ISGS - February 2004 Activity Highlights
ISGS - Home Page of the Illinois State Geological Survey
ISGS Staff look at lead mine maps.
ISGS Will Do Studies to Assist Environmental Health Tracking Program
At a meeting held in Pontiac on January 29, the newly formed Illinois Environmental Health Tracking Program, led by Illinois Department of Public Health, discussed plans to study the relationships between environmental factors and illnesses. The group decided to look first at anomalous occurrences of cancer, birth defects, and childhood lead poisoning because these diseases have the most data available. Based on previous contacts by IEPA and IDPH seeking information on sources of lead that could be the cause of anomalous lead concentrations in children in the northwest Illinois lead-mining district, ISGS scientists are planning to study the distribution of lead in sediments and groundwater in the region. The data may be useful in determining whether any localized occurrences of high lead content in children's blood comes from environmental factors. Extensive files on the locations of lead mines recently acquired by the ISGS will be especially useful for this study. (Contacts: B. Herzog, J. Risatti, Z. Lasemi, R. Finley)
Committee Completes Review of ISGS Databases
A staff committee appointed by the Chief has completed an extensive review of the kinds of data that are available at the ISGS and the current procedures for managing the data and making them available in digital form. The committee also considered the new staff positions, staff training, resources and procedural changes needed to ensure that the Geological Survey's data holdings are archived, preserved and made much more accessible to the staff and to the public in digital form. The committee members expect that the final report will become the general framework that will be followed by the Survey in expanding and improving access to the millions of pieces of data that are stored at the ISGS in both digital and non-digital forms. Contacts: D. McKay, R.Krumm, D. Nelson)
Coal Section staff meet with a company representative.
ISGS Advises Company on Fayette County Coal Mine Development
A potential developer of new mine sites met with ISGS geologists to review available data on the Herrin Coal resources in Fayette County. The company plans to develop three mines to supply coal to a planned coal gasification/liquefaction plant in the county. Data on the composition, thickness, and areal extent of the Herrin Coal were supplied to the company, and the ISGS agreed to continue to provide further technical assistance as the company does further drilling for exploration and mine development. (Contacts: R. Jacobson, J. Nelson, J. Devera, S. Elrick, A. Louchios
Downhole Seismic Velocity Measurements Support Geophysical Studies
Knowledge of the velocity that seismic waves travel through earth materials is essential for converting seismic profiling data into accurate portrayals of the layers beneath the surface. Downhole measurements of the seismic velocities of the glacial materials are now being made wherever possible by scientists of the Applied Geophysics Section and used to enhance the accuracy of their work. The measurements have shown that, in many places, repeated advances of glacial ice across the area have strongly compacted the tills, drastically increasing the seismic wave velocity of these layers. Depth-to-bedrock and depth-to-layer estimates based on previous "guesstimates" of seismic velocities are way off in these areas. Data on the shear wave and compressional wave seismic velocities also are useful for calculating the degree to which the materials may amplify the seismic waves from an earthquake. Such data can help communities plan for the effects of earthquakes by imposing reasonable earthquake-resistant building codes and avoiding siting new critical facilities such as schools or hospitals in areas where seismic amplification may be severe.
The geophysicist working on the seismic reflection profiles carried out during last year's field season has developed new signal-processing routines that are significantly faster and more efficient than the old algorithms. The computer programs also produce seismic sections that are dramatically clearer than those produced with the former routines. (Contacts: A. Pugin; T. Larson)
Updated 08/08/2012 SLD