News from the Indiana Geological and Water Survey
July 2019 Issue

New Trail Map! (and more to come)

Experience the remarkable topography and physiography of southern Indiana, using our new trail map of the Hoosier National Forest, the Charles C. Deam Wilderness, and lands owned by the state and Sycamore Land Trust. IGWS Cartographer Matt Johnson has created a beautiful and useful map that has already become popular with hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

This folding two-sided trail map is printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper and shows the Charles C. Deam Wilderness, including the Nebo and Hickory Ridge areas, at a scale of 1 inch to 1/2 mile. Campsites, hiking trails, horse trails, parking areas, boat ramps, mountain biking trails, and other points of interest are shown.

The IGWS is partnering with Indiana University's Center for Rural Engagement to continue the Topographic Trail Map Series within the Indiana Uplands Region. Four additional maps will be released in fall 2019 through spring 2021 in both printable and downloadable versions: 1) the Knobstone Escarpment from Deam Lake to Delaney Park, 2) continuing to the southern boundary of the Deam Wilderness, 3) Brown County State Park, Morgan-Monroe.State Forest, and Yellowwood State Forest, 4) Morgan-Monroe State Forest to Martinsville.


The new Deam Wilderness map is the first of a series of five IGWS trail maps.

Locating and Characterizing Water Resources in the Indiana Uplands

The IGWS is also partnering with Indiana University's Center for Rural Engagement to find springs in southwest central Indiana and test them for water quality. In this area---the Indiana Uplands region---springs have been important historically to communities as sources of drinking water and for livestock, agriculture, and commercial enterprises. In this region’s karst landscape, riddled with sinkholes and caves and where surface water is scarce, springs are an important groundwater resource.

It is important to understand the quality of the water in these springs because water remains a chief limiting factor for economic and human development in this region. To this end, IGWS researchers are combining historical data with new data to create a baseline of water quantity and quality for a subset of the region's 360 known karst and mineral springs. This will result in a database that can be expanded to statewide coverage.

IGWS geochemist Tracy Branam is heading up the team that will be conducting the 2-year study. There is also a crowdsourcing component, where community scientists will be able to log in to a web application and add data that they have collected. Get involved in IGWS science! Check upcoming issues for more information.

The Indiana Uplands region

New Project to Study Shale Gas

Maria Mastalerz, IGWS coal geologist, was recently awarded a 3-year U.S. Department of Energy grant to study the characteristics of shale gas.

As shale gas becomes increasingly important in the overall U.S. natural gas energy portfolio, its rapid expansion has outpaced our scientific understanding of factors that control the amount of gas generated. Specifically, the researchers will be looking at the links between shale porosity and permeability on a microscopic level. This study will help strengthen the scientific basis necessary to develop improved models that lead to better gas exploration and production practices.

IGWS coal geologist Maria Mastalerz

"Notable" IGWS Publications

Two recent IGWS publications were honored this month with a special designation. The American Library Association named Landmarks in Indiana Geology StoryMap and Indiana Rocks! A guide to geologic sites in the Hoosier State as Notable Government Documents for 2018.

You can explore the state's geological history at Landmarks in Indiana Geology or find interesting geologic sites to visit around in the state in Indiana Rocks!

Hidden Gems---The Indiana Geologic Names Information System

If you haven't explored the IGWS website recently, you may not be aware of some of its hidden gems. One of them---the Indiana Geologic Names Information System or IGNIS---is packed with information about the various strata that make up the geology of Indiana. And now, photos, diagrams, and maps are being added to the site to provide you with even more detail, thanks to IGWS geologist Nancy Hasenmueller, who has been tracking down this supplemental information.

One way that geologists bring order to the jumble of rock layers beneath our feet is to classify and name them. Some of the names come from the place names or historical sites near where the "type section" is located---the Beaver Bend Limestone or the Buffalo Wallow Group.

Using IGNIS, these geologic names can be searched by either: (1) entering a formal stratigraphic name, or (2) using the advanced search to select units by system and stratigraphic rank to retrieve data for more than one unit. The results will show IGWS nomenclature for the selected unit(s), names of equivalent correlative units, miscellaneous and abandoned names, and applicable higher-rank stratigraphic terms.


Type area: The Mansfield Formation was originally named the "Mansfield Sandstone" by Hopkins for rocks exposed at Mansfield, Parke County, Indiana

New Staff

A number of new staff members have recently joined the Survey, and we'd like to introduce them to you.

Ben Romlein, M.S., our new GIS developer, is working with Indiana University's Grand Challenges Environmental Resilience Institute to develop geospatial software solutions that host data visualizations and decision support applications for IndianaMap. This project aims to expand and modernize the infrastructure to facilitate the statewide sharing of geospatial data and research.

Babak Shabani, Ph.D., is a research geologist and will be working on a variety of energy-related projects. He has held several positions in petroleum companies and has conducted original research modeling reservoir geometries, studying petrophysical rock properties, and investigating carbon dioxide storage.

Pratima Soni, M.S., is our new systems analyst and web designer. She recently completed a master's degree in information science from North Dakota State University.