ISGS - March 2010 Activity Highlights
ISGS - March Monthly Activities
Middle Mississippian carbonate section of the Illinois Basin from The Mississippian Section of Paddys Bluff, Crittenden County, Kentucky.
Joint Project with Kentucky Geological Survey Completed
An article entitled "The Mississippian Section at Paddys Bluff, Crittenden County, Kentucky" was published in the map and chart series of the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS). The article highlights the results of a team project between the Illinois State Geological Survey, KGS, University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research, and University of Cincinnati. The project, led by Paul Potter of University of Cincinnati, examined a key Mississippian carbonate section (Paddys Bluff) in northwestern Kentucky, located on the south side of the Illinois Basin. Two economically important units, the Salem Limestone and St. Louis Limestone, are exposed at the bluff. The bluff is located in the deepest part of the middle Mississippian carbonate section of the Illinois Basin. The information from this outcrop will be helpful for understanding the stratigraphic relationship between the Salem Limestone and St. Louis Limestone elsewhere in the Illinois Basin. Incidentally, the bluff is locally famous as the location for a scene from the classic 1962 film, "How the West Was Won."
New Projects Funded
A multi-partner study, sponsored by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has been funded. The Sustain Our Great Lakes Stewardship study will fund restoration and management activities in Illinois Beach State Park, Chiwaukee Prairie in Wisconsin, and adjacent portions of the coastal beach ridge complex. The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) portion will document hydrogeologic effects of restoration and document ongoing adverse impacts to those systems. Jim Miner will lead the ISGS portion of the project.
Ed Mehnert, Illinois State Geological Survey, and A. Valocchi, University of Illinois Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, submitted a proposal for additional computer time on the NCSA TeraGrid Lincoln cluster. On March 12, 2010, the researchers received an allocation of computer time for the period April 2010 through March 2011; approximate value of the time is $100,000. Using TOUGH2-MP, the researchers will simulate potential commercial-scale, geological carbon sequestration (GSC) in the Illinois Basin and explore the consequences of GSC on fresh groundwater at the Basin periphery.
Talks Given at Scientific Meetings
William Roy, Illinois State Geological Survey geochemist, presented "Protecting Drinking Water by Reducing Uncertainties Associated with Geologic Carbon Sequestration in Deep Saline Aquifers" at a U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency collaborative review, "Tracking Geologically Sequestered CO2: Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA), Simulation, and Risk Assessment," held at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 23-24, 2010.
Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) researcher Ed Mehnert presented "CO2 Sequestration Efforts in Saline Reservoirs in the Illinois Basin and Potential Long-Term Effects" on March 24, 2010, at the joint meeting of the American Gas Association and Society of Petroleum Engineers (Gas Storage Operations Branch) in Louisville, Kentucky. The gas storage operators are interested in the ISGS projects, and expressed their willingness to cooperate with future data collection efforts. Approximately 75 people attended this presentation.
Ivan Krapac gave a presentation entitled "Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide: Illinois Basin Examples" at the Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals meeting at Rend Lake, Illinois, on March 24, 2010.
Robert Bauer and Beverly Herzog of the Illinois State Geological Survey presented talks on March 10 and 11, 2010, at the Annual Conference of the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management held in Tinley Park, Illinois. Bauer's presentation to about 200 participants was on the history and impact of earthquakes in the central United States and how earthquakes might affect levees. Herzog's talk was on the Illinois Height Modernization Program. Although slated last at the conference, the talk still attracted an audience of about 75 who asked several questions about height modernization.
Staff member Ahmed Ismail gives one of his talks to the Egyptian Geophysical Society.
Ahmed Ismail (at left) attended the 25th Annual meeting of the Egyptian Geophysical Society, held in Cairo, Egypt, on March 15, 2010. He presented two papers documenting work conducted at the Illinois State Geological Survey: "Downhole P- and S-Wave Velocity Measurements to Aid in Characterization of Glacial Sediments in Central Illinois, United States," and "High Resolution Seismic Imaging of Bedrock Surface and Overlaying Glacial Deposits in Champaign County, East-Central Illinois, United States."
Lu-Ming Chen, graduate student advised by Mei-In Melissa Chou at the Illinois State Geological Survey, received a travel award provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences to attend the 25th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management, March, 14 - 17, 2010, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the conference, Chen presented a paper related to the characterization and application of solid waste generated by the biodiesel process.
Justine Petras, Illinois State Geological Survey research assistant, presented "Sedimentation and Radiocarbon Dating of an Ice-Walled Lake Plain in Northeastern Illinois" at the 40th Annual International Arctic Workshop. The workshop was hosted by the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder, and was held March 10-12, 2010, at the Winter Park Mountain Lodge. Petras also presented the poster at the annual research review of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment held on March 5, 2010, at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dave Morse, Joan Crockett, and Beverly Seyler presented the paper, "What's New with the New Albany in Illinois" at the Annual Illinois Oil and Gas Association Meeting, March 4, 2010, in Evansville, Indiana.
The Second Naturally Illinois Expo was held Friday and Saturday, March
12-13, 2010. Under the banner of the Institute of Natural Resource
Sustainability, the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), Illinois
Natural History Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, Illinois Sustainable
Technology Center, and Illinois State Archaeological Survey joined forces
to present the event. More than 2,500 teachers, students, families, and
other visitors attended the two-day Expo, which featured 47 exhibits and
interactive activities conducted by over 200 Institute staff volunteers.
Examples of new technologies and tips on going "green" were featured.
Among this year's new exhibits were a wind turbine, exhibits of the
Illinois State Archaeological Survey, and a new ISGS exhibit: Get to the
Core: Steamy Swamps and Ice Age Glaciers. Finally, some ISGS
classics—the Kids' Fossil Dig, Build Illinois, Ice Age glacial
models, and others—continued to be crowd pleasers. On Saturday
morning, 199 runners and walkers turned out for the third ISGS Earth,
Wind, and Fire 5K Run and 2.5K Walk. This successful outreach event
could not have been held without the participation of staff volunteers,
students, the Illinois Petroleum Resource Board, and private donors.
Information and photos from the Expo
Jared Freiburg responded to a request for information on fluorite, the Illinois State Mineral, from Erin Monroney, writer and researcher for National Geographic Kids at the National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. The magazine, which is mainly for readers between the ages of 4-8, has 1.2 million readers and is published in 20 foreign editions. The question was related to whether the mineral fluorite can glow under ultraviolet light. Jared Freiburg responded that fluorite has been known to fluoresce or "glow" under UV light. In Illinois this is especially the case due to hydrocarbon or petroleum inclusions in the fluorite crystals. Also, the colors of fluorescence may differ among specimens, especially those from different locales, due to trace element impurities in the crystal.
Nathan Webb, Phil Johanek, Bob Mumm, and Curt Blakley collaborated with Professor Jim Best to develop a core identification exercise for the sedimentation and stratigraphy class offered by the Department of Geology, University of Illinois. Approximately 40 students gathered at the Geological Samples Library over a two-week period to evaluate core that is currently in use for an ongoing U.S. Department of Energy-funded oil and gas project. Plans have been made to continue working with Professor Best further to incorporate geophysical log interpretation into the core description laboratory exercises.
Greg Kientop visited St. Mary Immaculate Elementary School in Plainfield, Illinois, at the invitation of Renee Streicher, a fourth-grade teacher. Her students asked career-related questions about working in the earth sciences. Samples of rocks, minerals, and fossils (including a mastodon tusk and jawbone) were brought for the students to examine. Approximately 58 students and two teachers were in attendance.
Mark Yacucci presented an environmental water quality activity at Heartland Community College's "Hands on Science Fair" for grade 4 classes from Irving, Calvary Christian, and Olympia elementary schools. Approximately 118 students and 10 teachers were present.
As part of recent field work with Illinois State Geological Survey scientists Scott Elrick and John Nelson, Bill DiMichele (Smithsonian) and Howard Falcon-Lang (Royal Holloway, University of London) toured Sunrise Coal's underground coal mine near Carlisle, Indiana, to examine the Springfield peat-contemporaneous Galatia Channel deposits. As part of the arrangement and to assist Sunrise Coal with their public relations work, Elrick and others gave a geology talk to the local boy and girl scouts who needed to earn a geology merit badge.
Updated 08/01/2012 SLD