ISGS Seminar Series

The transformative power of chemostratigraphy for bedrock studies in the Illinois Basin

Monday, April 30, 2018 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Patrick McLaughlin, Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Bloomington, Indiana

 

Abstract

Chemostratigraphy is resolving many longstanding uncertainties about bedrock stratigraphy of the Illinois Basin through the generation of robust time-rock (i.e., chronostratigraphic) frameworks fundamental to accurate sequence stratigraphic interpretation. Mapping of regional carbonate carbon isotope trends identifies isochroneity and diachroneity of unconformity-bound packages of strata (defining chronostratigraphic strike and dip). Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) enables rapid, nondestructive elemental analysis, providing additional insights into facies characterization, local correlation, depositional processes and economic assessment.

Our work in the basin is currently focused on the Maquoketa Group. Despite an abundance of high-quality subsurface samples, chronostratigraphic study of the Maquoketa Group was little developed. Our work has not only generated a robust chemostratigraphic analysis of most of the available cores in the basin, but uncovered rich graptolite and chitinozoan records and conducted targeted conodont studies that greatly enhance our new chronostratigraphic foundation. These results show that the Maquoketa is highly diachronous through certain parts of the basin, clarifying inconsistent compositional patterns identified by previous studies. 

Chemostratigraphic studies in the Illinois Basin are making tangible improvements to the fundamental understanding of bedrock geology. These new studies provide opportunities for regional collaboration and advancement of multiple initiatives within the basin.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20180430.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. McLaughlin is an Indiana University research scientist with the Geological and Water Survey and an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His research is focused on Earth systems history, particularly deciphering the recorded interactions of the lithosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. He obtained his B.Sc. degree from Illinois State University (1999) and M.Sc. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees at the University of Cincinnati  where he studied sequence and event stratigraphy as a doctoral fellow. An NSF-funded post-doctoral study led to a specialization in chemostratigraphy, particularly new applications of C-isotopes and elemental abundances (via portable XRF). His field- and subsurface-based studies span the Proterozoic to Pliocene on three continents, with an emphasis on the lower Paleozoic of eastern North America.


Biophysical systems in mountain river corridors: bridging geomorphology and ecology for watershed science & management

Monday, March 5, 2018 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Piotr Cienciala, Department of Geography & GIS; Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (Affiliate); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Abstract

Rapid development of interdisciplinary research which integrates knowledge from geomorphology, hydrology, and ecology has significantly improved the understanding of interactions between physical and biological processes in river corridors. This body of research has also contributed to advancements in integrated watershed management and monitoring. In my talk, I will focus specifically on river corridors in mountainous landscapes. Mountain environments, which cover close to 25% of the world’s land surface, are particularly sensitive to climate change. In addition, high connectivity in such landscapes facilitates spatial transmission of hydro-geomorphic disturbances. As a result, there has been considerable concern about managing, conserving, and restoring river corridor ecosystems in mountainous areas. I will use examples from my research program in the Pacific Northwest to illustrate some of the approaches that integrate field observations and models to gain insights into bio-physical interactions in mountain stream networks. I will primarily focus on organism-habitat relationships for salmonids, an ecologically, culturally, and economically important family of fish which inhabit mountain streams. However, I will also provide an overview of ongoing work on other elements of river corridor ecosystem, especially riparian forests. I will discuss the implications of this research program for watershed conservation and restoration.


Practical Aspects of Brine Extraction as a Storage Management Tool

Monday, February 19, 2018 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Roland T. Okwen, Illinois State Geological Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Abstract

Brine extraction can be used in developing and deploying commercial-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) storage to manage reservoir pressure and control CO2 plume in storage units, thus reducing the risks associated with reservoir pressure buildup and CO2 migration outside the injection zone. Major technical challenges of using brine extraction to manage storage include locating the extraction well and determining the efficacy of brine extraction. This study addresses these challenges and investigates the practical aspects of brine extraction for effective pressure and plume management by designing a brine exaction pilot at the Decatur CO2 storage site using numerical simulations. The simulated scenario at this site is a pre-existing, one-million tonne CO2 plume, a planned three-year CO2 injection via second, nearby injection well, and brine extraction planed for the second year of CO2 injection. A series of cases were simulated to determine the optimal extraction well type, well location, extraction rate (or injection-to-extraction ratio), and perforation interval. Differential pressure, CO2 storage efficiency, and the CO2 plume extent were used as metrics to evaluate brine extraction performance. Simulation results suggest that the pressure variations induced by brine extraction were of sufficient magnitude to be observed in multilevel monitoring well for all simulated brine extraction rates. With an injection-to-extraction ratio of 1:1 (volumetric balance), the optimal location for a vertical extraction well was (1) 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away from the injector, (2) in a direction perpendicular to high hydraulic connectivity direction, and (3) on the down-dip side, with perforation(s) within the injection zone. Alternatively, a horizontal well placed directly above the existing CO2 plume decreased the risk of drilling into the existing and new plume and reduce uncertainty in the geology. Compared to a vertical extraction well, a horizontal extraction well could manage pressure and CO2 plume at a lower extraction rate and had less impact on the lateral movement of the CO2 plume, which could result in higher CO2 storage efficiency and maintain the CO2 plume within an area of review. To minimize brine extraction and yet have a noticeable effect on reservoir pressure and movement of the CO2 plume, this study recommends injection-to-extraction ratios of 2:1 for a vertical well and 4:1 for a horizontal well, which correspond to extraction rates of 10,000 and 5,000 bbl/day (1,590 and 795 m3/day), respectively, when injecting 1 million tonnes of CO2 per annum (1.1 million tons of CO2 per annum). These findings demonstrate the practical approach to design a brine extraction research pilots that could lead to commercial storage applications requiring brine extraction to manage CO2 storage.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20180219.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Okwen is a reservoir engineer at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a member of ISGS, he has contributed to the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium’s Phase II pilot studies in the Illinois Basin. In addition to this project, he is assisting in the development of performance curves to act as screening tools for CO2 EOR floods. Previously, Dr. Okwen was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Schlumberger Cambridge Research Center in the United Kingdom. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of South Florida (2009), MS in Petroleum Engineering from Technical University of Denmark (2005), and BS in Chemistry from the University of Buea (1997). His research interests are in geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, enhanced oil recovery, reservoir geomechanics and data analytics.


Using detrital zircon geochronology to understand Indiana’s glacial history

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Ms. Christine Kassab, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

 

Abstract

While there is evidence that northern Indiana was covered by glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum, the absence of well-defined glacial landforms over much of the state indicating flow direction and complex moraine systems complicates our ability to determine ice flow paths. Reconstructing ice flow paths is important for understanding and modeling past ice sheet behavior and can also be useful in understanding the distribution of naturally-occurring chemical elements such as arsenic. Based on the success of using detrital zircon geochronology as a provenance tracer in Antarctica, our research group has started investigating its success as a means to understand ice flow paths in Indiana. A pilot study of a single sample from the Michigan, Huron-Erie, and Saginaw Lobes indicates that the distribution of detrital zircon ages are not distinctly different even though, based on current ice-flow path models, the lobes originate from regions of the Canadian Shield with different bedrock ages. The ages in the tills have similarities to age distributions in Michigan Basin rocks suggesting that the sand-sized fraction of the till may be derived from some combination of underlying till and sedimentary bedrock versus being derived directly from Shield rocks. This has implications for understanding transport distances of glacial debris and recycling of older tills into younger deposits. Additional analyses are currently being conducted to expand this pilot study and test whether zircon age populations are consistent through time and space for a particular lobe and whether sediment is recycled between successive glacial advances.

 

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20180205.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Kassab is a PhD Candidate in the Dept. of Earth Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She received her B.S. in Environmental Geology from Bucknell University and her M.S. in Geology from Purdue University. Christine has worked on a variety of research projects that involve the use of multiple types of datasets including cosmogenic nuclide exposure age dating, thermochronology, detrital zircon geochronology, and ground penetrating radar. Her current research focuses on understanding the development and evolution of a blue ice moraine complex in the central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica and how it may record changes in the glacier-ice sheet system over glacial-interglacial cycles.


ISGS Seminar | Advanced Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) Architectures Including Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES)

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 9:30am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Mr. Chuck Hammock, PE, Andrews, Hammock & Powell, Inc., Consulting Engineers, Macon, GA

Abstract

The Advanced GHP Architectures Including UTES seminar will explore the recently (2017) concluded DoD project that demonstrated the United States’ first Borehole Thermal Energy Storage (BTES) system and one of the country’s few Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) systems at the Marine Corps Logistic Base Albany, GA (MCLB) and Ft. Benning, GA respectively. The fundamentals of a UTES system will be covered and compared against conventional GHP designs as well as the metered savings and paybacks associated with the BTES and ATES systems. Both technologies combined make up most of the UTES systems in the world, though other architectures like Cavern Thermal Energy Storage (CTES) are possible.

UTES designs move beyond the exploitation of the geology as a superior heat sink/source and configure the system to optimize it capacity to store heat and/or “cold”. In the so-called “closed loop” configuration, BTES systems feature concentric thermal zones, circuited in series and reversing valves to enhance storage capacity, efficiency and allow for a charging and discharging mode of operation.  In the open loop configuration of ATES, every groundwater well features a pump and injection valve so that each can serve as both a supply well and a storage well, thereby allowing for the capture of both the building’s waste heat and “waste cool”. Other unique technologies, that complement and enhance the UTES system, will be covered including:

  • A permanent, 2.6km long underground Fiber Optic based Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) system that monitors 1300 underground temperatures throughout the BTES.
  • A DTS based in-situ Distributed Thermal Response Test (DTRT) or Layered Thermal Conductivity Test (LTCT) that determined the layer-by-layer thermal conductivity (k) values of the geology and the Borehole Thermal Resistance (BTR) of the test bore.
  • Adiabatic Dry-Coolers utilized for Diurnal & Seasonal “Cold Capture” (heat rejection)
  • Heat Recovery Chiller-Heater, Water-to-Water Geothermal Heat Pumps that generate “free” space heating hot water and reconnect to the buildings existing chilled and hot water systems.

Beyond the DoD UTES project, the seminar will also cover other related topics like domestic water heating via GHPs and UTES for Combined Heat & Power (CHP) systems. A Q&A session will be held at the end of the 45-minute presentation.     

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20180125.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Hammock during the past 35 years has been exclusively involved in the engineering of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems for governmental, industrial, commercial and institutional clients at facilities throughout the United States and Internationally. His specialty and passion in this arena is centered on innovative deployments of Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHPs) systems for governmental, institutional, and commercial clients. He served as the Principal Investigator (PI) for the Department of Defense’s ESTCP project #EW-201135 where the integration of Underground Thermal Energy Storage (UTES) with GHP’s was demonstrated at Fort Benning and MCLB Albany, GA. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in multiple states and is one of the three founders of Andrews, Hammock and Powell, Inc., a US-based Consulting Engineering firm established in 1988 and located in Macon, Georgia.