Prairie Research Institute University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ISGS Circulars

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C605 Cover C605 Evolution of a Peat-Contemporaneous Channel: The Galatia Channel, Middle Pennsylvanian, of the Illinois Basin

Authors: W. John Nelson, Scott D. Elrick, William A. DiMichele, and Philip R. Ames, 2020. 85 p. + 6 plates. Print on Demand

For more than 40 years, geologists have understood that the thickness and quality of the Springfield Coal are intimately related to the Galatia channel, a paleochannel that existed contemporaneously with peat deposition. Early models envisioned a setting similar to the Mississippi delta, in which the river periodically breached its natural levees and carried crevasse splays of gray mud (Dykersburg Shale) into flanking peat swamps, shielding peat from a later influx of sulfur-bearing marine water and sediment. Using new findings and reinterpreting old maps, we present a new model for Galatia channel development. We interpret coal (peat) as having formed during glacial maxima, when the sea level was lowest and global cooling pinned the intertropical convergence zone near the equator. The resulting ever-wet climate in the tropics maintained the consistently high water table required for the production and preservation of peat. A warming cycle brought deglaciation, rapid sea-level rise, and a change to the seasonal wet–dry tropical climate, which in turn caused rapid drowning and burial of the peat deposit. The impact of the Galatia channel and its analogues on coal thickness and quality has been understood since the 1960s. Our new findings and model of origin for these channels provide insights into the driving forces behind sedimentary cycles overlooked by most previous authors.

Circular 604 cover C604 Mines in the Illinois Portion of the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District

F. Brett Denny, W. John Nelson, Jeremy R. Breeden, and Ross C. Lillie

2020. 73 p. + 50 × 60 map. Print on Demand.

For most of the 20th century, the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District (IKFD) was the primary source of fluorspar for the United States. The strategic importance of fluorspar was heightened during World War II because of the use of fluorspar in steel manufacturing. Production of fluorspar ore in this region peaked shortly after World War II and was sustained until the 1970s, when competition from foreign suppliers began to erode the dominance of this mineral district. Mining continued until the mid-1990s, but with a decline in production. This report compiles into a cohesive document details of the individual mines within the Illinois portion of the IKFD. Included are sections concerning the mining methods, geology, historical production, and theories of the origin of the ore deposits, as well as maps, exploration reports, drill logs, and production figures scanned from unpublished mining company files to which the ISGS was given access. The mine location map that accompanies this circular was designed to augment the Kentucky Geological Survey’s 2012 map of the Kentucky portion of the IKFD. Although the last mines in Illinois ceased operations in 1995, there is potential for future mining activities in deeper, relatively unexplored strata. The authors hope this report and the scanned documents will be helpful in future exploration activities and to other interested parties.

C603Coverthumbnail C603 User’s Manual for the Portable Thermal Response Test Device

Yu-Feng F. Lin, Chien-Yung Tseng, and Steve L. Sargent

2020. 11 p. Print on Demand

The thermal response test (TRT) is widely applied to determine geothermal properties, such as geothermal conductivity (k) and geothermal resistance (R). The TRT works on the principle that the mean temperature change caused by heated circulating water can be measured through the ground over time. The temperature response is due to heat transfer from the heated inflow to the borehole heat exchanger. This temperature response can provide us with an extrapolated prediction of the geothermal performance. This manual outlines a comprehensive workflow for operating the TRT device based on model analysis theory, and it illustrates a test case of TRT measurement. Our aim is to help future users of the TRT device learn to use the device to conduct a basic analysis of raw data from shallow geothermal heat exchange-related projects and to apply this test in both scientific research and educational programs.

“ISGS Circular 603 will be very helpful for students in my GEOL 380 (Environmental Geology) class to better understand the principles and practical methods used in ground source heat pumps and thermal response tests.”

—Stephen P. Altaner, Associate Professor and Associate Head of Geology, U of I

“The circular will be useful in the graduate ENG 571 class (Theory of Energy and Sustainability Engineering) as an introduction to the theory and modeling of geothermal loops.”

—John R. Abelson, Professor Emeritus. Materials Science and Engineering, U of I

C602-Coverthumbnail C602 Assessing the Cypress Sandstone for Carbon Dioxide-Enhanced Oil Recovery and Carbon Storage: Part II—Leveraging Geologic Characterization to Develop a Representative Geocellular Model for Noble Oil Field, Western Richland County, Illinois

Nathan D. Webb and Nathan P. Grigsby

2020. 26 p. Print on Demand

This research leveraged the geologic characterization of Assessing the Cypress Sandstone for Carbon Dioxide-Enhanced Oil Recovery and Carbon Storage: Part I—Reservoir Characterization of Noble Oil Field, Western Richland County, Illinois (Circular 601) to develop a geocellular model that represents the static reservoir properties (porosity and permeability) of the Cypress Sandstone at Noble Field in Richland County, Illinois. This model will be used to create hypothetical carbon dioxide-enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) injection simulations to determine whether, and under what conditions, the reservoir and its underlying residual oil zone (ROZ) could add to incremental oil production at the field. Geologic characterization played a key role in model development. It was necessary to clearly delineate the contact between the thick fluvial sandstone interval and the overlying shaley estuarine interval so that a geostatistical analysis could isolate and detect the anisotropy and transitional behavior within each element. In addition, this new understanding of the sedimentology and depositional environment provided context for inferring interwell characteristics and small-scale features that were believed to have a substantial impact on fluid flow without producing a strong signal on geophysical logs. Combining a model based on spontaneous potential logs with a model based on neutron-density porosity logs resulted in a model that properly represented the distribution of depositional (sandstone and shale) and digenetic (calcite cement) geologic features that control fluid flow.

C601-Coverthumbnail C601 Assessing the Cypress Sandstone for Carbon Dioxide-Enhanced Oil Recovery and Carbon Storage: Part I—Reservoir Characterization of Noble Oil Field, Western Richland County, Illinois

Nathan D. Webb and Nathan P. Grigsby

2020. 53 p. Print on Demand

This study focuses on the characterization of the Cypress Sandstone reservoir at Noble Field in Richland County, Illinois, which is the most productive oil field in the fluvial valley-fill facies of the Cypress in the Basin. Approximately half of the cumulative oil production from the field is attributed to the Cypress Sandstone (with the remainder attributed to commingled production from older formations). As part of the reservoir characterization, the geology of the Cypress Sandstone, its historical oil production, and the properties of the oil reservoir were examined. This contribution is part of a research project to assess the valley-fill Cypress for the presence of residual oil zones (ROZs) and the potential for nonconventional carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR), meaning CO2-EOR that includes geologic storage of CO2 as a significant component of the process. This study also provides the foundation for geocellular modeling (see Circular 602) and future reservoir simulations of nonconventional CO2-EOR within the Cypress Sandstone at Noble Field. Additionally, we have documented the process of using indirect indicators to identify a possible ROZ. This study provides a framework for characterizing the geological parameters relevant to improving oil production from and identifying ROZs in similar thick sandstone deposits elsewhere in the Basin.

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C600-Cover-thumbnail C600 Geochemical Preservation of the Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE) Event in Dolomites of the Furongian Franconia Formation in the Illinois Basin

Dana M. Labotka and Jared T. Freiburg

2020 11 p. Print on Demand

The Cambrian Steptoean Positive Carbon Isotope Excursion (SPICE) is a well-documented global event that marked geochemical excursions in the world’s oceans and terrestrial environments. A core from the Franconia Formation, which lies on the southwestern edge of the Illinois Basin, appears to have captured the carbon-isotope excursion associated with the SPICE. In this section of the Illinois Basin, the SPICE is contained within the Sauk III sequence. Petrographic analysis revealed that the Franconia Formation transitioned from a shallow marine high-energy environment in the lower sections of the core toward a deltaic-influenced environment during a marine regression sequence as sea level lowered in the Furongian Epoch. Although extensive dolomitization has occurred, the δ13C values of the carbonate do not appear to have been significantly altered. The δ13C marine carbonate isotope values were able to track the SPICE closely, revealing a peak enrichment value of 4.9‰. Carbonate-associated sulfate δ34S values showed characteristic enrichment in 34S during the Furongian, but these values did not exhibit a notable trend. This study emphasizes the potential for isotope geochemical preservation in carbonates despite extensive dolomitization and identifies the timing and local environmental conditions capturing the SPICE.

C599-Cover-Thumbnail C599 Illinois Basin Decatur Project: Soil Carbon Dioxide Flux Monitoring
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Carl H. Carman, Curt S. Blakley, Christopher P. Korose, and Randall A. Locke II

2019 27 p. Print on Demand

This report summarizes the soil carbon dioxide flux measurements collected throughout the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project (IBDP), a geologic carbon storage project in Decatur, Illinois, that began injecting CO2 into the Mt. Simon Sandstone on November 17, 2011, and concluded on November 26, 2014. The monitoring, verification, and accounting program estimated soil CO2 fluxes at a network of 109 discrete monitoring locations within the IBDP study area weekly from June 2009 to June 2015 as part of an extensive monitoring program to ensure the safety of human health and the environment. The study used three distinct ring treatments to examine the effects of vegetation removal and ring insertion depth on the magnitude and variability of fluxes. More than seven years of monitoring produced a unique data set of nearly 13,000 discrete flux measurements, and simultaneous soil moisture and soil temperature measurements allowed researchers to examine the site-specific effects of coupled diurnal and annual temperature and soil moisture fluctuations. Nonparametric statistics and spatial analyses were used to evaluate fluxes at each location to determine whether CO2 injection had affected fluxes at the IBDP site. The results indicated that soil CO2 fluxes at the IBDP site were not affected by CO2 injection.

C598-Cover C598 Geologic Carbon Sequestration in the Illinois Basin: Numerical Modeling to Evaluate Potential Impacts
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Edward Mehnert, James R. Damico, Nathan P. Grigsby, Charles C. Monson, Christopher G. Patterson, and Fang Yang 2019. 71 p. Print on Demand

The Illinois Basin is a globally significant saline reservoir for geologic carbon sequestration. To evaluate the feasibility of future, commercial-scale geologic carbon sequestration within the Illinois Basin, a basin-scale flow model was developed and refined as new geologic data from the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project became available. Because of the uncertainty of the geologic and petrophysical data needed to build a geologic carbon sequestration model at the basin scale, a series of six simulations were developed, which should be useful for developing basin-scale geologic carbon sequestration in the Illinois Basin or other open basins. These six solutions included a 50-year injection period, but the overall simulation periods varied from 83 to 5,000 years. Model results showed that a maximum of approximately 5 billion metric tons (5.5 billion tons, or 100 million metric tons [110 million tons] injected annually for 50 years) of CO2 could be injected safely and permanently into the Illinois Basin. Experts have predicted that a global carbon sequestration capacity of 92 billion tonnes (101 billion tons) will be needed to help stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Thus, the Mt. Simon Formation in the Illinois Basin could be a globally significant carbon sequestration reservoir if developed efficiently.

595 Cover Circular 597 Illinois Basin Decatur Project: Process Design and Operation of Carbon Dioxide Surface Facilities

Ray McKaskle, Rosalind Jones, Austyn Vance, Brad Piggott, Kevin Fisher, and Sallie Greenberg

2019. Print on Demand

The Illinois Basin – Decatur Project (IBDP) is a 1-million-tonne CO2 storage demonstration project led by the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), one of seven U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Regional Carbon Sequestra­tion Partnerships, and managed by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This report addresses the process design and operation of the CO2 surface facilities required to compress, dehydrate, and transport 1,102 ton/day (1,000 tonne/day) of CO2 to the injection well over the 3-year injection period after commissioning and startup in November 2011. Actual performance is compared with the original design, and a detailed breakdown of the costs is presented. The total fixed capital investment for the compression, dehydration, and transmission facilities was $20.3 million. The overall capital and operating costs for compression, dehydration, and injection of the CO2 were estimated at $28.53/ton ($31.45/tonne) injected, and electricity costs were estimated at 101.6 kWh/ton (112 kWh/tonne). These costs are reviewed and compared with what might be expected for a full-scale power plant application (approximately 10 times larger).

C596 Circular 596 Stratigraphic Architecture and Reservoir Characterization of the Silurian Racine Formation, Forsyth Oil Field, Macon County, Central Illinois

Yaghoob Lasemi. 2018. 21 p. Print on Demand

The Middle Silurian Racine Formation is the major oil-producing unit in a number of oil fields in the Mt. Auburn trend of the Sangamon Arch, central Illinois. This study focuses on geological characterization of the Racine Formation at Forsyth Field to evaluate its potential for recovering the remaining oil from the field. The field has produced more than 750,000 barrels of oil and has never been waterflooded. The reservoir is a lenticular, porous, low-permeability dolomite body reaching a maximum net thickness of nearly 12 feet and an average porosity of 16%. The wells previously drilled at Forsyth Field were stimulated with relatively low-volume hydraulic fracturing. Petroleum recovery from the field could greatly improve by development of the field in the undrilled areas, larger volume hydraulic fracturing, and through carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery.

595 Cover Circular 595 Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Capture Options from Ethanol Plants

Ray McKaskle, Kevin Fisher, Paul Selz, and Yongqi Lu
2018. Print on Demand

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium is leading a program to demonstrate the feasibility of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage, particularly in the Illinois Basin. One potential storage method uses CO2 for enhanced oil recovery by injecting it in producing oil reservoirs whose production rates have been diminished by conventional means (e.g., waterflooding). In 2005 and 2006, we evaluated capital and operating costs for the equipment required to capture, purify, and liquefy CO2 from ethanol plants in the Illinois area. Circular 595 updates these estimated capital and operating costs for 75 and 300 U.S. ton/day of CO2 and adds a larger 1,000 U.S. ton/day case. Costs are estimated to produce food and beverage grade CO2 as well as less purified CO2 suitable for enhanced oil recovery or storage for each facility size, and preliminary plant and equipment designs and major capital and operating cost estimates are provided for each of the recovery options. The availability of used equipment is also assessed.

C594.jpg Circular 594 The Future of Science of the Mahomet Aquifer

Steven E. Brown, Jason F. Thomason, and Kisa E. Mwakanyamale. 2018. 25 pp.

The Future of Science of the Mahomet Aquifer aims to show that the science of the Mahomet aquifer is a serious issue of public concern. To conserve this valuable water resource for present and future generations, we must accelerate scientific understanding of the aquifer by developing far-sighted strategies and implementing technologies that would reveal aquifer details broadly. Part 1 of this circular makes the argument that we still lack an adequate understanding of the complex geology and hydrogeology of the aquifer. Part 2 describes the results of a workshop hosted by the Prairie Research Institute on June 28, 2017, which brought together researchers and stakeholders to discuss, list, and consider the most relevant topics regarding groundwater in the aquifer. Part 3 lays out a bold path forward to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex geology and hydrogeology of the aquifer: large-scale scientific mapping of the subsurface via helicopter-borne time domain electromagnetic geophysical surveying.


C593_cover.jpg Circular 593 Procedure for Three-Dimensional Printing of a Digital Hydrostratigraphic Model
Yu-Feng Forrest Lin,Shuheng Zhong,and Andrew J. Stumpf. 2016. 9 pp.

This publication explains the workflow developed to print a three-dimensional (3-D) hydrostratigraphic model of part of the Mahomet aquifer system in east-central Illinois. The model consists of three layers: the bedrock (bottom), the Mahomet aquifer (middle), and the overlying strata (top). The printing process used involved turning a two-dimensional (2-D) representation of each of the layers into a 3-D solid object by applying a series of conversions with GIS, virtual reality, and CAD technologies, including ESRI ArcScene, netfabb, and Meshmixer software. The result was a physical object that very closely resembled the virtual 3-D model, printed relatively quickly and at a low cost.

C592Cover.jpg Circular 592 General Large-Scale Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery Facility Design for the Illinois Basin

Duane B. Myers, Carrie M. Beitler, Ray W. McKaskle, and Scott M. Frailey


The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium is leading a program to demonstrate the feasibility of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage, particularly in the Illinois Basin. One potential storage method uses CO2 for enhanced oil recovery by injecting it in producing oil reservoirs whose production rates have been diminished by conventional means (e.g., waterflooding). A portion of the injected CO2 returns to the surface with the produced oil and is captured and compressed for reinjection. The Trimeric Corporation, working with the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, has developed conceptual process designs and estimated the costs for a variety of enhanced oil recovery surface processing facility configurations so that the CO2 accompanying the produced oil can be captured and reinjected. Circular 592 extends the methodology used in Circular 591 and describes larger scale applications that do not include natural gas liquid recovery. This publication would be especially useful for anyone interested in enhanced oil recovery in the Illinois Basin, including oilfield operators and members of the Illinois and Indiana Oil and Gas Associations.

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C591Cover.jpg Circular 591 A Universal Methodology to Develop, Test, and Calibrate a Carbon Dioxide Enhanced Oil Recovery and Storage Capacity Estimate

Duane B. Myers, Carrie M. Beitler, Ray W. McKaskle, and Scott M. Frailey

The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium is leading a program to demonstrate the feasibility of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage, particularly in the Illinois Basin. One potential storage method uses CO2 for enhanced oil recovery by injecting it in producing oil reservoirs whose production rates have been diminished by conventional means (e.g., waterflooding). A portion of the injected CO2 returns to the surface with the produced oil and is captured and compressed for reinjection. The Trimeric Corporation, working with the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, has developed conceptual process designs and estimated the costs for a variety of enhanced oil recovery surface processing facility configurations so that the CO2 accompanying the produced oil can be captured and reinjected. Circular 591 establishes the methodology for determining the process designs and concludes that natural gas liquid recovery would likely not be economical or necessary to maintain the minimum pressure in initial CO2 EOR operations in the Illinois Basin. This publication would be especially useful for anyone interested in enhanced oil recovery in the Illinois Basin, including oilfield operators and members of the Illinois and Indiana Oil and Gas Associations. 

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C590-Cover.jpg Circular 590 Inorganic Chemical Composition of Illinois Soils

Richard A. Cahill. 2017. 148 pp.

The Inorganic Chemical Composition of Soils is an excellent resource and provides results of the most comprehensive analysis to date of the chemical composition of soils in Illinois. Data on a broad suite of elements and heavy metals were derived from studies conducted from 1998 to 2005 by the Illinois State Geological Survey. In 2002, Zhang and Frost reported compositional data on 94 soil samples, but their results were not presented as tables and were thus of limited use to researchers. Dreher and Follmer then published a series of seven open-file progress reports in 2003 and 2004, in which they discussed in detail the process of soil formation and the chemical characteristics of Illinois soils. However, their results were not combined into a single final report that included both the analytical results and statistical summaries. When combined with 2013 U.S. Geological Survey results for 88 soil cores collected in Illinois, the present report fills those gaps by providing a compilation of the chemical composition of more than 1,200 soil samples collected from across Illinois, combined with 2013 U.S. Geological Survey results for 88 soil cores collected in Illinois. The results are organized by county, and quality assurance/quality control results for the three studies are also included. Soil science researchers will find these newly compiled data valuable when investi­gating the range of background soil constituents and their concentrations statewide or in specific areas of the state.  

C589_map1_0.jpg Circular 589 Characterization of karst terrain and regional tectonics using remotely sensed data in Jo Daviess County, Illinois

Samuel V. Panno, Donald E. Luman, and Dennis R. Kolata 29 pp., large-scale map, and digital appendix

Jo Daviess County in northwestern Illinois is part of the Driftless Area, which includes portions of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. Here, the soils and unconsolidated materials are relatively thin, and coupled with the highly fractured dolomite bedrock, create a geologic setting for a prolific karst aquifer within the region. During the extreme summer drought of 2012, mysterious vegetated lines began appearing in agricultural fields within Jo Daviess County. The presence of these vegetated crop lines was an ephemeral event lasting only a few months, and ISGS researchers responded quickly to document it. The results of on-site investigations and image interpretation of aerial photography acquired from June to October determined that the vegetated crop lines are an accurate reflection of the buried bedrock fracture system in northwestern Illinois, which had heretofore been restricted to direct observation in available road cuts, quarries, and bedrock outcrops. Digitized data sets of these vegetated crop lines can be used in conjunction with alignments of cover-collapse sinkholes and mine diggings to better characterize the geometry and character of the karst aquifer within the Driftless Area of northwestern Illinois, and to better understand the regional tectonics of Illinois and nearby states.

C588-Cover thumbnail_080717.jpg C588 Geochemical and Petrographic Analysis of the Sparks Hill Diatreme and Its Relationship to the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorspar District

F. Brett Denny, Anton H. Maria, Joseph L. Mulvaney-Norris, Renald N. Guillemette, Richard A. Cahill, Richard H. Fifarek, Jared T. Freiburg, and Warren H. Anderson, 2017, 51 pp. Print on Demand

Ultramafic and igneous intrusive rocks are present in southeastern Illinois and western Kentucky, coinciding with the Illinois-Kentucky Fluorite District. Considerable research of the fluorspar mineralization has been undertaken, but few modern analyses of the intrusives have been published. A confidential report detailing that microcrystalline aggregates of xenotime occur within fluorite beneath Hicks Dome in southeastern Illinois suggests that potential economic accumulations of rare earth (RE) minerals may be present in the region, possibly associated with the fluorspar mineralization. The Sparks Hill Diatreme is located about 5 miles (8 km) northeast of Hicks Dome. Electron microprobe analyses of drill core from Sparks Hill indicate that the RE minerals synchysite [Ca(Ce, La)(CO3)2F] and florencite [CeAl3(PO4)2(OH)6] are present, mainly as small aggregates of crystals along the boundaries of other minerals crystalizing in open spaces and fractures. Photographs of the various igneous textures of the Sparks Hill Diatreme along with RE plots are also provided in this report. This work expands on previous investigations of the Sparks Hill Diatreme and suggests that there is a relationship between the ultramafic igneous activity, fluorspar mineralization, and RE minerals. This research will be of interest to mineral collectors, economic geologists, and anyone interested in RE minerals or mineral exploration.

Circular-587-47th-Cover-Web.jpg C587 Proceedings of the 47th Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals


Zakaria Lasemi, editor, 2015, 181 pp.


This 47th Forum Proceedings includes 16 papers focusing on the geology of construction aggregates (crushed stone and sand and gravel), strategic rare earth elements (REE), geologic mapping, high-calcium limestone resources for desulfurization, and Mississippi Valley-Type lead-zinc deposits, among others. Noteworthy topics include the REE potential of the southern Illinois-western Kentucky Fluorite District, innovative methods for measuring and describing archeological specimens and inaccessible geological formations, a biogeochemical method of niobium-tantalum exploration, the utilization of a flue gas desulfurization and swine manure mixture as a potential fertilizer additive, a method for detecting contaminated drywall used after Hurricane Katrina, a review of warping marble in New Orleans cemeteries, a UK perspective on underground mining of crushed stone, a tool for calculating the transportation cost of construction aggregate, and an overview of the $1.5 billion industrial minerals industry in Illinois. 

C586-cover thumbnail.jpg C586 Karst of the Driftless Area of Jo Daviess County, Illinois

Samuel V. Panno, Donald E. Luman, Walton R. Kelly, Timothy H. Larson, and Steven J. Taylor  
39 pp., large-scale map  Print on Demand

Have you ever wondered about those cracks and crevices in road cuts as you travel across northwestern Illinois, and why this area has more topographic relief than most of the remaining area of the state? ISGS Circular 586 summarizes the geology of the Driftless Area of Jo Daviess County and provides an in-depth investigation of the karst features and groundwater quality of the area. The authors have investigated the fractures and crevices that are apparent in quarries, road cuts, and natural exposures, as well as the occurrence of sinkhole features throughout the county. They have also evaluated groundwater quality in wells and springs drilled into and discharging from the primary Galena Dolomite aquifer. From these data, preliminary estimates of background concentrations of selected ions have been determined to establish a baseline for assessing groundwater and surface water quality. This publication is an important resource for those involved with watershed planning, land use management, and natural resource protection. It is also an important educational resource.

C585-Cover.png Circular 585 A Manual for Conducting Preliminary Environmental Site Assessments for Illinois Department of Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Anne L. Erdmann, Daniel J. Adomaitis, Phyllis L. Bannon-Nilles, Gregory A. Kientop, and Dale R. Schmidt 2014. 36 pp.

Environmental site assessments (ESAs) have become an important component of real estate transactions, especially for commercial and industrial property. Through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) infrastructure improvement programs, IDOT often must acquire properties that have the potential for environmental concerns. Various recognized environmental conditions (RECs), natural features, and natural hazards may be present on existing IDOT right-of-way or on sites proposed for acquisition. The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) has developed for IDOT a site assessment program that provides information on environmental conditions associated with highway or other transportation projects. These site assessments are referred to as Preliminary Environmental Site Assessments (PESAs), as they differ from industry-standard ESAs or All Appropriate Inquiry reports as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This manual describes the procedures used by the ISGS in evaluating environmental conditions that may impact IDOT infrastructure projects. Originally published by ISGS in 1996 as ISGS Open File Report 1996-5, this second edition of the manual has been revised to reflect significant changes in the program since that time.

C584-Cover thumbnail.jpg C584 Directory of Illinois Mineral Producers, and Maps of Extraction Sites

Xiaodong Miao, Zakaria Lasemi, Donald G. Mikulic, and Michael Falter, 2016, 51 pp.

This newly updated 2016 Directory of Illinois Mineral Producers provides a complete listing of companies involved in mining, processing, and manufacturing mineral products in Illinois. The revised Directory features current company information and locations gathered from the Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals, U.S. Geological Survey, Illinois Manufacturers Directory, Illinois Department of Transportation, Keystone Coal Industry Manual, Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers, and staff of the Illinois State Geological Survey. For ease of use, the Directory breaks down Illinois mineral producers alphabetically by county, company, and commodity. The commodities list contains detailed information on producers of clay and clay products, industrial sand, coal, peat, sand and gravel, sandstone, crushed stone (limestone and dolomite) and tripoli. Four large foldout maps at the end have been expanded to give precise locations of mineral resource extraction sites and coal mines throughout Illinois. Aggregate and coal industry personnel, landowners, and land-use planning agencies involved in the recovery and reclamation of these resources will find this directory an important resource.

C583-cover.png Circular 583 A Depositional and Diagenetic Characterization of the Mt. Simon Sandstone at the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project Carbon Capture and Storage Site, Decatur, Illinois, USA

Jared T. Freiburg, David G. Morse, Hannes E. Leetaru, Riley P. Hoss, and Qina Yan 2014. 59 pp. and 3 digital appendices

The Illinois Basin - Decatur Project (IBDP) is a 1 million metric ton carbon capture and storage demonstration project located in Macon County, Illinois. Led by the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, the IBDP began injecting carbon dioxide into the Mt. Simon Sandstone in November 2011. As part of the IBDP, extensive core was taken through the Mt. Simon and into the Precambrian Basement. This is the first and most complete core to be taken at this depth in the Illinois Basin and to be described in such geologic detail. According to geophysical well logs and core taken at the IBDP site, the Mt. Simon Sandstone is divided into three major lithostratigraphic sections: the Lower, Middle, and Upper. A pre-Mt. Simon interval unconformably underlies the Mt. Simon and overlies the Precambrian Basement. Depositional and diagenetic interpretations are made and discussed in relation to reservoir quality.

C582-cover.gif Circular 582 Groundwater Salinity within the Mt. Simon Sandstone in Illinois and Indiana

Edward Mehnert and Paula H. Weberling 2014. 23 pp.

In the Cambrian-age Mt. Simon Sandstone, salinity varies widely from less than 1,000 mg/L of total dissolved solids (TDS) in northern Illinois to more than 250,000 mg/L of TDS in southern Illinois. Salinity is an important characteristic of groundwater and is quantified by measuring the TDS. With recent interest in geologic carbon sequestration, new wells have been completed in the Mt. Simon and new TDS data have been collected. These new TDS data, along with other available data from Illinois and Indiana wells, were compiled and plotted to generate an updated map of salinity in the Mt. Simon Sandstone.

C581-cover.gif Circular 581 New Insights on Upper Mississippi Valley Mineralization Based on Solution Cavities in the Ordovician Galena Group at the Conco Mine, North Aurora, Illinois, USA

Jared T. Freiburg, Bruce W. Fouke, and Zakaria Lasemi
2012. 46 pp.

This study examines the associations and origins of spectacular mineralization recently found in large solution cavities within the Ordovician Galena Group rocks in northeastern Illinois. Because of the economic importance of these Mississippi Valley-type minerals, geologists have long been interested in understanding how these minerals were produced and how to better predict their occurrence. In this study, field observations and high-resolution petrographic and geochemical analyses were used to reconstruct the timing, composition, and source of the diagenetic fluids that precipitated the minerals.

The results of this study have important implications with respect to the diagenesis (the chemical, physical, and biologic changes after deposition) of sedimentary rocks in midcontinent North America, including the Mississippi Valley-type mineral deposits. The study data help tie the diagenetic features in the Galena Group carbonates with potential diagenetic processes. Thus, the information in this study should help researchers as they develop predictive models of regional paleofluid flow and more accurate models for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration.

C580-cover-001.gif Circular 580 Age of the Winnebago Formation of North-Central Illinois as Determined by Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dating
Richard C. Berg, E. Donald McKay III, Ronald J. Goble, and Hong Wang
2013. 15 pp.

This report provides results from newly sampled locations of the Winnebago Formation using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz grains from sand. Eight OSL ages for the Beaver Creek confirm its late Illinois Episode (late marine oxygen-isotope stage 6) deposition as well as that of overlying Winnebago Formation diamictons. The mean pooled age of the eight analyses is 136,610 ± 3,780 years BP. Dates range from 150,000 to 128,000 years ago, with five of the dates clustered between 132,000 and 139,000 years ago. A single acceptable OSL date of 106,000 years ago from a kame atop Capron Ridge helps clarify the age of the Capron Member, but not totally; the younger than expected age is probably due to bioturbation or some other mechanism of mixing. Although this OSL date is not definitive, it does suggest an Illinoian age for the underlying Capron diamicton.

ISGS-C579-cover.gif Circular 579 Stereophotographic Measurement of Joint and Bedding Orientation at Thornton Quarry, Illinois

Christopher J. Stohr, Justine Petras, Donald G. Mikulic, and Jason Thomason
2011. 40 pp.

Geological features such as joints, conduits, and bedding are known to provide routes for fluid movement through bedrock. However, data about these features can be difficult or dangerous to obtain because of safety considerations or inaccessibility. The circular describes the use of stereophotography, surveying, and close-range photogrammetry to make measurements of thickness, spacing, length, and bedding continuity along a 900-foot inaccessible face at the Hanson Materials Service quarry at Thornton, Illinois. Georeferenced data for dip and dip direction of joint traces were equivalent to results from previous measurements made by traditional methods. In addition, clustering and eigenanalysis of the data revealed a previously undescribed set of fractures parallel to the quarry face. Using close-range photogrammetry to measure geological features on inaccessible outcrops and quarry faces is economical and can improve safety, extraction, and subsequent use of quarries.

Circular 578 Synopsis of Current Three-dimensional Geological Mapping and Modeling in Geological Survey Organizations

Richard C. Berg, Stephen J. Mathers, Holger Kessler, and Donald A. Keefer, Editors
2011. 92 pp.

The Illinois State Geological Survey and British Geological Survey have jointly published ISGS Circular 578, Synopsis of Current Three-Dimensional Geological Mapping and Modeling in Geological Survey Organizations. The publication captures the state-of-the-art of three dimensional (3-D) mapping and modeling methods within the international earth science community. The document shares the experiences and methodology of several surveys, providing practical information that can be used by other organizations who want to make the transition to digital 3-D mapping and modeling.

In addition to the ISGS and BGS, the U.S. Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, Manitoba Geological Survey, French Geological Survey, Geological Survey of the Netherlands, German Federal and State Surveys, Geoscience Australia, and Geoscience Victoria provide their insights into major modeling issues associated with their geology via numerous case studies. Included also are discussions of logistical considerations prior to migrating to the “3-D world”, 3-D mapping and modeling software packages, modeling work flows, staffing, clients, funding sources, and lessons learned.

Circular 577 cover Circular 577 Sedimentology and Reservoir Characterization of the Silurian Carbonates in the Mt. Auburn Trend of the Sangamon Arch, West-Central Illinois

Yaghoob Lasemi, Beverly Seyler, Zakaria Lasemi, and Zohreh Askari Khorasgani
2010. 33 pp.

More than 12 million barrels of oil have been produced from Silurian rocks in just the Mt. Auburn trend of the Sangamon Arch in west-central Illinois. Production has been from the dolomite reservoirs that occur in the upper part of the Silurian succession (Niagaran Series). This circular focuses on the Niagaran deposits along the Mt. Auburn trend of the Sangamon Arch in order to help producers understand reservoir development and predict occurrences of productive Silurian rocks in other areas of the Illinois Basin. The study was undertaken to determine reservoir facies types and to evaluate the occurrence, geometry, distribution, porosity development, and petroleum entrapment mechanisms in the Niagaran succession. Results suggest that the possibility is good for finding additional, potentially prolific petroleum reservoirs in the Racine Formation along the Mt. Auburn trend.

Circular 576 cover Circular 576 Groundwater Flow Modeling as a Tool to Understand Watershed Geology: Blackberry Creek Watershed, Kane and Kendall Counties, Illinois

Edward Mehnert
2010. 24 pp.

This publication shows how analytic element (AE) models can be developed and used to describe complex watershed hydrogeology and geology, identifying areas with distinct hydrogeology. This type of information is critical to the scientists and planners who are working to understand the state’s critical water and land use issues. Geologic models alone are not always able to account for some distinct or localized subsurface features, such as hydrologic connections between aquifers. An AE model can be used to describe streamflow, groundwater recharge, and groundwater flow within a watershed, which also can reveal additional information about the spatial relationships of the geologic materials. The complexity of the AE model can be increased incrementally to further improve its accuracy.

Circular 575 cover Circular 575 The Proximity of Underground Mines to Urban and Developed Lands in Illinois

Christopher Korose, Andrew Louchios, and Scott Elrick
2009. 92 pp.

This circular contains updated maps and statistics per county on the proximity of both coal and non-coal underground mined areas to urban development. The present study reflects newly available data and a revised assessment method. This study found that an estimated 333,000 housing units and approximately 201,000 acres of urban and developed lands are in close proximity to underground mines and may be exposed to subsidence. The work was funded, in part, by the Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund.

Circular 574 cover Circular 574 Manufacturing Bricks with Fly Ash and Advanced Coal Combustion By-products

Mei-In Melissa Chou, Sheng-Fu Joseph Chou, Lu-Ming Chen, and Joseph W. Stucki
2009. 10 pp.

This circular describes the successful production of high-quality building bricks that use coal combustion by-products, alone or in combination with fly ash, in their formulation. The tests were undertaken to find productive uses for the 60% of coal combustion by-products that are currently disposed of as waste in the United States. The majority of the test bricks met the ASTM classification for severe weathering grade bricks; color, compression strength, and water absorption varied depending on the formulation. All of the fired bricks produced were environmentally safe construction products.

Circular 573 cover Circular 573: Planned Coal Mine Subsidence in Illinois: A Public Information Booklet

By Robert A. Bauer
2008. 178 pp.

The trend toward coal mining methods that use planned subsidence continues in Illinois and elsewhere in the United States. This circular was produced to respond to community concerns about the possible effects of underground mining and surface subsidence (the sinking of the land surface). The information in this publication is based on a 9-year study supported by the Illinois Mine Subsidence Research Program. The research investigated the possible effects of mining and geologic conditions on the state’s water resources, farmland productivity, and structures.
Circular 572 cover Circular 572: Photographic History of Coal Mining Practices in Illinois

By C. Chenoweth, Alan R. Meyers, and Jennifer M. Obrad.
2008. 178 pp.

The Illinois coal mining industry has been a vital part of the state’s economy since the 1860s. This report is an attempt to gather, publish, and preserve a large collection of historic photographs documenting the processes, equipment, and people integral to the coal mining industry. Many of these photographs record industry pride in new technologies, better equipment, and safer methods. By making these images more accessible to the public and providing text to make them understandable, the authors hope to preserve these intriguing photographs for present and future generations.

Circular 571 cover Circular 571: The Late-Glacial and Early Holocene Geology, Paleoecology, and Paleohydrology of the Brewster Creek Site, a Proposed Wetland Restoration Site, Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve, and James "Pate" Philip State Park, Bartlett, Illinois

By B.B. Curry, E.C. Grimm, J.E. Slate, B.C.S. Hansen, and M.E. Konen.
2007. 51 pp. CD-ROM.

The aim of this investigation is to inform the public about how the postglacial environment in northeastern Illinois developed based on fossil and sediment records in lake and wetland deposits at the Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve near Bartlett, Illinois, and how this knowledge helps increase the understanding of climate and environmental change during the transition from the last glacial period to the current interglacial period.

Circular 570 cover Circular 570: Groundwater Quality of Springs and Wells of the Sinkhole Plain in Southwestern Illinois: Determination of the Dominant Sources of Nitrate

By K.C. Hackley, S.V. Panno, H.-H. Hwang, and W.R. Kelly.
2007. 39 pp. CD-ROM.

Nearly half of the residents living in the karst regions of St. Clair, Monroe, and Randolph Counties in southwestern Illinois use the shallow karst aquifer of Illinois’ sinkhole plain as their source for potable water. This study was undertaken to better understand the sources and pathways of contaminants in the area’s wells and streams. The investigation used chemical and isotope analyses to characterize the quality and general geochemistry of the groundwater in the karst aquifer of the sinkhole plain region and to determine the dominant sources of anomalously large concentrations of nitrate in the region’s groundwater.

c569-2013-thumb.jpg Circular 569: Mine Subsidence in Illinois: Facts for Homeowners

By Robert A. Bauer.
2013. 20 pp. 2nd edition Free plus shipping. Also available for download (6 MB PDF).

With the support of the Illinois Mine Insurance Fund, the ISGS has prepared this publication in order to provide information to Illinois homowners who are concerned with or are experiencing subsidence associated with past mining activity. The publication describes common types of damages and problems associated with subsidence or mistakenly thought to be related to subsidence. Detailed advice is provided about what to do about subsidence problems and what help is available for property owners.

Circular 568: The Benoist (Yankeetown) Sandstone Play in the Illinois Basin Circular 568: The Benoist (Yankeetown) Sandstone Play in the Illinois Basin

By Hannes E. Leetaru, Kristine Mize, and James S. Cokinos.
2005. 46 pp. $20.00.

This regional geologic study is the first of the Mississippian (Chesterian) Benoist sandstone (Yankeetown Sandstone), an important oil-producing formation in the Illinois Basin. The geologists used data from over 1,800 wireline logs to prepare regional structure and isolith maps of the Benoist and to characterize six individual Benoist reservoirs. This study helps differentiate the play into areas with high and low degrees of reservoir compartmentalization. Areas with complex reservoir compartmentalization may have the potential for infill drilling of oil that has been bypassed either horizontally or vertically. The results of this mapping study can be used by operators to find the structural and stratigraphic components of potential oil traps.

Circular 567: Reservoir Characterization and Three-dimensional Models of Mt. Simon Gas Storage Fields in the Illinois Basin Circular 567: Reservoir Characterization and Three-dimensional Models of Mt. Simon Gas Storage Fields in the Illinois Basin

By David G. Morse and H.E. Leetaru.
2005. 72 pp.

The project described in this report compiled and mapped regional Mt. Simon data from all wells in northern Illinois. The reservoirs of two Mt. Simon gas storage fields were characterized in detail. The regional structure maps of the top of the Ordovician Galena Group ("Trenton Limestone"), the St. Peter Sandstone, and the Mt. Simon Sandstone show anticlines that may have the potential as new gas storage sites. In addition, a new regional salinity map of the Mt. Simon groundwater shows that waters that are potable in northern and northwestern Illinois become brine-filled in the deeper parts of the Illinois Basin.

Circular 566: Declining Specific Capacity of High-Capacity Wells in the Mahomet Aquifer: Mineralogical and Biological Factors Circular 566: Declining Specific Capacity of High-Capacity Wells in the Mahomet Aquifer: Mineralogical and Biological Factors

By S.V. Panno, K.C. Hackley, E. Mehnert, D.R. Larson, D. Canavan, and T.C. Young.
2005. 51 pp.

This report summarizes the results of research undertaken by ISGS hydrogeologists and isotope geochemists on behalf of Illinois-American Water Company. Over a period of three decades, the company had observed progressive decreases in the specific capacities of most of its high-capacity wells screened in the Mahomet aquifer at Champaign, Illinois. Based on the study results, encrustations on the well screens were likely to have been caused by iron-depositing bacteria producing biofilms on the well screens that trapped transported mineral fragments, clay minerals, and newly precipitated calcite crystals. This process was responsible for the decrease in specific capacity. The scientists suggested that inspecting well screens of other problem production wells in the aquifer and collecting and analyzing samples of any encrustation should yield valuable information about the nature of the encrustation that could help researchers and companies identify appropriate remediation techniques.

Circular 565 cover Circular 565: Geomorphic History of the Rock River, South-Central Wisconsin, Northwestern Illinois

By Richard Anderson.
2005. Circular 565. 34 pp.

This report presents findings of the first integrated study of the Illinois and Wisconsin sections of the Rock River and describes the fascinating and complex interplay of bedrock geology, bedrock topography, glaciation, and fluvial processes that formed the river. These factors produced a valley with five distinctive reaches: (1) the headwaters, which lie in an area once covered by the Green Bay glacial lobe, (2) an outwash-filled bedrock valley, (3) a bedrock gorge, (4) a reach that skirts the edge of the Bloomington outwash plain in the Green River Lowland, and (5) a lower reach that has been shared at various times with the Mississippi River. The report also describes the outwash terraces related to meltwater discharge from the Green Bay glacial lobe that are found on the river as far downstream as Prophetstown, Illinois.

Circular 564: Delineation of the Coalbed Methane Resources of Illinois Circular 564: Delineation of the Coalbed Methane Resources of Illinois

By I. Demir, D.G. Morse, S.D. Elrick, and C.A. Chenoweth.
2004. 130 pp.

The report discusses results of our recent research assessment project designed to identify and sample Illinois’ prominent coal seams and Pennsylvanian black shales for critical methane gas data that may enhance your CBM exploration program. Maps produced from project data delineate the thickness, depth, rank, elevation, and cleat directions of coals, tectonic structures, and mined-out areas in Illinois. Data tables show gas contents, methane isotherm curves, desorbed gas chemical and isotopic compositions from the 2001–2002 ISGS drilling program, as well as compiled data from older sources. This information can be used to evaluate areas of the state’s important coalbed methane reserve.
Circular 563: Groundwater Geology of DeKalb County, Illinois, with Emphasis on the Troy Bedrock Valley  Circular 563: Groundwater Geology of DeKalb County, Illinois, with Emphasis on the Troy Bedrock Valley

By R.C. Vaiden, E.C. Smith, and T.H. Larson.
2004. 39 pp.

This report presents findings of a study of the geology and shallow groundwater resources of DeKalb County, concentrating on the aquifers of the buried Troy Bedrock Valley, which have potential for future groundwater development. The study describes the shallow bedrock formations and presents updated maps showing their thicknesses and extent. Cross sections depict the complexity of the materials overlying the bedrock and filling the Troy Bedrock Valley. Descriptions of the three informal units comprising the sediments in the buried bedrock valley give a better understanding of the aquifers in the county.

Circular 560: Aquifer Sensitivity Classification for the Illinois Using Depth to Uppermost Aquifer Material and Aquifer Thickness

By Richard C. Berg
2001. 14 pp.

Circular 559: Geologic Mapping for Environmental Planning McHenry County, Illinois

By B.Brandon Curry, Richard C. Berg, and Robert C. Vaiden
1997. 79 pp. Publication includes 4 plates.

Circular 557 Geochemistry of black shales of the new Albany Group (Devonian-Mississippian) in the Illinois Basin : relationships between lithofacies and the carbon, sulfur, and iron contents
Geochemistry of black shales of the new Albany Group (Devonian-Mississippian) in the Illinois Basin : relationships between lithofacies and the carbon, sulfur, and iron contents, Authors: Joyce Frost, 1996.
Circular 550: Intrusive Breccias at Hicks Dome Hardin County, Illinois

By J.C. Bradbury and J.W. Baxter
1992. 23 pp.

Circular 547 Facies analysis of the Ordovician Maquoketa Group and adjacent strata in Kane County, northeastern Illinois
C547 Quantity
Circular 542 Stack-unit mapping of geologic materials in Illinois to a depth of 15 meters
C542 Quantity
Circular 538 Structural geology of southeastern Illinois and vicinity
Structural geology of southeastern Illinois and vicinity, Author: W. John Nelson and Donald K. Lumm, 1987
Circular 532 Potential for contamination of shallow aquifers in Illinois
Potential for contamination of shallow aquifers in Illinois, Author: Richard C. Berg, John P. Kempton, Keros Cartwright, 1984
Circular 528 Lithostratigraphy and depositional environments of the Maquoketa Group (Ordovician) in northern Illinois
Lithostratigraphy and depositional environments of the Maquoketa Group (Ordovician) in northern Illinois, Author: Dennis R. Kolata and Anne M. Graese, 1983
Circular 518 The New Albany Shale Group of Illinois
The New Albany Shale Group of Illinois, Author: Robert M. Cluff, Mark L. Reinbold, Jerry A. Lineback, 1981
Circular 506 Glacial geology of north-central and western Champaign County, Illinois
Glacial geology of north-central and western Champaign County, Illinois, Author: Paul C. Heigold and Robert W. Ringler, 1979
Circular 505 The Sandwich Fault Zone of northern Illinois
The Sandwich Fault Zone of northern Illinois, Author: Dennis R. Kolata, T. C. Buschbach, Janis D. Treworgy, 1978
Circular 504 Reserves and resources of surface-minable coal in Illinois
Reserves and resources of surface-minable coal in Illinois, Author: Colin G. Treworgy, Lawrence E. Bengal, and Amy G. Dingwell, 1978
Circular 502 The Platteville and Galena groups in northern Illinois
The Platteville and Galena groups in northern Illinois, Author: H. B. Willman, Dennis R. Kolata, 1978
Circular 490: Glacial Drift in Illinois: Thickness and Character

By Kemal Piskin and Robert E. Bergstrom
1975. 35 pp. Publication includes 2 plates.

Circular 460 Summary of the geology of the Chicago area
$5.00 Quantity

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