ISGS Seminar Series

Late Ordovician (Sandbian) Glasford Structure: A Marine Target Impact Crater with a Probable Connection to the Ordovician Meteor Event

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Mr. Charles Monson (Illinois State Geological Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

 

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190408.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Monson is a Petroleum Geologist with the Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Collaboration and synergies between the Department of Geology and the ISGS: Current status and potential enhancements

Monday, March 25, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Thomas Johnson (Professor and Head, Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

 

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190325.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Johnson is Full Professor and Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Aguacate: Water Resources and Systems Resilience among Avocado Growers in San Diego County, California

Monday, March 11, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Mr. Riley Balikian (Illinois State Geological Survey)

Abstract

San Diego County is considered an urban county, but has more farms than any other county in the United States, with over 5,700 operations. San Diego County is losing farmland at the extremely high rate of 8.4% every year, much of that land considered “prime.” This land is also among the most productive farmland in the United States in terms of crop production value, and is some of the last remaining land in agriculture in southern California. I take an interdisciplinary, systems approach to identify and describe the factors driving system change in the agricultural production sector in San Diego County, especially among avocado growers. Stakeholder interviews and a survey of avocado growers were supplemented by social and biophysical data to examine the issues at stake. Water-resource related issues—especially the cost of water—were identified as the most important issues facing avocado growers, but socioeconomic drivers and environmental drivers were identified as well, including land resources, drought conditions, tax laws, zoning ordinances, and commodity markets.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190311.pdf

 

About the speaker

Mr. Balikian is a hydrogeologist and geophysicist at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His field work for ISGS involves collecting and analyzing geophysical data for geologic mapping, analysis of aquifer and aggregate resources, and the detection and visualization of various other subsurface materials in Illinois.

In addition to geophysical data collection and analysis, Riley is currently pursuing a PhD in Geology with research focused on understanding and managing the interactions between the natural and built environment, emphasizing how people approach and prepare for geohazards using frameworks of resilience, transformation, and adaptability. He received M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Environmental Science and Urban and Regional Planning, where he studied the interdisciplinary approaches needed for effective water resources management in complex environments. His thesis focused on the drivers limiting water availability for avocado farmers in San Diego County, CA. He holds a B.S. in Geophysics from Wheaton College, Illinois.


Hawaii’s Volcanic Eruption of 2018

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Stephen Marshak (Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Between early May and early August of 2018, a volcanic fissure along the eastern edge of the big island of Hawai'i erupted large quantities of lava, and the summit caldera of the Kilauea volcano erupted clouds of pyroclastic debris.  This eruption, the largest to take place on the island in decades, sadly destroyed over 700 homes and displaced thousands of residents.  It covered housing developments, roads, and a geothermal power plant with meters of new rock, and moved the coastline of the island eastward by up to 500 m.  Due to the efforts of geologists at the USGS and the University of Hawaii, all aspects of the eruption were well documented.  The speaker traveled to Hawai'i during the eruption, and was able to observe the active lava front on the ground (thanks to temporary press credentials supplied by the editor of Champaign News Gazette), as well the flow of lava into the sea (as seen from a boat), and the 200 m-high lava fountain feeding a river of lava that burned its way across the island to the sea (as seen from a helicopter).  This talk summarizes the geologic context of the eruption, the various components of the eruption, the chronology of the event, the eruption's societal consequences, and the response of emergency services.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190225.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Marshak received his A.B. from Cornell, M.S. from Arizona, and Ph.D. from Columbia, all in geology.  He was on the faculty of the Department of Geology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, from 1983 to 2018.  During this time, he served as Department Head for eight years and, more recently, as the Director of the School of Earth, Society, & Environment.  Steve's research in structural geology and tectonics has taken him in the field in North America and on other continents.  He has published on fold-thrust belts, Midcontinent tectonics, Precambrian geology, and the development of foliations.  At Illinois, he taught introductory geology, structural geology, geotectonics, and field geology.  These efforts were recognized by undergraduate teaching awards at both college-level and campus-level.  In addition, he received the Neil Miner Award from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers for "exceptional contributions to stimulation of interest in the Earth Sciences."  In addition to research publications, Steve authors undergraduate geology textbooks (Earth--Portrait of a Planet; Essentials of Geology; Earth Science; Earth Structure; Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology; and Basic Methods of Structural Geology), and he developed aMOOC(massive open online course) called Planet Earth, and You, which has reached thousands of viewers in over 170 countries.  Currently, Steve is continuing his research and book writing, and is teaching a course on energy resources for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Champaign.


Applied marine and coastal morphodynamics: a few examples of research projects at Deltares, Netherlands

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Thaienne van Dijk (Deltares, Netherlands)

Abstract

Knowledge of marine, coastal and river morphodynamics is crucial for the management and safety of low-lying countries like the Netherlands, bordering on the North Sea. Our natural coastal defence is being reinforced by beach and shoreface nourishments, river dykes are carefully monitored and maintained, offshore and river bed dynamics are investigated for safe navigation and hydraulic engineering purposes, and geological mapping is applied for natural resources. A wide range of methods, from empirical research and experiments, to geologic, groundwater, and hydro- and morphodynamic modelling are used at Deltares for researching surface processes and predicting surface evolution and the occurrence of subsurface sediments.

In this seminar, a brief introduction to Deltares, an applied research institute in the Netherlands in the fields of water and the subsurface, will be given, then zooming in on a few applied research projects on sea-bed dynamics for risk-based monitoring and offshore wind farm design, and a coastal mega-nourishment “Zandmotor” (Sand Engine), and a brief outlook to just commenced and nearby projects on seabed sediment mapping and river dune dynamics.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190211.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Van Dijk was educated in Physical Geography at the University of Amsterdam (B.Sc./M.Sc.) and Keele University, UK (Ph.D.) in glaciofluvial morphology and sedimentology, with fieldwork in Greenland, Ireland, Canada and Iceland. She then took up a position as a Marine Geologist at the Geological Survey of the Netherlands in 2002, carrying out projects on offshore Quaternary mapping, marine eco-morphodynamics and benthic habitat mapping. Since 2010, she is a Marine Geologist at Deltares. For 9 years she also has been a part-time lecturer (Marine Systems) at the University of Twente and from last August, she is affiliated to the University of Illinois. Recent projects at Deltares focus on sand wave morphodynamics, river dunes, and sea-bed sediment mapping in the North Sea.


Virtual Presentation: “Evolution of Antarctic vegetation cover from the Paleocene to the Pliocene: A review of case studies from the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ross Sea, the Sabrina Coast and the Dry Valleys”

Monday, January 28, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Sophie Warny, Associate Professor of Palynology, Louisiana State University

Abstract

Here we review the results of a series of Antarctic palynological studies that were conducted over the past 15 years to evaluate the type of vegetation changes that occurred in Antarctica in the Paleogene and Neogene, and better constrain the timing and amplitude of these changes. Sites reviewed include a Paleogene section sampled off the Sabrina Coast, a Mio-Pliocene outcrop section sampled on King George Island, a Mio-Pliocene record obtained by SHALDRIL core NBP0602A-5D on the Joinville Plateau in the Weddell Sea, the Mio-Pliocene core obtained by the ANDRILL 2A campaign, and a series of Neogene outcrop samples obtained from the Dry Valleys. Fossils of pollen and spores recovered at these sites provide a record of vegetation changes that occurred in each of these regions of Antarctica. The timing of these changes are evaluated against known driving factors such as atmospheric concentration in carbon dioxide, plate tectonic activity (or lack of), precipitation, and temperature (sea-surface and atmospheric) changes.

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190128.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Warny is an Associate Professor and the AASP Chair in Palynology in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, and a Curator at the Museum of Natural Science (MNS), both at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She grew up in Belgium and France where she received two bachelors’ degrees (one in geology and one in oceanography) and a doctorate from the Université Catholique de Louvain (in Belgium) in marine geology working under the direction of Jean-Pierre Suc. She is the director of the AASP-The Palynological Society Center for Excellence in Palynology (CENEX) and served in 2016 as vice president of the GCSSEPM society. Her center, CENEX, focuses on various aspects of palynological research including the use of pollen, spores and algae in biostratigraphic studies in collaboration with the industry to the use of pollen in forensic applications. The bulk of her research focuses on palaeoceanography and paleoclimate reconstruction, including investigation of the palynological record to decipher past sudden warming events and climate variability in the Antarctic to help constrain their triggering mechanisms. Warny received a NSF CAREER award in 2011 and has published in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Geoscience, PNAS, Geology and Gondwana Research. Warny has supervised 19 theses and dissertations since joining LSU in 2008.


The evolutionary history of cave-dwelling springtails (Collembola) in Salem Plateau karst: a case study of molecular divergence across the Mississippi River Valley in Illinois and Missouri.

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 11:00am

Leighton Conference Room (room 101), Natural Resources Building

Dr. Aron Katz (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Champaign IL)

Abstract

Invasive sClimatic and geological changes have had profound impacts on contemporary patterns of cave biodiversity in North America. The Mississippi River Valley has facilitated the genetic isolation, molecular divergence, and subsequent speciation in many groups of surface-dwelling animals, but its influence on the evolutionary history of cave-dwelling organisms has yet to be evaluated, in part, because the geological history of the Mississippi River and its influence on regional cave-bearing karst remain poorly understood. To investigate the evolutionary and geological processes shaping patterns of diversity in caves along the Mississippi River, we employed DNA to reconstruct the evolutionary histories of two ecologically distinct groups of terrestrial cave‐dwelling springtails (Collembola) from the Salem Plateau—a once continuous karst region, now bisected by the Mississippi River Valley in Illinois and Missouri. We find that cave-obligate springtail populations in Illinois and Missouri diverged 2.9–4.8 Ma, which we attribute to genetic isolation resulting from climatic and geological processes involved in Mississippi River Valley formation beginning during the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene—providing prima facie evidence of vicariance across the Mississippi River for terrestrial cave arthropods, and accordingly, the first biogeographic evidence for the initial timing of Mississippi River entrenchment and bisection through Salem Plateau karst in Illinois and Missouri. Lastly, the discovery of many deeply divergent, morphologically cryptic, and microendemic lineages reveals how little we understand microarthropod diversity in caves and presents major concerns for cave conservation biology.

 

Download Flyer: http://isgs.illinois.edu/sites/isgs/files/seminar/ISGS_SeminarFlyer_20190114.pdf

 

About the speaker

Dr. Katz recently received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is now a post-doctoral researcher at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Champaign, Illinois. His graduate research utilized springtails (Collembola)—a group of tiny, flightless, insect-like arthropods—as models to explore evolutionary and geological processes driving patterns of biodiversity. Dr. Katz has worked on several springtail research projects in Illinois and Missouri Caves, lava tubes in the Galapagos, California, and Hawaii, and beaches along the coasts of Panama.