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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
By Robert A. Bauer 2008. 178 pp.
By C. Chenoweth, Alan R. Meyers, and Jennifer M. Obrad. 2008. 178 pp.
By B.B. Curry, E.C. Grimm, J.E. Slate, B.C.S. Hansen, and
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.
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.
By Robert A. Bauer.
2013. 20 pp. 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
By I. Demir, D.G. Morse, S.D. Elrick, and C.A. Chenoweth. 2004. 130 pp.
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.
By Aki Artimo, Richard C. Berg, Curtis C. Abert, and Joni Makinen 2003. 9 pp.
By Duane M. Moore 2003. 13 pp.
By Richard C. Berg 2001. 14 pp.
By B.Brandon Curry, Richard C. Berg, and Robert C. Vaiden 1997. 79 pp. Publication includes 4 plates.
By Russel A. Peppers and Richard D. Harvey 1997. 21 pp.
By Joyce Frost 1996. 24 pp.
By B. Brandon Curry, Kathy G. Troost, and Richard C. Berg 1994. 85 pp.
By Richard C. Berg and Jack M. Masters
1994. 89 pp.
By Colin G. Treworgy, Gayla K. Coats, and Margaret H. Bargh 1994. 48 pp.
By Russel A. Peppers 1993. 18 pp.
By Richard C. Berg and Mary R. Greenpool 1993. 11 pp.
By Russell J. Jacobson 1993. 41 pp. Publication includes 5 plates.
By J.C. Bradbury and J.W. Baxter 1992. 23 pp.
By Kemal Piskin and Robert E. Bergstrom 1975. 35 pp. Publication includes 2 plates.
PRAIRIE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
607 E. Peabody Drive, MC-700
Champaign, IL 61820
© 2016 University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
All rights reserved.
For permissions information, contact the