ISGS - July 2009 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
Sugar Camp Creek, May 2009
Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank Approved
Scientists in the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) Wetlands Geology Section assisted the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) with plans for the Sugar Camp Creek Wetland and Stream Mitigation Bank, a 105-acre wetland and stream mitigation bank in Franklin County, Illinois. The ISGS provided a hydrogeologic characterization report, including recommendations for wetland and stream restoration that were incorporated into IDOT's site development plan. The ISGS will continue to assist IDOT by monitoring hydrology and stream geomorphology during and after wetland and stream restoration. The mitigation bank was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 17, 2009. (Contact: Geoff Pociask)
ISGS Librarian Anne Huber
Grant Received for Cataloging Library
The four Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability librarians (Anne Huber, Illinois State Geological Survey; Susan Braxton and Beth Wohlgemuth, Illinois Natural History Survey; and Laura Barnes, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center) received a grant from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) in July 2009. The grant will be used to assist with retrospective cataloging of materials from those three libraries and the Illinois State Water Survey library. The cataloged records will be migrated to the digital I-Share and WorldCat catalogs. The Institute libraries hold many unique and Illinois-specific documents, including "gray" literature, such as contract reports that are only cataloged locally. Using existing metadata, the records for these materials will be converted to electronic records that can be uploaded to the catalogs. The immediate benefit will be to improve discoverability and access to these documents to Survey and Illinois researchers as well as others throughout the world. The proposal is titled, "An Innovative Approach to Collection Transfers Using Existing Metadata: Improving Access to collections of the State Scientific Libraries in I-Share and OCLC." The amount of the award is $11,637 for the 2010 fiscal year. (Contact: Anne Huber)
Preserving Geologic Samples from Public Works Projects
Don Mikulic presented a paper at the Geoscience Data Preservation Workshop sponsored by the Association of American State Geologists and the U.S. Geological Survey. The meeting was held in Bloomington, Indiana, on July 14-15, 2009. Mikulic's paper addressed difficulties in preserving geologic samples generated through government-funded public works projects.
In recent years, large-scale water treatment systems have been constructed in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago started work on its system in the late 1960s, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District project got under way in the 1970s. Planning for these publicly funded projects included extensive geotechnical studies by private consultants, which generated large volumes of samples, unpublished data, and published reports. These unique projects were the first comprehensive and systematic geologic studies undertaken in the largest metropolitan areas of Illinois and Wisconsin. Both districts have been cooperative in allowing scientific use of their geologic information and have donated samples to their state geological surveys. However, issues concerning the long-term scientific access, use, and preservation of these materials remain unresolved despite decades of effort. For example, thousands of feet of core have been produced, creating long-term storage problems. Attempts to reduce this volume of samples by discarding "redundant" cores and other materials have resulted in the loss of critical information. It has become apparent that substituting existing stratigraphic interpretations, lithologic descriptions, or photographs could not provide the detail needed for modern stratigraphic interpretation of these rocks, but, rather, that the original cores had to be restudied with this new perspective in mind. These and other issues demonstrate the need to require a portion of the costs in future large-scale, publicly funded projects to be directed toward the long-term scientific study and preservation of all samples and data generated. (Contact: Don Mikulic).
Paper Presented on Water Management in India
Subhash B. Bhagwat, principal economist retired from the Illinois State Geological Survey, presented a paper entitled "Water in Pune District, Maharashtra State, India: Economic, Environmental and Management Issues" at the international conference, Urban Water Management: Issues and Opportunities, organized by The Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) and The National Institute for Water Resources (NIWR) in Chicago, July 7-9, 2009.
The paper was based on a 6-month study by the author as a J. William Fulbright Senior Fellow. The study area (Pune District) in the western state of Maharashtra in India is the fastest growing industrial district in the state. Well connected nationally and internationally by highways, rail, and air, the district has been a prime location for international companies. The city of Pune is known for its large skilled labor force, social and political activism, and strong but cooperative labor organizations. In a country with perpetual water problems, Pune is one of the best supplied cities. Even so, water is rationed severely with less than 6 hours of tap water a day. Water scarcity may become the biggest obstacle to the city's economic growth in the near future. The study objective was to highlight water's close connections to electricity supply, sewage treatment, public health, geology, land use policies, pricing, and public budgets. In summary, the study results showed that water resource issues are not an isolated problem but are intimately intertwined with the rest of life. The study results have been submitted to key policy making agencies in India in order to emphasize the need for comprehensive planning and implementation of policies. (Contact: Subhash Bhagwat)
ISGS Geologists Lead Field Trip for International Scientists
Scott Elrick and John Nelson of the Illinois State Geological Survey welcomed a group of international and U.S. geologists to the Illinois Basin in July 2009 for a tour of 10 active Pennsylvanian age surface coal mines across the Basin area. The tour group consisted of four paleobotanists: Stanislov Oplustil of Charles University, Josef Pšenička of West Bohemian Museum in the Czech Republic, Ph.D student Sarah King of the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and Bill DiMichele of the Smithsonian Institute. Also participating were Ph.D student Nick Rosenau from Southern Methodist University and Kansas State professor Al Archer.
Highlights of the trip include the collection of extensive Desmoinsian plant fossils for research and display at the West Bohemian Museum in the Czech Republic. This collection likely represents the largest Illinois Basin plant collection in Europe and will be used to study cross-continental correlations and fossil plant evolutionary changes. Also, the discovery of a fossil seed fern species on Interstate 24 south of Vienna, Illinois, may prove to be the lowest stratigraphic occurrence of said species, perhaps disrupting current theories on the migration of plant taxa across Pangea. Additional investigations included documenting tidally deposited sediment on coal seams, microtopographic differences of paleolandscapes prior to peat mire formation, and underclay (paleosol) formation. (Contact: Scott Elrick)
Public Outreach Conducted for Water-Supply Planning
Ed Mehnert is working with the East-Central Illinois Regional Water-Supply Planning Committee (RWSPC) in its public outreach efforts. Mehnert attended evening meetings in Clinton on July 23, 2009, Havana on July 27, and Tremont on July 28, 2009, to help describe the water-supply planning report and answer questions from the public. Nine more meetings are planned. The RWSPC's final report, A Plan to Improve the Planning and Management of Water Supplies in East-Central Illinois, is available on-line at www.rwspc.org. (Contact: Ed Mehnert)
Teacher Workshop Presented
On July 20-22, 2009, Don Mikulic presented two talks, conducted one classroom demonstration, and was co-leader of a field trip for the 13th Annual Illinois Teachers Workshop, sponsored by the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers. Held this year in Carbondale, the workshop was attended by 35 K-12 teachers from around Illinois. (Contact: Don Mikulic)
Karst Information Presented to Environmental Network
Sam Panno gave a presentation titled "Karst of Will County" at a meeting hosted by the Will County Environmental Network and participated in a round table discussion. The meeting was attended by representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Representative Debbie Halvorson, Illinois State Representative Jack McGuire, Illinois Senator A.J. Wilhelmi, Will County, Joliet Township, Will County Health Department, City of Joliet, Troy Township, Elwood Township, local businesses, and land developers. (Contact: Sam Panno)
Updated 07/30/2012 SLD