISGS. The maps can be viewed at http://www.isgs.illinois.edu/maps-data-pub/icgm.shtml (Contact: W. Dey)
Geologic Mapping Effort Contributes to Local Community Education
Geologists and hydrogeologists working on the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition project have completed mapping of about 80% of the surficial geology and 40% of the subsurface geology of Lake County, Illinois, as part of a project to map in three dimensions the geology from land surface to top of bedrock. To accomplish this, an extensive program of drilling is being used to acquire continuous high-quality core samples of the sediment. At each borehole location where significant deposits of sand and gravel are encountered, a water-level observation well is installed to monitor long-term water levels in the aquifer. Several dozen wells are now emplaced throughout the county. One such borehole well was installed at the Deer Park village hall site near a historic barn that has been restored to serve as a facility for village hall meetings and community events and as a museum and education center.
Following discussions with the ISGS project leader, staff from the education center invited the ISGS to provide material for a display at the site. In response, several ISGS staff members prepared a multi panel poster for permanent display that illustrates the glacial history, sediments, and hydrogeology at county scale and also of the local Vehe Farm area. Specific parts of the display discuss the depositional history of the geologic materials as interpreted from the sediment sequence encountered in the borehole. Also discussed is the installation of the observation well and how it will be used to better understand the behavior of the aquifers in the area. An aerial photographic history of the Vehe Farm area from 1939 to present is shown. The local and regional geology and hydrogeology are discussed in separate panels, which include graphics illustrating groundwater flow, the hydrologic cycle, types of aquifers, and terminology commonly used in discussions concerning groundwater.
The exhibit is intended to provide a basic understanding of geological issues for the layperson. Additionally, two types of drill bits used during the borehole drilling are displayed on a shelf specially constructed for our exhibit. Samples of the sediment encountered during the drilling are shown as well. Samples of the modern soil, diamicton, sand, silt, and bedrock—cut from the original core—are on display and their core position is described. Finally, a 4 minute video of the drilling, sediment retrieval, and well installation is available for play in a kiosk in the visitor welcome area. This video was recorded during the drilling in late 2006 by the ISGS staff photographer. Additional materials suitable for community teachers are being prepared. Already, local schools have expressed interest in water sampling from the well and information about groundwater resources and glacial history (Contact: M. Barnhardt)
ISGS Geologists Present Papers at Petroleum Geologists Meeting
Several ISGS staff members attended the annual Eastern Section American
Association of Petroleum Geologists meeting in Lexington, Kentucky,
September 16-18, 2007. These papers and posters were presented at the
• Secondary Porosity Development in the Galena (Trenton) Dolomite of Northern Illinois: Implications for Regional Fluid Flow and Hydrocarbon
Accumulation, by Dean W. Ekberg, John P. Grube, and Joan E. Crockett.
• Testing the Efficacy of CO2 for Enhanced Oil Recovery in the Illinois Basin: Preliminary Results, by Rex Knepp, James Damico, Scott M. Frailey,
John P. Grube, and Beverly Seyler.
• Update of New Albany Shale Potential in Illinois, by Beverly Seyler and Joan Crockett.
Three-dimensional Geological Mapping Program Initiated for the Lake Calumet Region, South Chicago
The Illinois State Geological Survey has initiated a project to map the three-dimensional (3-D) geology of the Lake Calumet Quadrangle in south Chicago. This urban geology project will be part of the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (CGLGMC) mapping effort in northeastern Illinois. Mapping will (1) delineate deposits that lie between land surface and the uppermost bedrock, (2) determine the nature of the shallow Silurian bedrock, including its thickness and degree of fracturing, (3) evaluate the deeper bedrock units, and (4) ascertain the exchange of groundwater between glacial aquifers and the underlying bedrock aquifer. The most important aspect of this project will be the 3-D mapping of all materials in the study area and then ascertaining their engineering properties and potential for transmitting contaminants.
Beginning in the late 1800s, the Lake Calumet region was transformed from an area of sand dunes and low-lying marshes to one of heavy industry, residential development, and numerous dumping grounds for industrial and municipal waste. In 1893, for example, the Army Corps of Engineers reported that a milling company located at mouth of the Calumet River deposited so much slag and dredge that the area around it grew at a rate of four acres per year.
Land degradation continued into the 1980s as steel mills closed, creating numerous brownfields, and there were further plans to continue filling in most of the lake to provide land for private developers. About that time, though, environmental groups began to promote conservation and cleanup. The most significant strides began in 1996, with attempts to establish Calumet Ecological Park. In 2001, a new Calumet Initiative was announced that advocated the restoration and enhancement of open spaces while revitalizing economic opportunities.
The current land use of the quadrangle is a myriad of public parks, ecological restoration areas, industrial holdings, waste disposal and contaminated sites, infrastructure development, and residential and commercial establishments, all on top of filled and natural land. It is within this context that geological mapping will reveal "what lies beneath." Once the geology is mapped in detailed 3-D view, contaminated problem areas will be delineated, engineering properties of fill and natural materials will be identified to assist in construction designs and avoid hazards, and large-scale groundwater flow models will be developed, which may assist in pump and treat decontamination processes. This information could lead to the implementation by decision makers of cost-effective plans with future lower liabilities for economic development, environmental protection, and remediation and redevelopment.
The mapping of the Lake Calumet Quadrangle will first involve the careful review of existing geologic maps and other data in the study area. The focus will mainly be on compiling subsurface data from thousands of existing water-well logs on file at the ISGS as well as logs from engineering borings for foundations, highways, bridges, utilities, and remediation activities. Then exploratory drilling and geophysical activities will be conducted to better understand the depth, thickness, distribution, character, and continuity of subsurface natural and fill deposits. All data (including old maps) will be put into electronic formats and entered into the ISGS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database. The ISGS then will construct various 3-D views of the geology. Maps will be made showing the (1) distribution, elevation, and thickness of the various natural glacial, postglacial, and artificial-fill deposits in the study area; (2) topography of the bedrock surface; and (3) bedrock lithologies. Once these maps are completed, interpretive maps for aquifer sensitivity and engineering conditions and other maps can be developed.
The mapping of the Lake Calumet Quadrangle will be a multi-year effort with partial funding by the CGLGMC, but most funding coming from State of Illinois appropriations to the ISGS. Additional federal and state dollars would enhance data collection and significantly reduce the time required to complete the mapping effort. (Contact: R. Berg)
Updated 07/23/2012 SLD