ISGS - October 2008 Activity Highlights
October 2008 Activity Highlights
Hannes Leetaru, left, and Mike Chrzastowski display their awards.
ISGS Staff Members Honored
On October 12, 2008, Hannes E. Leetaru was presented the Outstanding Educator Award for 2008 by the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists at its annual meeting in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The award was given in recognition of Leetaru's commitment to educating the next generation of petroleum geologists. (Contact: Hannes Leetaru)
Michael J. Chrzastowski was honored with an achievement award by the Board of Directors of the American Shore & Beach Association (ASBPA) at the 2008 annual awards banquet held in Chicago on October 16. The award recognized his work as co-chairman for the 2008 ASBPA National Conference. At the 2008 annual board meeting of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association in Chicago, Chrzastowski was elected to an additional two-year term as one of the 36 national board members. (Contact: Mike Chrzastowski)
Sustainable Shorelines Is Chicago Conference Theme
Forest Park Beach aerial photo.
Because of innovative coastal engineering, Chicago has some of the most durable and sustainable urban shoreline of any U.S. coastal city. Thus it was fitting that the 2008 National Conference of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), held in Chicago on October 14-17, had the theme "Sustainable Shorelines." Conference co-chairs were Michael Chrzastowski (ISGS) and Charles Shabica (Northeastern Illinois University, retired). The Opening Session included official welcomes from Illinois State Representative Harry Osterman (14th District) and Commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna (Office of the Mayor), who oversees the ongoing Chicago Shoreline Protection Project. The conference attendees represented most U.S. coastal states as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, and Egypt. Several of the technical talks focused on ongoing coastal projects along the Illinois North Shore and the Chicago lakefront.
Lake Forest, Illinois, received national recognition during the annual award banquet for its municipal beach, Forest Park Beach. ISGS coastal geologist Michael Chrzastowski presented the award to representatives of the City of Lake Forest on behalf of the ASBPA President. Each year the ASBPA recognizes a beach project along the U.S. ocean or Great Lakes coast that has proven itself for 20 or more years and has met its design purpose for such parameters as shore protection, recreation, aesthetics, and durability. Forest Park Beach was completed in 1987. The ISGS was responsible for a second phase of post-construction coastal monitoring of this lakefront project from 1991 through 1995. To date this project remains the most sustainable municipal beach along the Illinois bluff coast. (Contact: Mike Chrzastowski)
Chicago Burnham Centennial Previewed
Scientists use illustrations to help tell the
story of how the Chicago shoreline was built.
2009 marks the centennial anniversary of the 1909 publication of Plan of Chicago, commonly known as "The Burnham Plan." This historic, color-illustrated, urban planning book presented a vision for the twentieth century development of Chicago and the Chicago region. Co-authors Daniel H. Burnham (1846-1912) and Edward H. Bennett (1874-1954) completed this acclaimed work for the Commercial Club of Chicago, relying on their planning experience from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, which was held at what is now Chicago's Jackson Park. The world-renowned Chicago lakefront is one of the major legacies of the Burnham Plan.
On October 16, 2008, as part of the 2008 National Conference of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), the ISGS hosted two 3.5-hour motor coach tours of the Chicago lakefront to tell the story of how the Burnham Plan contributed to the building of this urban shoreline. The 110 field trip participants received copies of ISGS Guidebook 36, which emphasizes graphics to tell this lakefront story. The field trip, refreshments, and guidebook publication were all sponsored by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois. Between 1920 and 1940, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock was responsible for building most of the revetments, groins, and lakefill that now make possible the Chicago lakefront parks. This field trip was a preview of 2009 centennial events. ISGS is a program partner for The Burnham Plan Centennial. The guidebook is for sale on the ISGS Web site. (Contact: Mike Chrzastowski)
Solid Wastes from Oil Refinery Transformed into Green Construction Products
Fluid catalytic cracking in an oil refinery uses a catalyst, such as an alumino-silicate zeolite, in the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to light hydrocarbons. A small fraction of the catalyst is continually replaced with fresh catalyst to maintain activity. More than 400 tons of spent alumino-silicate equilibrium catalyst (spent e-cat) are generated daily in North America and more than 1,100 tons are generated worldwide. Most of this spent e-cat is disposed of in landfills (municipal and on-site facilities). ISGS researchers conducted tests to make construction products using solid waste e-cat from an oil refinery. Laboratory-scale and commercial-scale test runs have been completed successfully, and commercial-scale tests of engineering properties are in progress. An article describing the results, titled "Making fired bricks with spent equilibrium catalyst: A technical feasibility study," co-authored by M.-I. M. Chou, L.‑M. Chen, Y.C. Lai, and S.‑F.J. Chou, has been accepted by the Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management. (Contact: Melissa Chou)
Hillside Landfull aerial photo
Borehole Geophysics Supports Landfill Closing Effort
At the request of Dan Drommerhausen, professional geologist at Shaw Environmental (The Shaw Group), the ISGS Geophysics Section is providing borehole geophysical logging support for Shaw. Shaw is one of the contractors providing environmental and engineering expertise for Allied Waste and Congress Development Company during the closing and monitoring of the Hillside Landfill, Hillside, Illinois, in Cook County. The 300-foot Hillside Landfill was established during the 1970s at the site of a previous limestone/dolomite quarry. Shaw and Raimonde Drilling are core drilling and sampling the bedrock at 11 points surrounding the quarry landfill, and continuous cores are being collected to 200 feet in depth in order to help Shaw Environmental better understand the hydrogeologic complexity of the bedrock surrounding and enveloping the landfill. Many of the boreholes are within ~20 to 30 feet of the old quarry wall. A major reason for requesting technical assistance from the ISGS Geophysics Section was its borehole acoustic imaging capabilities, both operationally and in post-processing the data. This particular logging method helps in detecting bedding planes, fractures, vugs, and voids as well as lithologic boundaries and other changes at very high resolution compared with other, more common logging methods. Since the probe is also equipped with a magnetometer and inclinometers, ISGS scientists are able to also determine the orientation and dip of fractures and bedding planes within vertical or angled coreholes. In addition to acoustic imaging, the ISGS is recording fluid temperature, resistivity, and several other physical properties. The landfill was scheduled for closure in 2008 and is required to meet certain parameters and timelines set by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Attorney General's office.
The ISGS Geophysics Section is committed to providing technical expertise and actively promotes the use of borehole and surface geophysical methods for projects throughout the state that involve the safety and well-being of its citizens, and where borehole and other geophysical methods are not readily available, or when such methods are cost-prohibitive, or when such methods are only considered after a project is under way and timeliness and availability of these methods are critical. (Contact: Tim Young)
ISGS Participates in CUSEC Meeting
Don McKay and Robert Bauer participated in the meeting of the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) State Geologists along with representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey in New Harmony, Indiana, on October 21-23. The meeting covered the history of the Association of CUSEC State Geologists and its many map products produced and used across the United States within earthquake loss estimation programs by insurance industry consultants, the military, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Association set up long-term plans for future projects and met with the U.S. Geological Survey to coordinate these projects. (Contact: Robert Bauer)
ISGS to Provide Input for an Illinois Stream Mitigation Program
Scientists assessing impacts to an Illinois stream.
Three geomorphologists from the Survey divisions of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability (INRS) attended a meeting led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the creation of a program to assess impacts to Illinois streams and mitigation for those impacts. Impacts to aquatic habitat including streams and wetlands are federally regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The new program will regulate stream impacts and oversee mitigation in Illinois in a manner similar to the program that already exists for wetlands.
At the meeting, existing methods for stream impact and mitigation assessment were introduced and a team was assembled that will formulate a stream mitigation program specific to Illinois. As part of this team, INRS geomorphologists Geoff Pociask (ISGS), Drew Phillips (ISGS), and Laura Keefer (Illinois State Water Survey) will collaborate in reviewing existing mitigation programs that have been implemented in other states as well as provide input in order to tailor the program to Illinois geomorphology. The team also includes representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The team will meet over the next several months to discuss any proposed changes to existing methods and to test prototype methodology. (Contact: Geoff Pociask)
Sulfur Spring Studied
On October 1, 2008, Pius Weibel sampled a sulfur spring north of Carlock in Woodford County. This spring was last sampled by the ISGS in 1899 and reported on in a 1909 publication. In that publication, however, the location was listed as McLean County. The site was revisited on October 21, 2008, with Ted Flynn (University of Illinois Department of Geology), who is working on the geochemistry and geomicrobiology of the Mahomet aquifer. The pH, temperature, specific conductivity, and dissolved oxygen content of the water in the spring were measured. Water samples were taken for further analysis in the lab. The concentrations of various anions and cations will be measured using ion chromatography. Several liters of the spring water were filtered trap microbes. The filters will later be used to extract DNA for molecular characterization. Samples of the white filamentous mats present downstream from the outflow pipe were also taken for DNA extraction. (Contact: Pius Weibel)
ISGS Scientist Gives Lecture on Illinois Beach State Park
James Miner presented a lecture, "The Geologic History of Illinois Beach State Park: Glacial History, Lake Michigan Levels, and Current Wetland Research," to 55 people at the annual Illinois Soils Classifiers Association meeting on October 15, 2008. The lecture was part of a program of discussion regarding the biota and hydrogeologic conditions in Illinois Beach in advance of field demonstrations on the soils of the region the next day (Contact: Jim Miner)
Fossil Forest Tale Continues
Scott Elrick's interview with BBC radio 4 at the Creek Paum mine concerning the Fossil Forest Discovery was broadcast the last week of October. The program is available for listening: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/leadingedge_20081023.shtml
Elrick also presented an illustrated public lecture, Geologic Secrets of the Fossil Rain Forest, on November 6, 2008, at the Beckman Institute Auditorium on the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus. A capacity crowd attended the lecture and actively participated in the question-and-answer session that followed. Many stayed to observe fossil specimens after the event. (Contact: Scott Elrick)
New U.S. Department of Energy Contract Awarded
A new U.S. Department of Energy-funded contract titled, Reservoir Characterization of Cypress and Bridgeport Sandstones in Lawrence Field Illinois to Improve Petroleum Recovery by Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer Flood" has been awarded to the ISGS scientists in the ISGS Oil and Gas Section. Beverly Seyler is Principal Investigator and Bryan Huff and John Grube are co-principal investigators of this three-year contract valued at $1.8 million. (Contact: Bev Seyler)
Survey Scientist Featured at Springfield Rock and Mineral Show
Dan Adomaitis was the ISGS representative at the Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society (LOESS) Rock and Mineral Show on October 4 and 5, 2008, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. He fielded questions from the public regarding the many functions of the Survey and the services and resources available to the public. Adomaitis oversaw the sale of publications and enjoyed answering rock and mineral identification questions from both children and adults. (Contact: Dan Adomaitis)
Updated 07/24/2012 SLD