30 October 2018

No Substitute for evaluation, observation, and knowledge

What does it take to unravel the complexities of glacial depositional environments?


There are no short cuts,
There are no magic wands,
There are no magic soil classifications,
There is no statistical manipulation or sophisticated field techniques that will figure it out for us,
And Alexa won’t tell us what the geology is.

We are the ones that have to make the evaluation, and that involves careful observation and knowledge of glacial depositional environments and deposits, and experience.

More Information

HYDROGEOLOGIC IMPLICATIONS OF COMPLEX GLACIAL DEPOSITS: Subglacial and Ice-Marginal Depositional Environments 

Second in the webinar series, Hydrogeology of Glacial Deposits 
Thursday 01 NOV 2018 @ 1pm-3pm CT 
by Tim Kemmis, PhD, PG 

27 October 2018

Aquifer Testing Course 2018

What a fun aquifer testing course! Thank you and congratulations to the participants plus a special thank you to @In-Situ, Inc for hosting Midwest GeoSciences Group for the 2-day experience.

Jim Butler teaching the mechanics of slug testing


Glenn Duffield teaching data analysis strategies of aquifer pumping tests (with GeoMan Lynn Green in backrow, "rock on"!)


Class Photo @ In-Situ, Inc. 2018

Instructors Jim Butler, Glenn Duffield and I had a great time meeting the 2018 participants along with those special participants who returned again for the course - you know who you are :-) -Dan.

11 October 2018

Hydrogeology of Glacial Deposits, Webinar Series

What does it take to unravel the complexity of aquifer heterogeneities in glacial deposits?

Learn to recognize depositional environments, and their hydrogeologic implications during this landmark webinar series.

Despite the validity about the challenges of aquifer heterogeneity and finding a meaningful solution through geologic principles, glacial deposits require additional attention to scale of depositional processes, stratigraphic unit definition, and post-depositional weathering effects.

For glacial deposits, aquitards play a major role in the ground water flow regime; but the secondary permeabilities originating from oxidation and weathering complicate ground water movement and can impact the hydraulic integrity of aquitards.

Plus, many field staff are simply not trained on identifying depositional environments or deciphering subsurface relationships from boring to boring. Boring log quality reflects staff skills about defining geologic units, unit correlation, geologic context leading to unit variability or uniformity, and environmental sequence stratigraphy.
If that's not daunting enough, multiple sequences from successive glacial advances or in contrast, glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine depositional environments often lead to subsurface uncertainty at project completion.

This webinar series is designed to step you through the process of learning how depositional environments and post-depositional weathering impacts ground water movement and contaminant migration. The Series will demystify conventional wisdom about building Conceptual Site Models based solely on grain-size and associated matrix-permeabilities.

HYDROGEOLOGY OF GLACIAL DEPOSITS Webinar Series
Begins on October 25, 2018

10 October 2018

GeoWoman Extraordinaire

Katie Aguilar is a gINT Product Manager at Bentley Systems and she helps teach gINT during Midwest GeoSciences Group soil workshops.

GeoWoman Katie is among the world's top athletes competing in the 2018 World Championship Ironan Triathon at Kona, Hawaii.   Way to go Katie!  
Katie @ Kona
“To get there you need to have courage. Not heroic courage, but courage for everyday life and making the decisions to sacrifice some opportunities for this goal and opportunity. You have to love the lifestyle and not want to do what others are doing, because you won’t be. So love what you get to do every day to get to Kona. And accept your story. Love your story. It will be different from everyone else’s. Listen to the stories of others. They love their story as well.”
-Katie Aguilar

Katie qualified for Kona World Championships by achieving second place in the Ironman Race in Santa Rosa, California.

An Ironman Triathalon consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break.  To keep up on the news with Katie, follow this link:  Katie @ Kona

Katie Aguilar wearing her GeoWoman shirt

26 September 2018

The Power of Borehole Flow Meters

Test your bedrock conceptual site model using borehole flow meters.

-Confirm or refine stratigraphy
-Identify fractures that give (or take) water in the borehole
-Measure the flow rate between fractures
-Target meaningful fractures for monitoring



Webinar:  BOREHOLE FLOW METERS for Assessing Bedrock Stratrigraphy and Fracture Hydraulics.
Date:  October 4, 2018 @ 1pm (90 min)
Instructor:  David Hart, PhD, PG, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.
Register at: http://www.midwestgeo.com/webinars/flowmeter-10042018.php

24 September 2018

SOILS WORKSHOP 2018

Congratulations to the participants of
Managing the Complexity and Uncertainty of Soil Sequences, Part 2, Field Techniques!  

I realize the course is difficult.  No doubt that the field process for taking the mystery out of the subsurface requires a thoughtful deliberation of soil beyond simply describing it.

Class photo with sonic drilling rig on 12 September 2018
Luckily, we are all in this profession together...and with the teaching leadership of Martin Helmke, Tim Kemmis, David Hart, and Katie Aguliar we found ourselves empowered with a refined process to avoid common mistakes, be better prepared for the field, think on our feet, and make pertinent observations that result in soil boring logs that are both accurate and correct.

Not to mention boring logs that truly take the mystery out of the subsurface!

Thank you to all participants -- you made the course special, and meaningful.   Thanks to all for sharing your experiences, tips, and insight!   We truly appreciate getting to know you (or knowing you better building from past courses) during the course.

Take what you learned and teach it to your colleagues.  Field techniques require special mentoring and you are capable of doing it now.   

Special thanks to Parratt-Wolffe, Inc and Cascade Drilling for providing the deep continous soil cores, and the wells for West Chester University!  Wow!  Not only were the soil cores in excellent condition with great recovery for the course, the drilling staff were excellent teachers too.

Thank you BIG TIME to Eileen, Susan and Mary Beth at West Chester University for your professionalism and great facilitation with access and continuing education administration!  You do indeed rock!

Tim Kemmis teaching

Will Hackett from Parratt-Wolff, Inc.

Class Photo
Martin Helmke teaching class with Tim Kemmis splitting core

Saprolite Specimen
Local News from Philadelphia 12SEP2018



12 September 2018

Ask yourself these questions before your next aquifer test

Aquifer testing is complex.  Procedures are conceptually simple but the devil is in the details.  Any small problem can waste enormous time and budget.  Without proper training, most staff are unable to troubleshoot field and analysis questions.


Despite understanding the importance of aquifer testing, many hydrogeologists and site managers lack adequate training in test design, execution and data analysis needed to produce reliable, meaningful results.

Test your pumping test preparedness by answering these basic questions:

1. Design Objectives
Does the design meet the objective of the aquifer test?
What information can I expect from the test?
What are some ways to improve efficiency?
What are the risks and benefits associated with different test designs?
2. Construction
How many wells are needed?
How should wells be constructed?
Where do I place observation wells?
3. Field Equipment and Software
How do I select the right equipment and software for reliable results?
How do I recognize a problem?
Can I troubleshoot problems if they arise?
4. Subsurface Variability
What happens in extreme conditions of high and low hydraulic conductivity formations?
What tools and techniques can I use to obtain reliable data?
5. Analysis Strategies
Which strategies are appropriate?
How can I be sure my analysis is correct?

Get answers to these questions and more during our upcoming course: Aquifer Testing for Improved Hydrogeologic Site Characterization: Featuring In-Situ Level TROLL and AQTESOLV on October 16-17, 2018 in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Midwest GeoSciences Group and In-Situ, Inc. have partnered on this popular aquifer testing course for over 10 years and it’s become the go-to training experience for aquifer testing.

Date and Time: October 16 - 17, 2018 (8:00 am - 5:00 pm)
Location: In-Situ Headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado
Instructors: Jim Butler, PhD, Research Scientist for the Kansas Geological Survey; Glenn M. Duffield, Founder and President of HydroSOLVE, Inc.

The instructors have created a step-wise experience to learn both the basics and advances in aquifer testing. Register today for the course and begin your next expertise in aquifer testing.

26 January 2018

In Memoriam: Don U. Deere, PhD

Dr. Don U. Deere
Don U. Deere, Ph.D. - a world-renowned engineering geologist and the developer of Rock Quality Designation (RQD) – passed away on January 18, 2018 in Gainesville at the age of 95.(Obituary Here)   RQD is today a common standard used during rock core logging and scanline analysis.  Dr. Deere will be missed but his legacy of contributions and love will last for years to come.

Dr. Deere’s style was one of unbridled enthusiasm about his work,” said Don W. Deere. P.E., chairman of Deere & Ault Consultants Inc., and son of Don U. Deere. “He really pushed the envelope of combining the disciplines of geology and engineering. He loved to teach and did it through presenting real-world case histories.  Many of his students became leaders in the tunneling industry and his enthusiasm was contagious.

Dr. Deere 1960
Rock Quality Designation or RQD was reportedly invented by Dr. Deere as a way to contrast competent rock vs. weathered rock to a group of decision makers that were searching for a location to build an underground chamber according to Don W. Deere.  In fact, rumor has it that the ‘GIN’ grouting method (Grout Intensity Number) was invented in a tavern between Dr. Deere and colleague Dr. G Lombardi “on the back of a napkin while sipping gin and tonics.” (Source: TBM Memorial)

Dr. Deere’s list of engineering contributions is remarkable.  They include the World Trade Center, the Channel Tunnel, Cheyenne Mountain NORAD, Yucca Mountain, New York City water tunnels, the Washington, D.C., Metro subway, Hong Kong Island tunnel, Suez Canal Crossing, and numerous hydroelectric facilities throughout the Americas, most notably ItaipĂș, the world’s largest hydroelectric project at the time.

Many people who knew Dr. Deere say his greatest legacy is that of an enthusiastic teacher where at University of Illinois and University of Florida who had a gift able to connect with people while nurturing his next generation of great thinkers in the tunneling industry.

Dr. Deere is special to me because of his legacy, his shared connection to University of Illinois, and his development of RQD.  Midwest GeoSciences Group and the Association of Engineering Geologists will conduct a collaborative rock coring webinar in dedication to Dr. Deere later this year. -Dan.

28 September 2017

Thank you participants, instructors, and our host at the Soils Workshop!!

It was a great week at the Soils Workshop in Exton, Pennsylvania!  Great people, great insights, great camaraderie.....and a great classroom at World Headquarters of Bentley Systems - the center of the gINT Universe! 

The 2-day workshop Managing the Complexities and Uncertainties of Soil Sequences for Hydrogeologic and Geotechnical Projects: Part 1, Principles was a remarkable experience for me because of the stories shared by the participants about how this course relates to their work and how it clarifies issues about subsurface characterization.  For example, contrasting simple terms between "characterization" and "mapping" can have an immediately positive impact about how we understand and approach our investigative work.  Simple!

Special thanks to Rose Jefferies and everyone at the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists who helped along the way....and Eileen Jenkins at West Chester University for administering the continuing education credits.  Great job!

Tim Kemmis and Alan Stone trading secrets to their soil classification techniques.

Katie Aguliar leading the way through the gINT computer sessions.
Thank You Bentley Systems for granting access into your Headquarters
We applaud the participant's enthusiasm and the expertise everyone shared during the workshop.  It is inspiring to learn from each other and I respect the spectrum of everyone's experience and styles for doing work.  It's easy to see the pride people have in their work and personal accomplishments.....we tip our hat to you.

Despite my pride in the instructors dedication and thoughtful preparation and performance during the workshop - ie Martin Helmke, Tim Kemmis, David Hart, and Katie Aguliar - it is humbling to see the connection between people and know we are all working together in a positive way toward responsible global stewardship.   Awesome!

Next year will build upon this year's Principles with "Part 2, Field Techniques".  Login to midwestgeo.com for more details about the workshop and registration discounts.

19 August 2017

"The Mountain" in the In-Situ, Inc Photo

In-Situ, Inc uses an engaging photograph of a conspicuous mountain for our collaborative Aquifer Testing Course.  Here is the course banner created by In-Situ, Inc:


I recently receive a phone call about the course and was asked about the photo.  It didn't take long for the caller to share he recognized the mountain, the national park, and geography in the foreground!  

Steve Jones, a geologist who originated from the Fort Collins area was the caller.  Steve recognized the center mountain as Long's Peak referencing it's elevation of 14,256 ft msl.  He pointed out Meeker Peak is to the left and Fort Collins along with Horseshoe Reservoir is in the foreground.  

Steve sent me the photo below showing the view to the west from Berthoud, CO.  He said this is his favorite area - the Indian Peaks - that are visible in the photo to the left of Long's Peak!

Photo courtesy of Steve Jones

Thank you Steve Jones, for your insight and thoughtfulness!  Excellent!!!! :-)