IGS Research
Geological Research at the IGS - Current Projects
(22 current projects)

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  • 2017-2018 Master Naturalist Program
  • Educate Master Naturalist participants about the geology of Indiana.
    Primary Contact: Todd Thompson

    Center for Geospatial Data Analysis

  • IDEM RiverWatch Program
  • Collect pertinent data for the IDEM volunteer stream monitoring program known as RiverWatch. Students will be trained to (1) collect water quality data consisting of: temperature, conductivity, pH, redox, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), turbidity, nitrate, phosphate; (2) flow estimation of stream using cross-section and velocity method; (3) record physical description of stream and bank up to 200 ft above monitoring point, describing stream bed, riparian zone, and sinuosity of stream; (4) collection and identification of macroinvertebrates living in stream at monitoring site, (5) test for total coliform and E. coli bacteria in stream. Student activity will be monitored and assisted as needed. Students will enter data into online forms at IDEM website.Monitoring activity will be conducted once each season for one year for a total of 4 monitoring days.
    Primary Contact: Tracy Branam
  • Planning, coordination, and training associated with lead sampling activities in schools
  • The objective is to provide comprehensive planning, coordination, and sampling services for all schools that express interest and participate in the Indiana school water sampling program.
    Primary Contact: Sally Letsinger
  • Spatial analysis of significant water withdrawal facilities in Indiana
  • This project will support the larger effort of improving the data accuracy in databases important to water resources planning in Indiana.
    Primary Contact: Sally Letsinger
  • The Indiana Water Balance Network (IWBN)
  • Primary Contact: Shawn Naylor

    Geologic Mapping

  • 2017 StateMap Project 1_Logansport 1:100,000 scale quadrangle bedrock mapping
  • Primary Contact: Patrick McLaughlin
  • Assessing the Maquoketa Group in the Illinois Basin: age, character and resource potential
  • This project will establish the age and petrophysical characteristics of the various lithofacies present with the Maquoketa Group in the Illinois Basin. Such an evaluation will begin to approach the challenges of establishing if the organic-rich facies are time-specific or diachronous, and understanding the physical and chemical characteristics of the various rocks types present in the interval. The information gleaned in the proposed study could have a substantial influence on future exploration of unconventional reservoirs and for effective seals. Specifically, we seek to: 1) characterize the elemental composition of Maquoketa units along multiple cross-basin transects, 2) establish the relative ages of these units, 3) integrate elemental and geophysical data sets of time-rock units to generate basin-wide isopachs 4) combine new organic carbon analyses with previously published reports to characterize oil and gas production potential of each unit and 5) characterize the pore size distribution, capillary entry pressures, and strengths of a select set of lithofacies that represent the stratigraphic interval .
    Primary Contact: Patrick McLaughlin
  • Indiana Geologic Names Information System
  • The database facilitates labeling stratigraphic data in IGWS digital and paper archives, aid IGWS researchers in locating current geologic nomenclature for their publications, and provide web-based access to IGWS geologic nomenclature to a broad spectrum of users from academia, industry, government, and the general public.
    Primary Contact: Nancy Hasenmueller

    Information Technology

  • ASTM testing of the Salem Limestone
  • Data from the ASTM tests cited have been performed by the Indiana Geological Survey since the early 1950s. These data define physical strength and performance of masonry products fabricated from the Salem Limestone; the data also have been useful to geologists in interpreting depositional environments and diagenetic systems relevant to the Salem Limestone.
    Primary Contact: Drew Packman
  • Unconsolidated sediment (soil) core description database forms - Core-nucopia
  • Primary Contact: Robert Autio

    Photography and Imaging

  • GeoMinute video series
  • To reach much of the public sector in Indiana using the “Youtube” methodology, by shooting short (1 minute) topical geologic subjects. This will be done by interviewing existing personnel about their current research or area of expertise and by using mostly existing equipment.
    Primary Contact: Barbara Hill

    Subsurface Geology

  • Converting Coal Maps to Story Maps
  • Primary Contact: Agnieszka Drobniak
  • Enhanced Biological Natural Gas Production from Coal - China Gateway - a proposal for IU President's International Research Awards
  • There are 2 specific objectives that will be accomplished during the studies funded by the President’s International Research Award: (1) We will build upon a year’s worth of preliminary research using small bottle reactors on methane generation from fungal-treated coal, and determine if methane can be generated using coal slurry in a larger sequential aerobic-anaerobic stirred tank reactor. (2) We will also evaluate the effects of operating parameters, e.g., temperature, pH and medium composition on methane generation **Flynn Picardal, SPEA, is the Project Director
    Primary Contact: Maria Mastalerz
  • Feasibility Assessment of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Options in the Central Illinois Basin, Illinois
  • The Indiana Geological Survey (IGS) will perform work as part of a larger project designed to develop a large-volume, carbon storage complex at an industrial facility in the United States. The objective of the IGS’s research will be to support the evaluation of the subsurface geological sequestration potential for an integrated commercial-scale CO2 capture, transport, and storage system. The IGS will be conducting tasks that contribute to the evaluation of potential storage reservoirs and seals that reside in the subsurface in an area surrounding a series of oil and gas fields located in a series of counties in the central portion of the Illinois Basin, Illinois. This area is host to a number of CO2 generating facilities and therefore a storage system at the site in Macon County could serve as key component of a larger system that integrates multiple sources in the region. A major emphasis of the project will be to develop an effective team capable of addressing the technical, geologic, engineering, economic, legal, policy, and stakeholder elements related to implementation of a real-world CO2 storage project. To assist in the accomplishment of this goal, the IGS will coordinate with the Illinois State Geological Survey staff and other partners in their effort to address the overall needs of the project. The specific emphasis of the IGS contribution to the team will be in the realms of 1) technical assessment of geological systems and 2) evaluation of regional infrastructural and regulatory components.
    Primary Contact: John Rupp
  • Indiana Coal Quality Database (ICQD)
  • The Indiana Geological Survey has collected data and created databases on various physical and chemical parameters of Indiana coals for many years. This project creates the most comprehensive coal quality data compilation available for Indiana coals.
    Primary Contact: Agnieszka Drobniak
  • Midwest Geologic Sequestration Consortium (MGSC)
  • The purpose of this project is to determine if the rock systems in the subsurface of the Illinois Basin are strong enough for effective and permanent storage of carbon dioxide that can contribute to global warming.
    Primary Contact: John Rupp
  • Organic matter in the Illinois Basin: Interactive atlas: Part I – New Albany Shale
  • To design and prepare interactive atlas of organic matter. We plan to start with the New Albany Shale, followed by the coals and other formations in the Illinois Basin.
    Primary Contact: Agnieszka Drobniak
  • Organizing 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology (TSOP) in Bloomington
  • To organize Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology (TSOP) in Bloomington, IN in September 2019.
    Primary Contact: Agnieszka Drobniak
  • Petrophysical characterization, regional distribution, and geologic storage suitability of units within the Cambro-Ordovician sequence
  • The objective of this study is to compile known basic geological attributes of deep oil and gas reservoirs, black shales, coals, and saline aquifers. These attributes will then be assessed with the objective of calculating their ability to effectively store large volumes of liquid CO2. The project is designed to move into a second phase where these candidate formations are tested with a drilling and injection program.
    Primary Contact: Cristian Medina
  • Shale Gas: Geochemical and Physical Constraints on Genesis, Storage, and Productibility
  • This project is comprised of three tasks related to shale gas: (1) Study of porosity in shale; (2) Natural methane outgassing from shales into the atmosphere; and (3) Generation of catalytic shale gas. Each task focuses on an individual aspect in need of basic shale research for industrial and environmental reasons. All three tasks are conceptually linked.
    Primary Contact: Maria Mastalerz
  • Stratigraphy of the Brazil Formation coal and their potential for coking - Phase 2
  • Two main objectives of this project are: 1) advance understanding of the stratigraphy of the Brazil and Staunton Formation coals so that the seam identification and correlation become more reliable within the state as well as the entire Illinois Basin; and 2) investigate properties of the coals with the special emphasis on coking properties and consequently on their application in the steel industry
    Primary Contact: Maria Mastalerz
  • US-China Clean Energy Research Center, Advanced Coal Technology Consortium
  • The objective of the CERC-ACTC program is to advance R&D on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technology such that it may play an integral role in mitigating CO2 emissions over the coming decades.
    Primary Contact: Kevin Ellett

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