ISGS - February 2010 Activity Highlights
ISGS - February Monthly Activities
New Coverages Added to ILOIL
Example of new structure coverage, from the Base of the Beech Creek Benton Areas paper map
Two new and updated coverages of Mississippian surfaces have been released by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS): the Base of the Beech Creek (Barlow) Limestone and the Structure on Top of the Karnak (Ste. Genevieve) Limestone. These new coverages incorporate new well data and new mapping techniques, replacing the old series on the ILOIL interactive mapping website and in paper. Both the paper maps and the ILOIL coverage use the same data and contouring.
The new Structure on Top of the Karnak Limestone paper maps replace maps that were last updated in the early 1970s and ILOIL coverage based on older mapping technology. The paper maps use an improved and updated basemap that includes productive formation symbology and other GIS coverages, such as municipalities, streams, lakes, highways, and railroads. The new Karnak coverage uses 32,100 data points and covers approximately 19,000 square miles of Illinois. The paper collection consists of 64 structure maps, each covering 3 townships by 3 townships (324 square miles).
The new Base of the Beech Creek (Barlow) Limestone paper maps were last updated in 1980. They are printed on the same improved base map as the new Karnak maps. The Beech Creek data set consists of approximately 50,000 data points and covers approximately 19,300 square miles of Illinois. The paper series consists of 65 structure maps, each covering 3 townships by 3 townships (324 square miles).
Phillip M. Johanek, Bryan G. Huff, Steven R. Gustison (now with Podolsky Oil Company, Fairfield, IL), Rex Knepp (now with Geomodeling Corporation, Houston, TX), Beverly Seyler, John Grube, Joan Crockett, and Randy Lipking (now with IHS Energy, Mahomet, IL) of the ISGS Oil and Gas Section authored these new maps.
Hard copy maps (scale is 1:36,000) are $15.00 each and are available from the ISGS information office.
Illustration of groundwater seepages into lakes
Groundwater Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems
Groundwater seepage (GWS) from coastal aquifers to the ocean, lakes, and rivers has been recognized as an overlooked major source of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur) and toxic contaminants (copper and mercury) to aquatic environments. Nutrient and contaminant concentrations in groundwater are often much higher than those in river water. As a consequence, nutrient fluxes from groundwater discharge can exceed fluxes from local rivers. The role of GWS and its impacts is an emerging science. To discuss these issues, a special scientific session was organized and conducted by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research and Department of Oceanography of Florida State University. The session was held during the AGU/ASLO 2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting, February 22 to 26, 2010, in Portland, Oregon. The goal of the session was to examine the interaction between GWS, watersheds, and coastal waters in order to understand, forecast, and manage impacts to regional coastal ecosystems. More than 30 scientists from the United States, Israel, Brazil, and Australia presented and discussed their scientific findings during the session. Results of this session will help ISGS scientists to develop the NOAA-National Science Foundation collaborative research project entitled "Groundwater/Surface Water Exchange in Lake Michigan: Implications for Nutrient/Trace Element Cycling, Associated Ecological Significance and Climate Change." More information can be found on the Ocean Sciences Meeting web site. (Contact: Yevgeniy Kontar)
Sediment Source for Sand Dunes in the Green River Lowland
A new publication reports ages for sand dunes in the Green River Lowland, Illinois, and suggests a potential sediment source. The paper by Xiaodong Miao and others is titled "Timing and origin for sand dunes in the Green River Lowland of Illinois, upper Mississippi River Valley, USA" and appears in Quaternary Science Reviews, volume 29, pages 763-773. The reported information provides a better understanding of the dynamic interactions between eolian, glacial, lacustrine, and fluvial processes that shaped the landscapes of the Upper Midwest. The seven coherent optically stimulated luminescence ages (OSL) that were obtained from four sites suggest that major dune construction in the Green River Lowland occurred within a narrow time window around 17,500 years ago. This timeframe implies either enhanced aridity, or an episodic increase of sediment supply at 17,500 years ago, or both. Contrary to previous assertions, dune sand appears to have been sourced from the deflation of the underlying outwash sand deposited when the Lake Michigan lobe retreated from the area. In their article, the authors propose that Green River Lowland dunes sand originated from the Green Bay lobe through the Rock River, a scenario that explains the abrupt dune construction around 17,500 years ago and the lack of later dune activity up to the Pleistocene-Holocene transition.
Both OSL and radiocarbon ages indicate that the dunes were reactivated during the early, middle, and late Holocene Period. Some eolian activation occurred within well-defined dry intervals in the Upper Midwest, suggesting that increased aridity may have been the primary driver in mobilizing sand. However, many ages do not correspond to drier periods. In contrast to the relative coherency shown by the Pleistocene OSL ages from multiple study sites, the Holocene OSL ages do not overlap among sites, suggesting that increased aridity alone cannot explain the multiple phases of dune reactivation during the Holocene. The effects of localized disturbances and greater aridity acted in concert to increase eolian sand activity during the Holocene. These multiple periods of eolian activity during the Holocene suggest a high potential for future sand activation in the region and are informative for environmental prediction and potential future mitigation. (Contacts: Xiaodong Miao and Hong Wang)
STATEMAP Funds Awarded
The U.S. Geological Survey announced an award of $226,152 to the Illinois State Geological Survey for continued geologic mapping under the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program. This is the second highest amount awarded of the 44 proposals from state geological surveys nationwide. (Contact: S. Brown)
Kane County, Illinois, Earthquake Media Contacts
On February 10, 2010, at 3:59 a.m. CDT, a magnitude 3.8 earthquake occurred in Kane County, Illinois. Following closely on the heels of the catastrophic Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010, this small Illinois earthquake was strong enough to waken many people in the Chicago area. The event provided an opportunity for Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) staff to discuss earthquake hazards through several media outlets in northern Illinois. Robert Bauer was kept busy throughout the day with four live radio interviews on WGN Radio, two WGN TV interviews, and a Chicago Cable TV interview about the event. Other ISGS staff provided background information and graphics for "NBC Nightly News" in Chicago. Timothy Larson was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune and the Illinois State House News (Chicago office) and appeared on WCIA TV Champaign. Bauer and Larson also gave interviews to the Rockford Register Star, Quad Cities Argus, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison), and the DePaul University paper and taped interviews for radio stations WNIJ DeKalb and WJOL Joliet. Right after the earthquake, the ISGS also provided background information on historical events in northeastern Illinois and potential aftershocks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region V Office in Chicago and to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, which provided this information to the governor in its report. (Contact: Robert Bauer)
"America's Ice Age" on the History Channel
As part of the History Channel's television series "How the Earth Was Made," the episode "America's Ice Age" explored evidence of glaciation in North America. Several Illinois sites provided examples of moraines, glacial erratics, and other glacial features. Brandon Curry, Steve Brown, and William Shilts participated in the filming. (Contacts: Steve Brown and Elizabeth Johnston)
Display for Land Surveyors Association Meeting
Christopher Stohr and Beverly Herzog prepared posters, handouts, and table top exhibits about the Height Modernization Program and distributed copies of the ISGS Satellite Image Map of Illinois at the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association meeting in Springfield, Illinois, on February 18-19, 2010. The meeting was attended by about 700 surveyors, which resulted in a steady stream of visitors to the exhibit booth. Those attendees who showed strong interest in the project were asked to contact their congressmen and senators to support continued funding for the project. (Contact: Christopher Stohr)
Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals Meeting
Richard Rice was in charge of the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) exhibit at the Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals 2010 Annual Meeting and Expo held on February 18-19, 2010, in Normal, Illinois. Along with Beverly Herzog, Rice distributed information about ILWATER, the large online database of water well data, and talked with conference attendees. Ed Mehnert spoke to approximately 200 drillers and pump installers at the meeting about "Safeguarding Groundwater Quality at Geologic Carbon Sequestration Sites: An Illinois Basin Example." (Contact: Richard Rice)
ISGS Staff Present Seminars
Melinda Campbell gave a seminar entitled "The Great Black Swamp: The Link to Modern Lake Erie" at the Calvin College Geology and Geography Department. Approximately 40 people were in attendance at the seminar in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Contact: Melinda Campbell)
Christopher Stohr presented "Geologic Outcrop Characterization for 3-D Modeling: Using Technology to Reach What We Cannot Otherwise Grasp" at the Northern Illinois University Geology Department Colloquium on Friday, February 5, 2010. Students and faculty of the Geology and Geography Departments attended. (Contact: Christopher Stohr)
Updated 08/01/2012 SLD