ISGS - April 2010 Activity Highlights
ISGS - April Monthly Activities
Stream in Illinois
Stream Mitigation Guidelines
Illinois State Geological Survey geologists Geoff Pociask and Andrew Phillips took part in several meetings held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that resulted in the development of stream mitigation guidelines proposed for testing in Illinois. The new guidelines were released for public notice on April 9, 2010. The guidelines will be applied to compensate for unavoidable adverse impacts to Illinois streams regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and other state regulatory programs. Other agencies included in the meetings were the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Biodiesel Waste Reuse Studied
More renewable energy sources are being used in the nation and worldwide to generate liquid energy biofuels. One such example is biodiesel, which is produced from waste cooking oils, commercially produced vegetable oils, or animal fats. In these catalytic conversion processes, the final product is purified with a silicate adsorbent to remove excess feed materials and by-products, such as free glycerin. The resulting saturated silicate filter cake, the primary solid waste material from biodiesel fuel production, is currently disposed of in landfills. During the past year, Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) researchers, including Mei-In Melissa Chou, contacted several biodiesel processing plants in Illinois and started analyzing their solid waste materials for possible value-added applications to replace current land filling. In April 2010, ISGS researchers, a local biodiesel plant, and a potential industrial user met to discuss technical details, including receiving and supplying the waste material.
Monitoring Well Drilling Started
Drilling at the Illinois Basin Decatur Project site began this month to install four groundwater monitoring wells that are required as part of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) permit to monitor the lowermost underground source of drinking water. Edward Mehnert, Randy Locke, Abbas Iranmanesh, Bracken Wimmer, Ivan Krapac, and the Illinois State Geological Survey drilling team have drilled, installed, and begun development of a well (ADM-102G) into fractured limestone at a depth of about 170 feet below the ground surface. Another well (ADM-103G) has been completed in sandstone at a depth of about 140 feet below the ground surface. The monitoring program has increased its ability to detect and quantity gases using a field infrared gas analyzer. The analyzer was updated with a H2S sensor to monitor CO2, CH4, and H2S in real time under field conditions.
Significant Results and Project Completions
Curt Abert and Craig Gain compiled a series of maps for the April 11-13, 2010, EarthScope meeting hosted by the University of Illinois (Steve Marshak, Department of Geology, National Science Foundation Grant EAR 09-52257). The 18 maps pertained primarily to Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky and covered these topics: surface topography, bedrock topography, surficial geology (with and without relief), bedrock geology (with and without bedrock relief), top of the Pennsylvanian Springfield Coal, top of the Mississippian-Devonian New Albany Shale, top of the Ordovician Trenton Group, top of the Precambrian, Bouguer gravity anomaly (regional and national), isostatic gravity anomaly (regional and national), gravity anomaly (regional and national), fold and fault traces, and earthquake epicenters.
New Projects Funded
Randy Locke and Jim Miner, Wetland Geology Section, received $130,000 from the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) for the contract titled, "Compilation and Interpretation of Hydrogeologic and Geochemical Data at State Nature Preserves - 2010." The INPC assists private and public landowners in Illinois by protecting high-quality natural areas and habitats of endangered and threatened species in perpetuity, through voluntary dedication or registration of lands into the Illinois Nature Preserves System. This funding supports a long-standing effort (the Nature Preserves Program) by the Illinois State Geological Survey and Illinois State Water Survey to investigate hydrogeologic and geochemical processes related to natural habitats. The funding also allows the Surveys to provide scientifically sound information and analyses that the INPC can use to help meet its mission and to make informed decisions on a wide range of site issues (e.g., land acquisition and management; water resources monitoring and restoration; and identification and mitigation of impacts from adjacent land uses).
David Morse indicated that the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) Coal Section has been awarded a five-year grant to supply coal data to the U.S. Geological Survey. The grant is part of the National Coal Resource Data System (NCRDS) that ISGS has contributed to for at least the past decade and a half.
Robert Bauer gave a 2-hour keynote presentation to about 150 participants of the Illinois Emergency Management Services Conference on April 15, 2010, in Peoria. Bauer presented historical and prehistoric information on earthquakes in the central United States, their projected impacts as determined by several recent scenarios, and ways to stay safe during earthquake response. Bauer also supplied 15 photographs and other graphics to Illinois Emergency Management Agency for its earthquake display. The illustrations showed damage from Illinois earthquakes and the location and magnitude of earthquakes throughout the state since 1795. The display was used by IEMA at the April 15th conference and will be used at various other conferences and meetings.
Illinois State Geological Survey scientists made their presence known at the recent Geological Society of American North-Central Section and South-Central Section Joint Meeting held in Branson, Missouri, in April 11-13, 2010. ISGS researchers organized a session on carbon sequestration and presented several papers. The citations for the papers can be found in the April 2010 list of publications.
Lu-Ming Chen, a graduate student advised by Mei-In Melissa Chou at the Illinois State Geological Survey, presented a paper at the 25th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, March, 14 - 17, 2010, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The paper related to utilization of solid waste generated from the production process of biodiesel. Chen's travel was made possible through a travel award provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.
Hong Wang co-presented a paper entitled "Archaeological and Paleoenvironmental Implications of >40-ka Charcoal Radiocarbon Dates from Moche Borago, Ethiopia" at the 2010 Annual Paleoanthropology Society meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Authors were Steven A. Brandt, Erich C. Fisher, Elisabeth A. Hildebrand, and Hong Wang.
Illinois State Geological Survey coastal geologist Michael Chrzastowski was the guest speaker at DePaul University's Chaddick Institute in downtown Chicago. Chrzastowski presented information about the geologic history of the Chicago lakefront and Chicago River. Thirty-two students, faculty, and lakefront residents attended the lecture.
Robert Bauer, Illinois State Geological Survey engineering geologist, presented a two-hour class lecture on the strength of earth materials and testing methods employed to determine the strength and characteristics of ground for tunneling and other underground excavation. The lecture was attended by 19 students of the University of Illinois class Geology 333. Subsurface characteristics were linked with excavation techniques and foundation design changes through time for Chicago buildings and tunnels. The students were then given a tour of the ISGS rock and soil laboratory in order to see the testing equipment described in the lecture.
Chris Stohr presented 2-hour lectures on the Illinois Height Modernization Program and a new surveying application. The lectures were given to surveying classes at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville on April 7-8, 2010. Three faculty members and approximately 75 students attended the lecture.
Brandon Curry reran a 2008 Friends of the Pleistocene field trip to northeastern Illinois for about 30 students. The students were from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northern Illinois University. The group visited five stops over the course of two days. Stops included the folded sand and gravel of the Spring Lake pit, paleosols of the LaFarge Elburn facility, proglacial lake deposits and till at Wedron, and an ice-walled lake plain.
Jared Freiburg, Joan Crockett, and David Morse hosted an Illinois State Geological Survey display and sales booth at the Central Illinois Gem and Mineral Club Annual show in Decatur, Illinois, on April 24-25, 2010. The ISGS staff identified fossils and minerals, sold ISGS publications, helped Boy and Girl Scouts learn about what a geologist does as a career, and shared geological information with interested and concerned members of the public. The show attracted several hundred visitors, families, and kids.
Donald Keefer and Curt Abert taught a University of Illinois FAST-3 short course on interpolation with Spatial Analyst and Geostatistical Analyst. The course was held April 21, 2010, on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
Daniel Adomaitis led an outreach event for the Piatt County 4-H group that allowed the 4-H members to fulfill their geology requirements. The event, held on April 10, 2010, was attended by 12 children and two adults.
M.S. Thesis Defended
On April 26, 2010, Jared Freiburg defended his master's thesis: The timing, composition, and source of subsurface diagenetic waters responsible for sulfide and carbonate mineralization in solution cavities of the Ordovician Galena Group limestone, North Aurora, Illinois, USA. The thesis research took place in an active underground aggregate mine in North Aurora, Kane County. Research results, including a high-resolution paragenetic sequence regarding the development of meter-scale solution cavities and mineral deposits, suggest that the majority of diagenetic alterations of the Galena Group limestone at North Aurora are the result of Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) diagenetic processes. These results have important implications with respect to MVT mineral deposits and factors controlling cavernous porosity development. This study provides a means for predicting regional subsurface paleo-fluid flow and for developing a more accurate model for economic mineral and hydrocarbon exploration.
Updated 08/01/2012 SLD