ISGS - March 2008 Activity Highlights
ISGS - March 2008 Activity Highlights
School children watch as Keith Hackley, right, holds a bubbling beaker at the Fun
with Gases, Liquids, and Solids exhibit.
2008 ISGS Open House Attracts Large Crowd
Well over 1,500 visitors enjoyed 34 exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities presented by Illinois State Geological Survey scientists and others at the 2008 ISGS Open House on Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8. More than 450 students, teachers, and chaperones had advance reservations for Friday. These class field trips were only a portion of the visitors who gathered during the most heavily attended Friday morning in ISGS Open House history. The kids loved the exhibits, the teachers were interested and entertained, and the exhibitors were excited to share their professional expertise with visitors.
In addition to the 100 plus ISGS staff participants, exhibitors included representatives from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Clean Coal Institute, the Illinois Natural History Survey Mobile Science Center, and University of Illinois Geology Department. Invited guests in attendance included State Senators Michael Frerichs and Dale Righter, State Representative Naomi Jakobsson, representatives from the offices of Senator Barack Obama and Senator Dick Durbin, and University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman.
At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, with the wind chill factor hovering near zero, almost 200 runners and walkers braved the cold and lined up for the first ISGS Earth, Wind, and Fire 5K Run and 2.5K Walk. This was an amazing level of participation for a first-time event. Andy Derks of Charleston finished the run in first place with a time of 15:50. Elane Jones of Savoy won first place for the walkers. Illinois Senator Dale Righter was the Overall Male Masters winner. (Contact: Cindy Briedis)
CO2 Sequestration Phase III Kickoff Meeting Held
On February 19 to 21, 2008, the Illinois State Geological Survey and Schlumberger Carbon Services sponsored a kickoff meeting for the monitoring, mitigation, and verification (MMV) portion of the U.S. Department of Energy Phase III carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration project. Ivan Krapac organized and conducted the meeting at the ISGS. Groups of 43 multidisciplinary experts were assembled to begin to develop the MMV program for the Phase III CO2 geologic sequestration project. These experts traveled from as far away as Pennsylvania, California, Canada, Norway, and France to attend the meeting; the attendees represented Bergren University, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, University of Alberta, and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). The Phase III project will be conducted at the ADM plant in Decatur, Illinois, and involves injecting 1 million tons of CO2 collected from the ADM ethanol fermentation plant into the Mt. Simon Sandstone. The MMV program will deploy various monitoring techniques to determine the location of the CO2 plume in the injection reservoir. The monitoring is to determine whether there are impacts from injection activities on human health and the environment and to develop mitigation plans should unexpected results occur during the project. The meeting involved a series of presentations and a site visit to familiarize participants with the geology, logistics, and planned activities for this project. A risk assessment session allowed input from participants to identify and rank potential risks that could affect the MMV program and overall project success. Implementation of the MMV program will begin April 2008 and continue through October 2008 at which time one year of background (pre-CO2 injection) data will be collected. (Contact: Rob Finley)
Tollway Runoff Monitoring Project Begins
ISGS scientist Charlie Knight collects discharge data from a roadsideA ditch at the future site of a bioswale along I-294 in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Wetland scientists at the Illinois State Geological Survey began a 3-year water-quality monitoring project for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to determine the effectiveness of bioswales that are now under construction along a section of I-294, which is being widened. Bioswales, or vegetated wetland drainageways, are intended to improve tollway runoff by increasing contact time with wetland vegetation and soils, which transform nutrients and remove suspended sediment and certain other pollutants. The first phase of this project involves the emplacement of automated samplers, flow meters, and water-quality data loggers at three stations along the tollway to monitor runoff prior to construction of the bioswales and to establish the baseline loads of target contaminants leaving the roadway onto adjacent lands owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County or directly into the Des Plaines River. Later phases will measure the effectiveness of the bioswales after construction and compare the quality of runoff discharged by the bioswales to the present load. (Contact: Keith Carr and Jim Miner)
Planning for the Future of Chicago's Far North Lakefront
As a prelude to the 2009 centennial celebration of the publication of Plan of Chicago, the Chicago Friends of the Parks have been working on planning efforts for how lakefront park land could be constructed along the last four miles of Chicago lakefront where there is no public access. Known as the Last Four Miles Project, the most recent efforts have focused on planning for the future of the Rogers Park neighborhood, which has shoreline at the far northern limit of the Chicago lakefront. A public meeting for lakeshore planning for Rogers Park was held at the Loyola Park field house on Saturday, March 8, 2008. Michael Chrzastowski was a speaker and presented the history of existing lakeshore development and discussed why present-day low lake levels provide a need and opportunity for lakeshore planning. (Contact: Michael Chrzastowski)
Two Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC) Workshops Held
Two workshops co-sponsored by the Midwest Region PTTC and the Illinois Geological Society were held February 18 and March 5, 2008. The February 18 workshop was held in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, with 65 attendees. The topic, Natural Fracture Characterization: From Microcracks to Reservoir Permeability, was presented by Jon Olson, an American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) 2008 Distinguished Lecturer and Professor of Petroleum Engineering, University of Texas at Austin. Olson presented information on modern fractured reservoir theory and fractured reservoir characterization methods and provided examples of applications that can be helpful in dealing with the challenges in a wide array of Illinois Basin reservoirs.
A second PTTC workshop highlighted findings from a three-year U.S. Department of Energy-funded contract (DE-FC26-04NT15510). The workshop focused on Lower Paleozoic reservoirs in the Illinois Basin. The workshop was conducted March 5, 2008, in Evansville, Indiana, as a pre-convention workshop of the annual Illinois Oil and Gas Association Meeting. There were 118 attendees, and 11 presentations were given by staff of the Illinois State Geological Survey, including five newly completed reservoir studies. (Contact: Phil Johanek)
From the Watershed to the Global Ocean
The Illinois State Geological Survey organized and conducted a scientific session, "Groundwater Inputs to the Ocean, From the Watershed to the Global Ocean," at a recent scientific meeting sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, The Oceanography Society, and the Estuarine Research Federation. The meeting was held March 2-7, 2008, in Orlando, Florida. A main goal of the ISGS session was to build a consortium of scientists to discuss and prepare a research program to study groundwater and surface water interactions and the importance of groundwater to the Great Lakes Region. The pilot project of this program is titled, A Study of the Subsurface Water Role in the Water Resources of Lake Michigan: Ecological Policy, Assessment, and Prediction.
The pilot project will focus on the effects of natural climate changes, anthropogenic forcing, and their synergy with the ongoing contamination process in the Lake Michigan region and the role of subsurface water resources in water supply and water quality by:
- Compilation, generalization, and analysis of available hydrological and hydrogeological materials, including data from coastal bore holes and active water collections; analysis of the Lake Michigan water quality monitoring network data; and field exploration using submarine groundwater discharge methods, including water-borne geophysics and tracer techniques, bench tests, and control measurements.
- Quantitative assessment of regional groundwater inflow that includes specific factors (module of groundwater flow, groundwater runoff coefficient, coefficient of groundwater flow into lakes and rivers) in the Lake Michigan basin.
- Modeling the flow of groundwater into Lake Michigan and the quantitative assessment of groundwater's role in the Lake Michigan water balance and coastal zone balance.
- Elucidation of the main regularities and peculiarities of groundwater flow formation and distribution in different natural climatic, hydrological, hydrogeological, and anthropogenic conditions; assessment and prediction of groundwater spreading as the main part of its renewable resources under the conditions of developing contamination.
- Assessment of rational groundwater use perspectives with minimum adverse effect of groundwater intake on the Lake Michigan environment. All models will be tested in concrete sampling areas and carried out using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Upon completion of the project, the Lake Michigan Groundwater Information System (LMGWIS), the modeling tool, the Lake Michigan environment control criteria, and study recommendations to combat contamination will be available to politicians, water resource managers, and decision-makers for their application to the Lake Michigan regional water supply and water quality. Organizations such as the University of Illinois and the Illinois State Geological Survey will be used as platforms to distribute the information. In addition, thanks to this integrated conceptual approach, the mathematical tool is transportable to other Great Lakes regions undergoing similar problems in water supply and water quality. A demonstration version of the integrated tool will then be developed to give access to an interface in which socio-economic drivers and environmental pressures can be modified. (Contact: Yevgeniy Kontar).
Combustion By-Product Research Receives Additional Funding.
Illinois State Geological Survey researchers received additional funding from Duke Energy to conduct scale-up production test runs for the U.S. Department of Energy coal combustion by-product research project. The scientists also received support from Tampa Electric Inc. and ConocoPhillips to conduct coal combustion by-product utilization research. An invention disclosure related to manufacturing autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) utilizing fly ash has been filed with the University of Illinois. Two papers, one related to power plant slag utilization and the other related to AAC production utilizing fly ash, have been presented to the 23rd International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, which was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 29 to April 2, 2008. (Contact: Melissa Chou)
Updated 07/24/2012 SLD