ISGS - November 2008 Activity Highlights
November 2008 Activity Highlights
Geologist Bill Dey loads core into a box for transport.
Mahomet Aquifer Mapping Reveals Surprises and Gains International Collaboration
Bill Dey of the Illinois State Geological Survey and George Roadcap of the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) met with staff from Illinois American Water (IAW) in early November 2008 to select a drilling location by the company's water tower in north Champaign. The ISGS mobile drill rig was used to drill the hole November 18-20, 2008. Continuous core was collected during drilling, and core recovery was over 80%. A downhole gamma log was collected following drilling. Within the 305 feet of Quaternary sediments overlying the bedrock, only two sand units were encountered that were thick enough to permit installation of an observation well. Each observation well was installed with a 10-foot screen in contact with the sand unit and 10 feet of casing extending below the screen. Neither unit was the Mahomet Sand. A 10-foot-thick sand unit was found 105 to 115 feet below the land surface, which most likely is late Illinois age material in the upper Glasford Formation. The water level measured in the well on December 11, 2008, was below the bottom of the screen. A second sand unit was encountered from 175 to 180 feet below the land surface. This sand is most likely in the lower Glasford Formation and could be part of a lower Glasford aquifer. Drillers' logs for water wells in the area report sand at or near this depth. The water level in the well was measured at 143 feet below the land surface on December 11, 2008. Sediments interpreted to be the top of pre-Illinois Banner Formation were encountered at 205 feet below the land surface. Sand and gravel units representing the Mahomet aquifer were not encountered at this site. Ages and designation of the units will be verified following more detailed description of the core and core sample analysis of particle size distribution and clay mineralogy.
Mapping of the potentiometric surface of the Mahomet aquifer by the ISWS shows a steeper hydraulic gradient in northern Champaign County than in other parts of the aquifer. The absence of the Mahomet aquifer at the drill site confirms that the edge of the aquifer is in the area but farther west than previously mapped. It is not well understood if a relationship exists between the somewhat narrower aquifer and the steeper hydraulic gradient in the potentiometric surface of the Mahomet aquifer. The absence of the Mahomet aquifer at this point highlights the uncertainty that exists about the distribution and thickness of the aquifer along its edge in the area directly north of Champaign-Urbana and elsewhere in east-central Illinois. Additional study is warranted, and an increased emphasis is being placed on data acquisition and mapping in this area in 2009. Martin Ross and Lisa Atkinson from the University of Waterloo will be assisting in the mapping effort. (Contact: Bill Dey
Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund Supports ISGS Program in 2009
Knowledge of mine locations aids good engineering practices for planned construction projects and helps identify areas at risk for mine subsidence. With the support of Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund (IMSIF) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), maps for mined-out areas have been completed for 119 quadrangles since 1999. The ISGS Coal Section has received word that the IMSIF will be renewing its support for the ISGS mined-out area quadrangle mapping program for 2009. The new IMSIF-sponsored project will complete 11 quadrangles, and the IDOT-supported project will complete 9 quadrangles to bring the 2009 total to 139 completed quadrangles.
The quadrangle maps are accompanied by a directory that tallies production for each mine and gives more information about the map's mine outline and point locations. If the source map used for a mine outline was produced before the mine closed, the additional area mined is estimated. The source maps are documented, which is especially helpful when individuals, agencies, or commercial interests need to know the precise boundaries of undermined areas. Because the maps are digitally registered to land surface coordinates, an electronic copy of the source mine map used to compile the ISGS mined-out area can be sent to those who need precise information. These map products are freely downloadable in PDF format from the ISGS Web site. (Contact: Cheri Chenoweth)
Additional Funding for Geology of Lake County Project
Examples of 3-dimensional maps from Lake County.
The Illinois State Geological Survey has been conducting detailed geologic mapping throughout Lake County in northeastern Illinois for the past several years. The work has been funded by the State of Illinois and the U.S. Geological Survey through the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition and the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. More recently, Lake County government has provided additional funding to help expedite the project's completion. The effort has focused on the collection of high-quality data from outcrops, drilling, and geophysics with the integration of state-of-the-art computerized mapping software and methods to create detailed three-dimensional (3-D) geologic maps of the glacial and related deposits and the bedrock surface. Products will include a single, high-resolution, 3-D geologic map and a variety of other geologic maps that can be used for decision making. Additionally, a suite of digital image files and animations will be developed from the 3-D geologic map for educational use.
The glacial geology of Lake County records fluctuations of glacial margins during the last part of the Ice Age and represents one of the most geologically complex areas of the state. The glacial deposits are a source of drinking water and construction aggregate. The glacial landscape of the area also includes numerous lakes and the Fox River waterway, which provide recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. The 3-D geologic maps and other products will provide information for planning and for use of these natural resources. (Contact: Steve Brown)
Three-dimensional Hydrogeologic Mapping Begins in McHenry County
Natural resource management, specifically groundwater resource management, is a key factor to sustainable development in McHenry County, Illinois. Using a base of previous mapping efforts, historical records, and new fieldwork, the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) has begun a county-funded three-dimensional (3-D) geologic mapping project. The project is aimed at better understanding the distribution, variability, and character of sand and gravel aquifer systems throughout the county. This 3-D map will be used to assess the long-term availability and sensitivity to contamination of groundwater resources throughout the county. The map will also be serve as a basis for regional groundwater flow modeling studies by the Illinois State Water Survey, for more detailed groundwater flow modeling efforts by consultants for municipal or county agencies, and for guiding sand and gravel quarrying operations throughout the county.
The 2008 fieldwork in McHenry County was supported by funding from several different projects, including the McHenry County 3-D Mapping Project, Northeast Illinois Water Supply Planning Project, and the Central Great Lakes Mapping Coalition. Drilling was conducted at nine locations. At each site, continuous core was collected to bedrock, and a groundwater observation well was installed. A variety of geophysical data was also gathered throughout the county through 2-D seismic techniques, 2-D electrical resistivity methods, and borehole methods. Approximately 13 miles of 2-D geophysical profile data were collected, and downhole geophysical data were collected at seven locations. The 2009 fieldwork plans include more drilling and geophysics with associated laboratory analyses. These field data, together with available historical data, are being incorporated into a 3-D geologic map. Supplemental 3-D visualization tools are being developed by ISGS staff members to greatly simplify geologic interpretations and product development.
The progression of this project depends on the collaboration of many ISGS staff and university students with other state, county, and local agencies in the study area. Particularly important is the continued collaboration with the McHenry County Conservation District, which is hosting a majority of fieldwork locations. Furthermore, drilling data shared from a monitoring well network project, initiated by the county and conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers, will greatly aid this project. (Contact: Jason Thomason)
Invited Lecture Presented at a Nanotechnology Conference at the University of Jordan
Massoud Rostam-Abadi was part of the 10-member University of Illinois delegation attending an Advanced Nanostructured Materials and Technology Conference in Amman, Jordan, November 9-14, 2008. The University of Illinois partnered with King Saud University and University of Jordan to hold this conference, which was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, University of Jordan, and King Abdullah Institute for Nanotechnology at the King Saud University; industry partners included Naizak and PolyBrite. The Illinois group was led by University of Illinois Associate Chancellor Jesse Delia and included the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert. More than 220 participants from over 25 countries attended. Rostam-Abadi presented the invited talk, "Towards Cleaner Water and Environment: Challenges and Opportunities in Nano Science and Engineering." The University of Illinois College of Engineering news release can be found at http://engineering.illinois.edu/news/index.php?xId=0637076807700756. (Contact: Massoud Rostam-Abadi)
Busy Month for Earthquake Preparedness
Robert Bauer presented a talk on the impact of Illinois earthquakes for the Community Emergency Response Team in Springfield, Illinois, November 3, 2008. These community teams are trained to help residents in their neighborhoods following a disaster, and the presentation gave the team an idea of what might be expected for earthquake impacts in the Springfield area with pictures of corresponding damage.
Additionally, Bauer participated in the quarterly meeting of the Evansville Urban Hazard Mapping meeting on November 5, 2008, where participants from the Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky Geological Surveys, the U.S. Geological Survey, and Purdue University met to review progress on the regional project. The team of experts then made a half-day presentation to a public gathering of about 100 people about the project and the damage impact of the April 18, 2008, earthquake in Illinois and Indiana.
As part of its executive committee, Bauer participated in the workshop held in St. Louis on November 7, 2008, for the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) New Madrid Scenario working group. Participants from across the nation assembled to provide information from interested industries for developing a document that would provide a sobering look at the impacts on the local community infrastructure and the infrastructure that passes through the New Madrid Seismic Zone onto other areas of the nation. This document for the public and public officials will show impacts on buildings, electricity, water supplies, business interruption, transportation systems of roads, railroads, river traffic, pipelines, etc. and direct and indirect costs. Similar publications for Seattle and San Francisco have been produced with partial support from EERI and other contributors.
Another talk was presented on the impacts of earthquakes in Illinois to a civic group in Robinson, Illinois on November 11, 2008. Attendees discovered what the city may expect from large earthquakes in the New Madrid and Wabash Valley Seismic Zones as based on recent studies for the state emergency managers in Illinois.
Bauer participated in the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium Exercise Officers meeting in Tunica, Mississippi on November 12-13, 2008. The meeting covered the preparation of the exercise officers for the May 2011 earthquake exercise for the eight-state region around the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Bauer presented a talk on the response of the state geological surveys and their plans for a technical clearinghouse to assist in an emergency response. (Contact: Bob Bauer)
ISGS Staff Participate in Outreach Activities
Staff from several Survey scientific sections participated in formal and
informal outreach activities that involved diverse audiences, including
scientific professionals, the general public, teachers, and students.
• Steve Brown joined Gary Miller, Tim Lindsey, and John Marlin of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at a fall 2008 meeting with the City of
Chicago, Department of Environment, to discuss future projects and collaborations. Brown discussed geologic mapping in urban settings and
specifically the geologic mapping of the Lake Calumet area. (Contact: Steve Brown)
• Joe Devera and Mary Seid each gave talks at the Illinois Science Teachers' Association Conference in Peoria on Saturday, November 15, 2008.
Seid presented a talk and facilitated a discussion on women in science. The discussion was lively as the teachers in attendance shared their
personal experiences. (Contacts: Joe Devera and Mary Seid)
• Scott Elrick gave an ISGS public lecture at the Beckman Institute to a capacity crowd on the Fossil Forest discovery in two coal mines in Danville,
Illinois. The talk was reported on in the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette and on WILL AM radio. The same talk was given at the Missouri School
of Science and Technology. (Contact: Scott Elrick)
• Mark Hart gave a presentation to Mr. Matt Nilles' fourth-grade class at Kenwood Elementary School in Champaign, Illinois. Hart discussed his job
at the Survey, showed the students Illinois fossils, discussed Illinois geology, and answered students' questions. (Contact: Mark Hart)
• Sam Panno and Walt Kelly (ISWS) met with members of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) on November 6, 2008, and taught them
techniques to determine background concentrations of ions in groundwater and surface water. The IEPA is going to use the techniques to determine
maximum contaminant levels for Class III groundwater in the wetland areas of northeastern Illinois. (Contact: Sam Panno
• Sam Panno gave a presentation at the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Groundwater and the Groundwater Advisory Council meeting on
November 20, 2008, in Springfield. The talk was titled, "Defining the Term 'Background' and Methods for Determining Threshold Concentrations for
Anthropogenic Contaminants." (Contact: Sam Panno)
• Mike Barnhardt gave a presentation to a middle school class from the Waukegan public school district while drilling at the Greenbelt
Forest Preserve. The class was visiting the preserve to study vegetation and insect relationships. The teacher asked Mike to explain briefly what
was occurring as the observation wells were being "developed," or flushed, of drilling mud. Barnhardt discussed why the ISGS was drilling and
mapping, how geology and groundwater resources were interrelated, and this geologic information is important. Mike also discussed the
relationship of surficial geology to vegetation patterns in the forest preserve and how that, in turn, affected insect and animal populations. About 20
students and their teacher were in attendance. (Contact: Mike Barnhardt)
• Dave Grimley presented an invited seminar at the Southern Illinois University Geology Department. The presentation addressed both Quaternary
mapping and research in southwestern Illinois and magnetic susceptibility as a quantitative proxy of soil drainage. (Contact: Dave Grimley)
Groundwater Information in High Demand
Rick Rice responded to a total of 14 requests for hydrogeologic
information. These requests included two requests from homeowners; nine
requests from engineering consultants, developers, or environmental
consultants; and one request from a state or local government agency.
Among the responses were those to:
• an oil producer regarding potential for a water supply to be used in a water flood project near Albion in Edwards County.
• a consultant engineer regarding records of springs in the area of a proposed coal mine near Benton in Franklin County. The engineer was referred
to Survey geologist Pius Weibel for any additional information.
• a mine engineer regarding ISGS groundwater reports from 1951 and 1954 in the area of Nashville in Washington County.
• a landowner, potential landowner, and driller regarding water supply. These individuals had either drilled dry holes, wanted information
before drilling on property they already owned, wanted to replace existing insufficient water supplies, had water quality issues, or were considering
buying property that had no water supply. The water supplies were for domestic or irrigation use in Fulton County.
(Contact: Rick Rice)
ISGS staff members take some measurements in a quarry.
Visiting Doctoral Candidate Receives Training
Chris Stohr hosted visiting researcher and Ph.D. candidate, Matt Schumacher from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Schumacher visited the ISGS to learn close-range photogrammetry for developing three-dimensional digital models of outcrops, exposures, and landscape features. Expertise in this still-novel technique has been recently acquired by researchers at the Illinois State Geological Survey to help with a range of geologic mapping and characterization studies. The models developed with this technique can be used for detailed mapping of facies-level contacts on highwalls or unstable exposures, detailed mapping of landscape features, temporal evaluation of landslide stability and in digitally identifying orientation of joints, dips, and dip directions of rocks for detailed geologic studies. Schumacher and his advisor, Martin Ross, are interested in developing this expertise for their research to better understand the hydrogeology of glacial deposits. (Contact: Chris Stohr)
ISGS drillers put in a bore hole.
Mapping Coalition Completes Drilling Season
The 2008 drilling season has been completed for the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition and Metro Chicago-north STATEMAP-Zion Quadrangle mapping projects. Three Lake County sites were drilled in October: Greenbelt Forest Preserve, Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve, and Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve. A fourth location was also drilled at the Prairieview Education Center, a McHenry County Conservation District facility. Two groundwater observation wells were installed at both the Greenbelt and Prairieview locations to monitor long-term groundwater levels in sand and gravel aquifers. Three additional boreholes were drilled this year in Lake County forest preserves: one at Van Patten Woods-Sterling Lake and two at Lyons Woods, bringing the total number of boreholes drilled in Lake and adjacent McHenry and Cook Counties to 159 boreholes and 39 observation wells since the drilling program began in Lake County in 2000-2001. (Contact: Mike Barnhardt)
Seyed Dastgheib attended the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) Existing Plants Water Projects meeting in Pittsburgh. Dastgheib presented an invited seminar related to his newly funded DOE/Illinois Clean Coal Institute water-energy project, "Reuse of Produced Water from CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery, Coal Bed Methane, and Mine Pool Water by Coal-based Power Plants." More information and a fact sheet about this project can be obtained from the NETL Web site, http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/coalpower/ewr/water/pp-mgmt/isgs.html
Oil and Gas Section Projects Completed
The 3.5-year log scanning project funded by the Illinois Petroleum Resources Board has been completed. Over 144,400 logs in Illinois have been scanned and are available for online viewing and download. The Survey very much appreciates the support of the IPRB in archiving a very valuable resource and in making it available through the ISGS Web site
The final report for DOE contract DE-FC26-04NT15510 was completed and sent to DOE. The project titled, "A Systems Approach to Identifying Exploration and Development Opportunities in the Illinois Basin: Portfolio of Plays in Underexplored Lower Paleozoic Rocks." This project was supported by a four-year contract with DOE. Subcontractors were the Indiana Geological Survey and the Kentucky Geological Survey. Beverly Seyler was principal investigator, and Bryan Huff and John Grube were co-principal investigators. (Contact: Bev Seyler)
Updated 07/24/2012 SLD