25 October 2022

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20 October 2022

American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting - Chicago

Midwest GeoSciences Group will be a featured exhibitor at the Annual AGU Meeting in Chicago, December 11-16, 2022.

With the recent release of the new SOIL CLASSIFICATION EXAM KIT coupled with an AGU presentation summarizing the Environmental Sequence Stratrigraphy of a complex site in Illinois, AGU has chosen Midwest GeoSciences Group as a featured exhibitor.

Thank you to those at AGU for your kind gesture.


Unraveling the Complexities of a Glacial Sequence at a site in Tazewell County, Illinois for a Hydrogeologic Project: 
Stepwise-Procedures for Applying Environmental Sequence Stratigraphy.

KELLEHER, Daniel, L., Midwest GeoSciences Group, 1950 Greyhound Pass, Suite 18, Carmel IN, 46033; dan@midwestgeo.com; KEMMIS, Tim, J., Midwest GeoSciences Group; tim@midwestgeo.com; 

Understanding the past depositional processes was the key factor for unraveling the complexities during a hydrogeologic project in Tazewell, County, Illinois.  The sequence of sediments have multiple origins ranging from stream deposits, subglacial tills to thick intervals of proglacial outwash from Wisconsinan, Illinoian, and pre-Illinoian glacial periods.

Ten years of drilling from past projects yielded varying hypotheses for both ground water movement and the glacial sedimentary sequence.  Each progressive project approached the subsurface differently as reflected in the boring logs, the geologic cross sections, and the resulting potentiometric surface maps and vertical flow nets.

Eventually, it was confirmed that applying fundamental depositional principles and secondary weathering observations proved important because it provided the context for understanding the variability and uniformity in soils, physical properties, and groundwater conditions that were essential for confident ground water monitoring and engineering design.   

Although the process for defining and mapping stratigraphy is a basic premise of geologic principles, the United States Environmental Protection Agency published a 2017 report about the need for understanding basic subsurface characterization titled Environmental Sequence Stratigraphy.   The subsurface characterization work in Tazewell County followed the three published phases for defining and mapping stratigraphy, but the process unraveled the complex stratigraphic sequence derived from different depositional environments coupled with yielding a meaningful geologic framework that has proved valuable to the County and subsequent regional mapping by various agencies.

03 October 2022

Smart Hole Stratigraphy in Geneva, Illinois - 2022 WORKSHOP




Managing the Complexities and Uncertainties of Soil Sequences:
For Hydrogeological and Geotechnical Investigations – Principles and Field Techniques


Tuesday and Wednesday, September 20-21, 2022


Kane County Cougars Baseball Stadium – Conference Facility and Owners Suite with a private offsite drilling location.


•  Dan Kelleher, PG, CIPM, Hydrogeologist and Principal, Midwest GeoSciences Group

• David Hart, PG, PhD, Program Leader, Hydrogeologist, Wisconsin Geological and
   Natural History Survey

• Tim Kemmis, PG, PhD, Hydrogeologist, Midwest GeoSciences Group

What did we find in this soil boring?
Why was it so exquisite?

The course instructors have drilled numerous continuous soil borings in the region for the past 20 years. We've found a predictable consistency in the geologic framework beneath numerous cities and towns where these stratigraphic formations and members are mapped.

However recently, we've discovered an entirely new and older sedimentary sequence that has not been regionally mapped. The buried sequence allows an unmatched opportunity to teach both the principles of depositional environments and secondary weathering in northeastern Illinois where we didn't know previously existed.

[Not only did the new sedimentary sequence get us excited, but we recognize how it can applied to many different glacial deposits and sedimentary sequences far beyond the local geologic framework]

Wisconsin-Age Sediments
The drilling location for this course in Geneva, Illinois is within the mapped area of the Yorkville Member of the Lemont Formation near the DuPage - Kane County border. Four facies of the Yorkville Member are expected to be present in the boring: an ice-marginal facies and three subglacial facies. Below the Yorkville Member is the Batestown Member which can be variable in depositional environments and the resulting sedimentary properties.

Sorted outwash sediments of the Henry Formation and/or the Equality Formation may occur within the Yorkville Member or Batestown Member. One of the most interesting discoveries is when sorted sediments are present and then to recognize its stratigraphic position and context. Without stratigraphic control/context, understanding the relationships between borings (where the sorted sediments are present) is virtually 'mission impossible'. But with stratigraphic context, it gives tremendous certainty and we can correlate buried sands without much question.

Pre-Wisconsin-Age Sediments
This boring confirmed a buried "pocket" of pre-Wisconsin-Age sediments in the area. We ran Carbon-14 dating tests of the buried topsoil and confirmed it was pre-Wisconsin-Age and we assigned it to the Farmdale GeoSol.

Under the buried A-Horizon topsoil is a thick oxidized and unleached (OU) weathering zone. The sedimentary sequence included both subglacial and resedimented diamictons (glacial till) along with intervals of sorted sediments.

Not only is the buried "pocket" geologically interesting and an important discovery for regional mapping, but this single soil borings revealed the spectrum of attributes that can be applied to most glacial sequences anywhere.

In this one boring, we
  • observed each of the major glacial depositional environments
  • observed each of the major outwash depositional environment
  • built a stratigraphic model based on depositional history
  • gave geologic context to buried sand and gravel intervals
  • and determined if they tend to be isolated lenses
  • and determined if they tend to be laterally continuous
  • observed two weathering zone profiles
  • observed two A-Horizon Soils, one modern and one ancient
  • learned how ground water moves through the holistic hydrogeologic system.

This was a historic opportunity to more than witness a geologic discovery. This iwas historic opportunity to learn about applying geologic principles to professional work. There are not many chances like this where we can synthesize the geology in a way it can be applied to so many different other areas.