ISGS - April-May 2009 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
3D image using transient electromagnetic method (TEM) sounding tehcnology.
Geophysicist Organizes Session on New Approaches in Near-Surface Geophysics
The Illinois State Geological Survey, together with Green Engineering Company, organized and conducted a scientific session, "Advancing the Use of Electrical Resistivity and Electromagnetic Methods for Near-Surface Applications," at a recent scientific meeting sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Canadian Geophysical Union, Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society, and AGU Near-Surface Geophysics Focus Group. The session was held on May 27, 2009, in Toronto, Canada, during the AGU Joint Assembly: The Meeting of the Americas (http://www.agu.org/meetings/ja09/ja09-sessions/ja09_NS31A.html). Electrical resistivity and electromagnetic methods can be used to obtain information about subsurface structure, properties, and processes for a wide range of near-surface applications. Over the past decade, significant advancements have occurred in all aspects of acquiring and interpreting field data. Invited presentations described theoretical, numerical, laboratory, and field studies that demonstrated current capabilities and highlighted important areas of ongoing and future research. Several presentations illustrated new approaches in using electrical resistivity and electromagnetic methods for three-dimensional geologic mapping, mineral exploration, groundwater evaluation, monitoring of hydrologic processes, contaminant detection and remediation, and geotechnical engineering. (Contact: Yevgeniy Kontar).
Environmental Assessment Contract Completed for La Salle
In April 2009, Mark Collier, of the Illinois State Geological Survey's Environmental Assessments Section, completed the terms of a contract with the City of La Salle by sending the city the preliminary environmental site assessment report. The scope of the report included the identification of documented and previously undocumented environmental conditions and natural features that would potentially impact new acquisitions or proposed improvements to existing municipal properties. (Contact: Mark Collier)
Closeup of Somer Township boring
New Drill Holes Aid Aquifer Mapping and Extend Boundaries of Coal Seam
As part of research undertaken to study the Mahomet Aquifer, funded by the Illinois American Water Company, geologists from the Quaternary Geology Section, Hydrogeology Section, and Coal Section at the Illinois State Geological Survey assisted in the retrieval of sediment and bedrock cores during the drilling of groundwater monitoring wells in Champaign and Piatt Counties. Information collected from drilling these boreholes will improve geologic maps being developed for the area and provide a better understanding of the subsurface geology in east-central Illinois.
The drilling of three new boreholes on property owned by Orr Farms Incorporated, Somer Township, and Stanton Township provided additional information about the glacial history and formation of the Mahomet Bedrock Valley. From the cores, sediments were identified that had been deposited under and in front of glaciers from centers of accumulation over northeastern Canada, possibly associated with the oldest glacial advance into the region. These sediments are similar to glacial deposits uncovered during drilling on the University of Illinois campus in 2009 and those previously mapped in west-central Indiana.
Additional information obtained from the bedrock core indicates that the subcrop of the Herrin Coal and Pennsylvanian rocks—observed in core from recently drilled boreholes on the University of Illinois campus—extends further north. A well drilled on Somer Township property (located approximately 5 miles north of Urbana) yielded a 4.7-foot-thick coal seam that is thought to be the Herrin Coal. The Stanton Township well (about 8 miles northeast of Urbana) yielded traces of oil in lower Pennsylvanian sandstone. (Contacts: Andy Stumpf, Bill Dey, Scott Elrick, and Chris Korose)
Geologic Mapping Coalition Project to Receive Funding
The Illinois State Geological Survey will receive $153,170 from the U.S. Geological Survey for fiscal year (FY) 2009, beginning August 1, 2009, for continued work with the Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition (GLGMC). The ongoing GLCMC project is mapping the surficial and subsurface geologic framework of the complex glacial deposits in northeastern Illinois. This three-dimensional mapping project has focused on Lake County and adjoining parts of McHenry, Kane, and Cook Counties since FY2000. During FY09, the mapping area will include larger parts of McHenry County and the Lake Calumet Quadrangle. A sub-project has been added to further develop the three-dimensional modeling and visualization capabilities for the GLGMC and the Survey. (Contacts: Steve Brown, Mike Barnhardt, and Don Keefer)
Two Groundwater Studies Funded
A proposal titled "Identification of Fecal Pollution of Karst Waters" by W.R. Kelly (Illinois State Water Survey), W.-T. Liu (University of Illinois), and S.V. Panno (Illinois State Geological Survey) was funded by the Midwest Technology Assistance Center for $83,138.
William Roy is principal investigator and Sam Panno is co-investigator on an Illinois State Geological Survey proposal that was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The proposal is titled "Protecting Drinking Water by Reducing Uncertainties Associated with Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Deep Saline Aquifers." Panno is the technical lead on Task 5, "Structural Controls on Saline Groundwater Discharge from the Illinois Basin: Long-term Monitoring of Nearby Seeps and Implications for CO2 Sequestration Locations." (Contact: Sam Panno)
Study of State Nature Preserves Funded
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is funding "Compilation and Interpretation of Hydrogeological and Geochemical Data at State Nature Preserves 2009," with Randy Locke as principal investigator and Jim Miner as co-principal investigator. The $129,999 project addresses the collection and analysis of hydrogeological and geochemical data by the Illinois State Geological Survey and Illinois State Water Survey for the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) and the IDNR's Office of Resource Conservation. This cooperative effort investigates hydrogeological and geochemical processes related to natural habitats so that a wide range of site issues may be properly addressed by the agencies. Relevant site issues may include land acquisition, site management, monitoring, restoration, impact mitigation, and other issues. Tasks for the 12-month contracting period include responding to INPC requests for information or analysis, compiling groundwater-related data for selected nature preserves, and hydrological and geochemical monitoring at three nature preserves in northern Illinois. (Contact: Randy Locke)
ISGS Has Major Presence at Regional Meeting
Illinois State Geological Survey staff members organized two sessions, led a field trip, and presented or co-authored 21 talks and posters at the North-Central Geological Society of America meeting in Rockford in late April. Mike Chrzastowski led the field trip, "Chicago's Landscape—A Product of Glacial and Coastal Processes." Dick Berg organized a panel discussion titled "Protecting Public Health through Geologic Understanding," and Don Mikulic organized the session, "The Possible Impact of Oceanic and Climatic Events on the Depositional Patterns of Silurian Rocks in Northeastern Illinois." View publication citations.
ISGS Participates in Earthquake Preparedness
Robert Bauer, engineering geologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), participated in the first meeting May 7-9, 2009, in Washington, DC, of a National Research Council committee for the project National Earthquake Resilience—Research, Implementation, and Outreach. The committee's task is to develop a roadmap for earthquake hazard and risk reduction in the United States to reach goals and objectives for achieving national earthquake resilience in public safety and economic security within 20 years. These goals and objectives have been stated in the current strategic plan of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) that was submitted to Congress in 2008.
Robert Bauer participated in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IV New Madrid Catastrophic Planning Workshop held May 4-6, 2009, in Atlanta, Georgia, and made several presentations at the FEMA Region VII New Madrid Catastrophic Planning Workshop on May 26-28 in Jefferson City, Missouri. The workshops presented the results of analysis for eight states of the estimated impact of a 7.7-magnitude New Madrid earthquake. Three maps showing how soils for the eight states would behave during an earthquake were produced by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium State Geologists (CUSEC), of which the ISGS is a member. These maps were produced for use in this computer loss estimation analysis. Participants worked in breakout sessions to produce responses for such an event. The Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri Geological Surveys and the U.S. Geological Survey, with input from federal and state emergency managers, worked on their individual agencies earthquake response plans with consideration of coordination between agencies and states. This work will result in plans that will be used in an eight-state earthquake exercise in May 2011.
Robert Bauer was an invited participant at the National Level Exercise 2011 Concepts & Objectives Meeting on May 19, 2009, in Washington, DC. This meeting was the roll-out to the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and other federal agencies of the 2011 national exercise that has been developed from the state level up. This exercise is the first bottom-driven national exercise and the first national level exercise that pertains to a natural disaster, a magnitude 7.7 New Madrid Earthquake. All other exercises have been based on terrorism. This exercise will also be the largest, with eight states and four FEMA Regions participating. The exercise is based on the FEMA New Madrid Catastrophic Planning Initiative scenario, for which the CUSEC State Geologists had prepared soil site class and liquefaction susceptibility maps. The national exercise is scheduled for May 16-20, 2011. (Contact: Bob Bauer)
Presentations at National and State Meetings
Illinois State Geological Survey scientists have been well represented at spring 2009 professional conferences.
- Yevgeniy Kontar gave an invited presentation, "Illinois-Lake Michigan EarthScope Seismic Experiment," during the EarthScope National Meeting's pre-meeting workshop on May 12, 2009, in Boise, Idaho.
- Tim Young gave a 30-minute presentation at the bimonthly meeting of the Society of Mining Engineers (SME), Chicago Section, in Westmont, Illinois, May 19, 2009. The presentation was titled "Acoustic Borehole Imaging and Other Logging Methods Applied to Aggregate Resources in Illinois." Approximately 30 people attended, including engineers, hydrogeologists, consultants, contractors, and producers.
- Sam Panno presented a paper, "Effects of Septic Effluent on Groundwater and Surface Water Supplies," at the 2009 Illinois Environmental Health Association's annual education conference in Peoria, Illinois, on May 15, 2009.
- Randall Hughes (retired) presented the paper, "Identifying and Differentiating Midcontinental North American Pipestone Quarries," as part of the symposium "Towards an International Inventory of Prehistoric Mines and Quarries," at the 74th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Atlanta, Georgia, April 22-26, 2009. The paper's coauthors were Thomas Emerson, Randall Hughes, Sarah Wisseman, and Kenneth Farnsworth.
ISGS Contributes to Burnham Centennial Celebration
Summer 2009 is the centennial celebration of the 1909 publication, Plan of Chicago, which presented a stunning vision for the twentieth century development of Chicago. Commonly known as "The Burnham Plan," one of the legacies of this vision is the parkland and unique urban aesthetics of the Chicago lakefront. During summer 2009 the Illinois State Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Chicago Friends of the Parks, is conducting Saturday morning public bus tours along the Chicago lakefront to tell the story of how this urban shoreline was designed, engineered, and built. The first of the summer tours occurred on the morning of Saturday, May 16. Additional tours are scheduled for June 20 and July 18. (Contact: Mike Chrzastowski)
Earthquake Insight Field Trip
Geophysicist Tim Larson represented the Illinois State Geological Survey as a presenter on the geology of the Alton and East St. Louis Metro area of southwestern Illinois during the Earthquake Insight Field Trip on May 28, 2009. The goal of the trip was to provide non-scientists with a greater understanding of the earthquake risks in the central United States. This semi-annual event is hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey but includes other presenters who are currently active in earthquake research. The 29 non-scientist trip participants included finance and equity professionals, risk managers, business leaders, and elected officials. (Contact: Tim Larson)
Tim Grove, left, AGU President and Yevgeniy Kontar [photo curtesy of Alik Ismail-Zadeh]
Geophysicist Elected to Committee on Natural Hazards
Yevgeniy Kontar, Geophysics Section, Illinois State Geological Survey, was elected as an executive committee member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) natural hazards focus group during the AGU Joint Assembly in Toronto, Canada, May 23-27, 2009. The group fosters a focus on studies of geophysical hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, floods, droughts, heat waves, space weather, storms, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, impact by near-Earth objects, and related events. The group promotes fundamental research into the links between extreme natural hazards and dynamic processes on Earth and in space; real-time and long-term monitoring of active processes in the Earth and in space; quantitative natural hazard modeling that combines geophysical, ecological, societal, and economic aspects of disaster scenarios; studying predictability of natural extreme events, their operational forecasting, and reducing predictive uncertainties; comprehensive interdisciplinary research aimed at reducing vulnerability to both current and future natural hazards; and implementation of effective strategies and designs for hazard mitigation and disaster management worldwide, with particular focus on the most risk-prone areas. The effects of human activities in enhancing geophysical disasters are also of interest to the group. The group concentrates its efforts on scientific problems of natural hazards and geological risk analysis and on the development of solid links between geophysical sciences and mathematical, engineering, and social science communities and users of knowledge concerning natural hazards. The group works in cooperation with and provides a bridge to similar efforts by the global programs of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, International Council for Science, United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and other national, regional, and international bodies. (Contact: Yevgeniy Kontar)
Updated 07/24/2012 SLD