A research institute of the OVPR
Center for Geospatial Data Analysis
 
  
CGDA Projects
  
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A three-dimensional aquifer visualization and groundwater flow model in the upper reaches of Lake Michigan drainage basin, NW Indiana, and GIS for the Lake Michigan drainage basin in Indiana

Issue

The protection of supplies of shallow groundwater in the heavily industrialized and densely populated region of northwestern Indiana will require improved understanding of the distribution of aquifers in that area.

Objective

The purpose of this project was to organize existing information on northwestern Indiana hydrogeology into formats that will allow land-use and water-resource managers and governmental regulators easy access to such information and the ability to visualize the data.

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



A three-dimensional, shallow groundwater flow model for the Grand Calumet River/Indiana Harbor Canal Watershed, northwest Indiana

Issue

The protection of supplies of shallow groundwater in the heavily industrialized and densely populated region of northwestern Indiana will require improved understanding of the distribution of aquifers in that area.

Objective

In this project, we organized existing information on hydrogeology into formats that will allow land-use and water-resource managers and governmental regulators to easily access and visualize such information.

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Agricultural BMP application to remediate nitrate contamination in a major outwash aquifer in Jackson County, Indiana

Issue

The project involved a cooperative effort of the IGS, farmers, and farm-service agencies to implement various best management practices (BMPs) for fertilizer application and to determine the effects of the BMPs, if any, on the quality of ground water (particularly nitrate levels) in an underlying aquifer.

Objective

Publications and Websites

Agricultural BMP (Best Management Practices) Application to Remediate Nitrate Contamination in a Major Outwash Aquifer in Jackson County, Indiana

Contact: Denver Harper (dharper@indiana.edu)



Analysis of nitrate in groundwater in Jackson County, Indiana

Issue

Groundwater quality in the major aquifer system that occupies the floodplain of the East Fork White River, northwest of Seymour in Jackson County, has been seriously degraded by anthropogenic nitrate. Many of the drinking water wells produce water having nitrate concentrations that exceed the USEPA Drinking Water Standard limits of 10mg/l N.

Objective

The purpose of the study was to identify the source or sources of the nitrate.

Publications and Websites

Analysis of nitrate in groundwater in Jackson County, Indiana

Contact: Denver Harper (dharper@indiana.edu)



Augusta Lake project

Issue

Major river systems in southwestern Indiana continue to be degraded by acid runoff from abandoned mine lands. Restoring these riverine ecosystems requires continuing evaluation and appropriate implementation of a variety of acid abatement strategies.

Objective

The purpose of this project is to abate acid mine drainage that forms at the site and improve the quality of water in Augusta Lake which flows into the Patoka River.

Publications and Websites

IGS Helps State Improve Waters Impacted by Acidic Mine Drainage

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Clearinghouse integration with OpenGIS services

Issue

The Indiana Geographic Information Council's IndianaMap Web site is missing fundamental metadata for public circulation. Also, noncompliance with OpenGIS Consortium standards is holding back the development of an Indiana statewide collection of distributed hosts.

Objective

The Indiana Geological Survey and Hamilton County, Indiana, will enable hosting of Web services based on the OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) standards, as part of the development of a statewide collection of distributed hosts. Also, the Indiana Geological Survey will provide metadata compliant with Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) standards to the Indiana Geographic Information Councils IndianaMap Web site, as part of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Publications and Websites

IndianaMap WMS Resources

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Conversion of historical data to GIS format for Grand Calumet feasibility study

Issue

The ongoing Grand Calumet feasibility study, being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, is using all available information to devise an effective methodology for remediating a very contaminated area of northern Indiana. Data that would be useful in their analysis was stored on paper and acetates and was not in a format that could be used for computer analysis.

Objective

The objective of the work was to convert the hard-copy information to a digital geographic information system (GIS) format.

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Data compilation and analysis for the Coastal Nonpoint Source Management Plan

Issue

According to the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan, although 20 years of regulation brought an overall reduction in pollutant loads to the Lake Michigan basin, data indicate pollutants still negatively impact the chemical, physical, and biological components of the Lake Michigan ecosystem. The rivers and tributaries flowing into Lake Michigan convey contaminants from their source areas. This study describes the monitoring efforts attempted to characterize the quality of surface water in the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Plan Area (CNPCPA).

Objective

This study documented the surface-water quality monitoring efforts that have occurred in the subwatersheds of the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Plan Area. The data were analyzed to assess water-quality trends occurring in the program area. Results from this analysis were used to develop a monitoring plan for Indianas Coastal Nonpoint Source Management Plan.

Publications and Websites

Data Compilation and Analysis for the Coastal Nonpoint Source Management Plan
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2010, Data Compilation and Analysis for the Coastal Nonpoint Source Management Plan: Indiana Geological Survey Open File Study 09-07, 73 p.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



Developing a prototypical predictive model for beach closings in Indiana

Issue

The swimming beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline from Milwaukee, Wisc., to Michigan City, Ind., have long been plagued by high Escherichia coli (E. coli) concentrations. Most health officials and beach managers have a policy of closing the beaches to swimming and wading activities whenever E. coli concentrations are above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended limit. E. coli assays generally take 24 hours to complete, so swimming bans are based on day-old information. Inspections have shown that there have been many instances when beaches were closed when they could have remained open, or left open when they should have been closed. Since no rapid, accurate method for measuring    E. coli concentrations exists, indirect methods may improve the accuracy of beach closure decisions.

Objective

Evaluate E. coli concentrations in stream flow discharging from Dunes Creek into the main swimming beaches at Indiana Dunes State Park and develop predictive models that relate the outfalls of creek water, as well as other hydrometeorological factors, to the concentrations of E. coli bacteria in the swimming zones of the beaches.

Publications and Websites

Developing a prototypical predictive model for beach closings in Indiana
Statistical basis for predicting the need for bacterially induced beach closures: Emergence of a paradigm?
Olyphant, G.A., 2005. Statistical basis for predicting the need for bacterially induced beach closures: Emergence of a paradigm? Water Research 39(20):4953-4960.

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Development of a statistically valid program for monitoring pesticides in groundwater in the State of Indiana

Issue

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited all states to develop a plan for monitoring pesticides in groundwater. In response to that invitation, the state of Indiana developed a conceptual plan for collecting samples of groundwater in areas that were judged to be most representative of the agricultural areas of the state. The data were to be used to assess the state of contamination and to serve as a baseline for future monitoring.

Objective

A monitoring network was developed that was statistically adequate for characterizing average levels of pesticides and other agricultural byproducts in supplies of groundwater.

Publications and Websites

Development of a Statistically Valid Program for Monitoring Pesticides in Ground Water in the State of Indiana - Technical Report
Development of a Statistically Valid Program for Monitoring Pesticides in Ground Water in the State of Indiana—Overview

Contact: Denver Harper (dharper@indiana.edu)



Distribution and characterization of coal-slurry deposits in Indiana

Issue

Indiana has a long history of coal mining and coal preparation. Deposits of coal-preparation refuse are scattered across the southwestern part of the state. These deposits contain significant quantities of coal. Mapping and characterization of the deposits was performed to facilitate any future efforts to economically recover the deposits in an environmentally responsible manner.

Objective

The purpose of the work was to provide preliminary estimates of the total area and volume of coal-slurry deposits (fine-grained refuse from coal-preparation plants) and to provide recommendations for future sampling and analysis.

Publications and Websites

Reconnaissance of coal-slurry deposits in Indiana
Harper, D., Dintaman, C., Mastalerz, M., Letsinger, S., 2009, Reconnaissance of coal-slurry deposits in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 69, 20 p.
Reconnaissance of coal-slurry deposits in Indiana
Harper, D., Dintaman, C., Mastalerz, M., Letsinger, S., 2009, Reconnaissance of coal-slurry deposits in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 69, 20 p.

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Environmental feasibility of using recycled tire pieces as media in septic system absorption fields

Issue

The goal of Indiana's Waste Tire Management Program is to develop and advance the management of waste tires in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) seeks to identify markets to use waste tires, rather than continue to send spent tires for disposal.

Objective

The Indiana Geological Survey demonstrated the feasibility of using recycled tires as a medium for on-site septic distribution fields.

Publications and Websites

Environmental feasibility of using recycled tire pieces as media in septic system absorption fields
Olyphant, G. A., and Letsinger, S. L., 2010, Environmental feasibility of using recycled tire pieces as media in septic system absorption fields: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 09-08, 47 p.

Contact: Jack Haddan (jhaddan@indiana.edu)



Evaluation of acid mine drainage seeps

Issue

Major river systems in southwestern Indiana continue to be degraded by acid runoff from abandoned mine lands. Restoring these riverine ecosystems requires continuing evaluation and appropriate implementation of a variety of acid abatement strategies.

Objective

The purpose of this project was to abate acid runoff from seeps that develop at abandoned mine land sites after reclamation.

Publications and Websites

IGS Helps State Improve Waters Impacted by Acidic Mine Drainage

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Evaluation of contaminant storage and movement at a confined feeding operation

Issue

Several confined feeding operations (CFOs) are being operated in the sandy hydrogeologic settings of southwestern Indiana. Although efforts are made to minimize effects on ground and surface water, there is no certainty that current best management practices are effective in every hydrogeologic setting. Groundwater in this area of highly permeable soils and a shallow water table is very sensitive to contamination, and warrants a thorough investigation.

Objective

Data from similar studies indicate that nitrate concentrations are often high; we believe this occurs because rainfall early and late in the growing season flush commercial fertilizers and animal waste before they can be used to promote plant growth. Through our monitoring program, we tracked effects that manure-application practices had on groundwater quality in the area. This assisted personnel of the IDEM Office of Land Quality to identify problem situations that may require modification of current rules and management practices.

Publications and Websites

An evaluation of the storage and movement of potential contaminants in soils at a confined feeding operation where manure is applied to highly permeable sands
Olyphant, G.A. and Letsinger, S.L., 2009, An evaluation of the storage and movement of potential contaminants in soils at a confined feeding operation where manure is applied to highly permeable sands: Indiana Geological Survey Open File Study 09-01, 27 p.
Nitrogen loading of shallow groundwater aquifers in varying soil and topographic settings of southwestern Indiana
Reeder, M.D., Olyphant, G.A., Letsinger, S.L., 2006, Nitrogen loading of shallow groundwater aquifers in varying soil and topographic settings of southwestern Indiana. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 38, no. 7, p. 39.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



Evaluation of groundwater age and chemistry relations in aquifer systems in Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties

Issue

This project to evaluate the groundwater and chemistry relations in aquifer systems in Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties is, in part, an extension of several earlier water-quality studies in northwestern Indiana. These projects included baseline surveys of the distribution of O18, deuterium and tritium, and major and trace elements in unconsolidated and bedrock aquifers. The projects also examined the relation of the water chemistry to the types/composition of the geologic materials incorporated in the glacial aquifers. Knowledge of relative ages of groundwater can be basic to understanding groundwater flow and sensitivity. For instance, water derived from cold-climate-precipitation (glacial age more than 14,000 years before present) may help to define parts of the lake-plain aquifer in which the water is impeded by the position in the flow system. These areas of the aquifer may be less sensitive to contamination from nearby surface sources. At the opposite extreme, tritium-enriched water indicates a very recent age.

Objective

This project defined groundwater flow systems and their chemistry within Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties.

Publications and Websites

Evaluation of Ground-Water Age and Chemistry Relations in Aquifer Systems in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties of Indiana
Hasenmueller, N.R., Branam, T.D., Bleuer, N.K., Olejnik, J., O’Neal, M.A., and Cohen, D.A., 2001, Evaluation of ground-water age and chemistry relations in aquifer systems in Lake, Porter, and La Porte Counties of Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 01-21, CD-ROM.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Evaluation of methods for controlling metals deposition in acid seeps and acid mine drainage treatment wetlands

Issue

Abandoned mine lands generate acidic water laden with iron, aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc. These acidic water sources pose a threat to the quality of water downstream. Even areas that have been reclaimed using modern reclamation methods can generate acidic drainage. All known methods for treating acidic mine drainage require periodic maintenance and associated costs.

Objective

Since all metals precipitation systems need to have metal sludge excavated from them from time to time, it would be best for this metal sludge to be in a form that holds some commercial value. The objective of this study is to demonstrate methods for recovering valuable metals from acidic mine drainage by generating byproducts that have commercial value as raw materials for industry.

Publications and Websites

IGS Helps State Improve Waters Impacted by Acidic Mine Drainage

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Evaluation of riparian buffer zones using a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing

Issue

The areas next to a river or stream covered with bushes, trees, grasses, and other plants (or "vegetated riparian buffers") can provide protection to water bodies by filtering chemicals or excess sedimentation from surrounding land uses. The Young's Creek Watershed in Johnson County, Indiana, has experienced alteration, degradation, and removal of vegetated buffer zones in much of the watershed.

Objective

The objective of this study was to assess the condition of riparian buffers in the Young's Creek Watershed.

Publications and Websites

Development of a method to assess riparian vegetated buffer zones using GIS and remote sensing in Young’s Creek watershed, Johnson County, Indiana
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2003, Development of a method to assess riparian vegetated buffer zones using GIS and remote sensing in Young’s Creek watershed, Johnson County, Indiana: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 35, no. 6, September 2003, p. 78.
Evaluation of riparian buffer zones using a geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing
GIS-based hydrologic modeling for prioritizing riparian buffer restoration areas, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2005, GIS-based hydrologic modeling for prioritizing riparian buffer restoration areas, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana: American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, November 7-10 2005.
GIS-based hydrologic modeling for riparian buffer management, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2004, GIS-based hydrologic modeling for riparian buffer management, Young’s Creek Watershed, Johnson County, Indiana: American Water Resources Association Summer Specialty Conference Proceedings, Olympic Valley, California, June 28-30, 2004.

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Extension of the GIS Atlas of Indiana project

Issue

Spatial data are important in planning for infrastructure improvements, economic development, and protection of the environment. Improving the accessibility of essential spatial data to industry, government agencies, and the public will make the planning process more efficient.

Objective

Create a central repository of spatial data for Indiana and to make the data freely available to the public in a format that is readily accessible.

Publications and Websites

Indiana Map

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Field evaluation of on-site sewage disposal systems (OSDS) and broad-scale mapping of suitable and unsuitable areas for OSDS, Morgan County, Indiana

Issue

More than 800,000 on-site sewage disposal systems exist in Indiana; evaulating nitrogen loading of aquifers is important so the state can make informed management decisions concerning the suitability of on-site sewage disposal systems in different landform and soil settings. Many citizens of Morgan County use on-site sewage disposal systems (OSDS) as their primary method of wastewater treatment. These systems can be cost-effective and efficient methods of treating wastewater if they are properly designed and installed. However, some areas of Morgan County may not be suitable for these systems. Potential water-quality degradation is a public health concern because of the increased possibility for transmission of waterborne diseases in contaminated drinking water.

Objective

The objective of this project was to collect data concerning the subsurface groundwater characteristics that exist in and adjacent to on-site sewage disposal systems throughout the entire year.

Publications and Websites

Field Evaluation of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems and Broad-Scale Suitability Mapping, Morgan County, Indiana
Olyphant, G.A., and Letsinger, S.L., 2010, Field Evaluation of On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems and Broad-Scale Suitability Mapping, Morgan County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Open File Study 09-04, 21 p.

Contact: Jack Haddan (jhaddan@indiana.edu)



Friar Tuck acid mine drainage wetland project

Issue

Major river systems in southwestern Indiana continue to be degraded by acid runoff from abandoned mine lands. Restoring these riverine ecosystems requires continuing evaluation and appropriate implementation of a variety of acid abatement strategies.

Objective

The purpose of this project was to abate acid mine drainage that forms at the Friar Tuck site and flows into the Wabash River drainage system.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Geochemistry Database

Issue

The IGS produces many sets of comprehensive geochemical data for a wide variety of materials, including rocks, minerals, fossils, oil, gas, and water. These data sets are available in numerous publications, but there is no central database that can be searched for specific data.

Objective

The objective of this project is to develop an easily accessible database for the Indiana Geological Survey's large and growing inventory of geochemical data.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Geographic information system (GIS) of solid and hazardous waste sites in central Indiana

Issue

A GIS database of solid and hazardous waste sites, coupled with geologic basemap information, will greatly enhance the efficiency of Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Office of Solid and Hazardous Waste Management.

Objective

The Indiana Geological Survey will create a GIS database of 18 solid/hazardous waste sites throughout central Indiana.

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Groundwater in aquifer systems of LaGrange County–baseline water chemistry, nitrate contamination, and aquifer sensitivity

Issue

Groundwater is the source of 75 percent of the water withdrawn in the St. Joseph River Basin in LaGrange County. Agriculture is the primary land use in the basin and nearly 78 percent of the acreage in the county is in farms.

Objective

The study was conducted to determine the baseline water chemistry and the levels of naturally occurring and man-made contaminants in the groundwater of LaGrange County.

Publications and Websites






Baseline water chemistry, nitrate contaminations, and aquifer sensitivity of glacial sequences in LaGrange County, Indiana
Hasenmueller, N.R., and Branam, T.D., 2007, Baseline water chemistry, nitrate contaminations, and aquifer sensitivity of glacial sequences in LaGrange County, Indiana, in Sarkar, D., Datta, R., and Hannigan, R., eds., Concepts and applications in environmental geochemistry: Elsevier, Developments in Environmental Science, v. 5, p. 173-193.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Hydrologic modeling to evaluate E. coli loading in the Dunes Creek Watershed, Porter County, Indiana

Issue

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management's Impaired Waters List for 2002 and 2004 identify Dunes Creek as impaired for biotic communities and E. coli. The water-quality problems in Dunes Creek have been attributed to the ditching and the consequential loss of wetlands. This alteration of the channel network and the effects of commercial and residential development, as well as agriculture, have significantly altered the hydrology and water quality of the creek.

Objective

The primary issues in the Dunes Creek Watershed are sources of E. coli. We conducted surface-water numerical modeling to:
1) Represent the hydrology, sediment, and bacterial characteristics in the drainage network; and
2) Simulate how land-use and land-management changes (for example, adding riparian buffers, filling or plugging ditches) might achieve reduction of  E. coli in Dunes Creek.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



Hydrologic suitability of mine spoil as a medium for septic-tank absorption fields

Issue

Extensive areas of southwestern Indiana have been surface-mined for coal. At the time of the investigation, the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) did not have standard procedures for permitting installation of on-site residential sewage systems in such areas.

Objective

The goal of this project was to provide the Indiana State Department of Health with tools to expeditiously process applications for septic-field permits on reclaimed coal mine lands.

Publications and Websites

Hydrologic Suitability of Mine Spoil as a Medium for Septic-Tank Absorption Fields, Warrick County, Indiana - Project Summary
Hydrologic Suitability of Mine Spoil as a Medium for Septic-Tank Absorption Fields, Warrick County, Indiana - Technical Report

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Indiana bat cave inventory

Issue

The Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) is an endangered species.

Objective

As part of Tier 2 environmental studies being conducted in association with the proposed Interstate-69 transportation corridor through southwestern Indiana, it is necessary to determine if any caves within 5 miles of the proposed corridor are winter hibernacula for this species of bat.

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Indiana Reach Index update

Issue

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, as Indiana's water-quality agency, uses reach indexing (the process of identifying and assigning unique identifiers and attributes to stream reaches) to link surface-water attribute information to detailed GIS data layers of streams. Prior to 2006, the Indiana Reach Index was at a scale of 1:200,000, which caused overly broad areas of the state to be listed as impaired waters because finer stream elements were not available.

Objective

Conduct a pilot study to establish a methodology to update selected watersheds with high-resolution (1:24,000) stream segments from the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD).

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



IndianaMap data sharing initiative and Demonstration of four key Framework data layers

Issue

Four GIS framework data layers were requested from each Indiana County including land parcels, point addresses, local roads and jurisdiction boundaries.

Objective

Proof of consept project

Contact: Denver Harper (dharper@indiana.edu)



Interactive map Web service for the National Spatial Data Infrastructure framework layers for IndianaMap

Issue

The C-TASC Crisis and Response Mapping Center (CRMC) is a statewide geographic information center to support emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. The state and local response agencies served by the CRMC are data producers and consumers. They require the use of coordinated geographic information system (GIS) framework layers to conduct their business. C-TASC recognizes and supports the work of the Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) to build the IndianaMap as a statewide framework. C-TASC recognizes that the Indiana Geological Survey's expertise makes it well positioned to participate in a mutually beneficial partnership to support the IndianaMap.

Objective

A mutually beneficial partnership between the Indiana Geological Survey and the Indiana Counter-Terrorism and Security Council (C-TASC) Crisis and Response Mapping Center is important as we build the capabilities of IndianaMap. The partnership will facilitate construction of an interactive map Web service for public display that will provide interactivity and downloading capabilities of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure framework layers for Indiana.

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Lake Michigan tributary monitoring

Issue

Tourism is a major industry along the Lake Michigan shoreline of Indiana, but in recent years it has been necessary to intermittently close public bathing beaches, as a result of high levels of E. coli contamination in nearshore waters. In order to understand, predict, and ultimately prevent such contamination, the role of bacterial flushing from land-based sources must be better understood.

Objective

The purpose of this project is to characterize temporal variations in bacterial outfalls at the mouths of creeks (such as Derby Ditch) that flow into Lake Michigan.

Publications and Websites

Hydrologic monitoring associated with pilot restoration of part of the Great Marsh, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Olyphant, G.A., Feuerstein, E.W., Harper, Denver, 1997, Hydrologic monitoring associated with pilot restoration of part of the Great Marsh, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 97-18, 14 p.

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Monitoring and forecasting outfalls of E. coli-contaminated streamflow at Burns Ditch, south shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana

Issue

Tourism is a major industry along the Lake Michigan shoreline of Indiana, but in recent years it has been necessary to intermittently close public bathing beaches, as a result of high levels of E. coli contamination in nearshore waters. In order to understand, predict, and ultimately prevent such contamination, the role of bacterial flushing from land-based sources must be better understood.

Objective

This project characterized temporal variations in bacterial outfalls at the mouths of creeks (such as Burns Ditch) that flow into Lake Michigan.

Publications and Websites

Monitoring and forecasting outfalls of E. coli-contaminated streamflow at Burns Ditch, south shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Monitoring hydrologic conditions in the vicinity of an acid seep at the Chinook abandoned mine lands site in Clay County, Indiana

Issue

The Chinook Mine reclamation site in Clay County, Indiana, contains a coal-processing waste pile consisting of a mixture of coarse and fine refuse that covers approximately 120 acres. This waste pile is a significant source of acidic runoff and seepage that pollutes the surrounding drainage system.

Objective

We undertook a monitoring study to more fully characterize the hydrology of a large abandoned coal-waste deposit at the Chinook abandoned mine lands reclamation site. The ultimate goal of the project was to monitor the response of the water table in the coal-waste deposit to precipitation events.

Publications and Websites

Quality and Hydrology of Water in a Coal Waste Pile Amended with Synthetic Soil, Chinook Mine, Clay County, Indiana

Contact: Jack Haddan (jhaddan@indiana.edu)



Optimization of bioreactor cell design for treating low-flow acid mine drainage in the Midwest: Model development and demonstration

Issue

Acid mine drainage (AMD) has long been known for its detrimental effect on the environment. Many AMD sources are currently not treatable because of some constraining factor that limits the effectiveness of available methods. In particular, low-flow, high dissolved-solids acidic seeps have proven to be resistant to successful mitigation.

Objective

This project will test and demonstrate sulfate-reducing bioreactor cell (SRBC) technology on low-flow, metal-rich acid seeps in the Midwest. A predictive model capable of assisting engineers in designing SRBCs for AMD sources throughout the Midwest will be developed.

Contact: Jack Haddan (jhaddan@indiana.edu)



Potential nonpoint-source contamination of the Spring Mill Lake drainage basin

Issue

The drainage basin of Spring Mill Lake, a minimum of 10,000 acres, is characterized by thousands of sinkholes and a sinking stream, which is typical of the Mitchell Plain. Most precipitation falling in the basin travels underground into solution-enlarged conduits that discharge as springs in Spring Mill State Park. The water then flows a short distance in surface streams to recharge the lake. The chemical composition, biologic condition, and sediment load of these spring-generated streams dictate the water quality and sedimentation characteristics of the lake. Nitrogen enrichment and siltation of the lake have been recognized as problems, and past complications indicated the excessive presence of pesticides. Two highways, a railroad line, and many county roads lie within the drainage area of Spring Mill Lake, so that chemical spills and roadway deicing substances may quickly and drastically degrade the quality of water reaching the lake. Failed or inadequate septic systems in an area of expanding population and agricultural practices affect water quality, and erosion from tillage and construction potentially increase sedimentation rates in the lake. Because the park is used by 650,000 people each year and is part of the very limited habitat of blind cave fish in Indiana, it is imperative that deleterious effects are reduced.

Objective

Determine the sources of contaminants that pollute Spring Mill Lake.

Publications and Websites



Escherichia coli monitoring in the Spring Mill Lake watershed in south-central Indiana
Hasenmueller, N.R., Comer, J.B., and Zamani, D.D., 2003, Escherichia coli monitoring in the Spring Mill Lake watershed in south-central Indiana, in Beck, B.F., ed., Sinkholes and the engineering and environmental impacts of karst, Proceedings of the Ninth Multidisciplinary Conference: American Society of Civil Engineers, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 122, p. 309-320.
Amendment to the Quality Assurance Project Plan for nonpoint source contamination of the Spring Mill Lake drainage basin
Hasenmueller, N.R., 2001, Amendment to the Quality Assurance Project Plan for nonpoint source contamination of the Spring Mill Lake drainage basin: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 01-7, 20 p.
Karst geology and hydrology of the Spring Mill Lake and Lost River drainage basins in southern Indiana
Hasenmueller, N.R., Rexroad, C.B., Powell, R.L., Buehler, M.A., and Bassett, J.L., 2003, Karst geology and hydrology of the Spring Mill Lake and Lost River drainage basins in southern Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Guidebook 15, 30 p., 2 pls.
Potential nonpoint-source contamination of the Spring Mill Lake drainage basin with emphasis on the Donaldson/Bronson/Twin Cave System
Hasenmueller, N.R., and Buehler, M.A., 2000, Potential nonpoint-source contamination of the Spring Mill Lake drainage basin with emphasis on the Donaldson/Bronson/Twin Cave System: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 00-13, 28 p.
Water quality characteristics and contaminants in the rural karst-dominated Spring Mill Lake watershed, southern Indiana
Hasenmueller, N.R., Buehler, M.A., Krothe, N.C., Comer, J.B., Branam, T.D., Ennis, M.V., Smith, R.T., Zamani, D.D., Hahn, L., and Rybarczyk, J.P., 2006, Water quality characteristics and contaminants in the rural karst-dominated Spring Mill Lake watershed, southern Indiana, in Harmon, R.S., and Wicks, C.M., eds., Perspectives on karst geomorphology, hydrology, and geochemistry–a tribute volume to Derek C. Ford and William B. White: Geological Society of America Special Paper 404, p. 153-168.

Contact: Tracy Branam (tbranam@indiana.edu)



Restoration of West Dunes Creek-Great Marsh complex

Issue

E. coli loadings frequently exceed the full-body contact limit of 235 CFU/mL in Dunes Creek, which discharges onto a popular bathing beach at Indiana Dunes State Park located on Lake Michigan. In addition to investing in scientific prediction models to evaluate E. coli-loading risks, decision makers have decided to evaluate the potential of restoring wetlands in the area to reduce bacterial loadings.

Objective

The design of the project was intended to further scientific research and insight into potential reduction of E. coli levels in receiving waters following increased solar exposure, sedimentation, filtration, increased retention, and biological treatment provided by wetlands.

Publications and Websites

Characterization and statistical modeling of bacterial (Escherichia Coli) outflows from watersheds that discharge into southern Lake Michigan
Olyphant, G.A., Thomas, J., Whitman, R.L., and Harper, D., 2003. Characterization and statistical modeling of bacterial (Escherichia Coli) outflows from watersheds that discharge into southern Lake Michigan. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Special Issue on EMAP Symposium 2001: Coastal Monitoring through Partnerships, 81:289-300.
Restoration of West Dunes Creek-Great Marsh complex

Contact: Greg Olyphant (olyphant@indiana.edu)



Source-water assessment

Issue

The state of Indiana, as part of the Source Water Protection Plan (SWAP), seeks to evaluate and assess the source-water sensitivity, susceptibility, and vulnerability of public ground-water supplies. The particular category of public water suppliers addressed in this study is referred to as "noncommunity, nontransient." This category predominantly includes small facilities such as schools and churches.

Objective

The objective of this project was to develop fact sheets for 650 individual, noncommunity, nontransient, public ground-water supplies throughout Indiana, as part of the Source Water Assessment Plan (SWAP).

Publications and Websites

Source water assessments at the Indiana Geological Survey

Contact: Denver Harper (dharper@indiana.edu)



Three-dimensional groundwater modeling in Berrien County, Michigan

Issue

Three-dimensional representations of complex unconsolidated subsurface geology are often constructed for input into ground-water flow models. The complexity of the geological relationships is difficult to realistically represent; therefore, the models are often oversimplifications of actual conditions. However, it is not known whether three-dimensional representations generated by mapping experts or statistical data interpolations of complex geological conditions are preferable for the purpose of simulating ground-water flow through such materials.

Objective

The objective of this project is to scientifically assess the performance of three-dimensional hydrogeologic models developed by pure statistical data interpolation and three-dimensional hydrogeologic models developed by experienced geologists familiar with the emplacement mechanisms of geologic materials.

Publications and Websites

Dressing the emperor (groundwater-flow model) of glacial geology: A tale of three tailors.
Olyphant, G.A., Medina, C.R., Letsinger, S.L., 2006, Dressing the emperor (groundwater-flow model) of glacial geology: A tale of three tailors. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 38, no. 7, p. 108.
GIS-based potential recharge- and discharge-area mapping from three-dimensional hydrogeologic modeling in glacial terrains of the midwestern United States
Letsinger, S.L., and Olyphant, G.A., 2008, GIS-based potential recharge- and discharge-area mapping from three-dimensional hydrogeologic modeling in glacial terrains of the midwestern United States. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 40, no. 6, p. 472.
The role of GIS in the development of three-dimensional hydrogeologic models
Letsinger, S.L., Olyphant, G.A., Medina, C.R., 2006, The role of GIS in the development of three-dimensional hydrogeologic models. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 38, no. 7, p. 164.
The Role of three-dimensional information visualization software in the development of three-dimensional hydrogeologic models
Medina, C.R., Olyphant, G.A., Letsinger, S.L., 2006, The Role of three-dimensional information visualization software in the development of three-dimensional hydrogeologic models. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 38, no. 7, p. 164.

Contact: Sally Letsinger (sletsing@indiana.edu)



Update of the Lake Michigan Rim Web site and data layers for the Grand Calumet feasibility study

Issue

Since 1999, the Lake Rim Web site has provided access to a geographic information system (GIS) for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in northwest Indiana. Developed 6 years ago by the Indiana Geological Survey in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the site has now become outdated. Data layers must be added and updated. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and IDEM are conducting a feasibility study for cleanup and restoration of the Grand Calumet River and the portions of the Indiana Harbor and Lake George Canals in Indiana. This study will investigate and recommend remediation alternatives, including dredging and disposal of contaminated materials, and ecosystem restoration within the river channel. The Lake Rim Web site can provide an effective means of distributing all types of spatial data associated with this study, and other data of interest to stakeholders in the Lake Michigan Rim region.

Objective

Work with partners from local, state, and federal government to acquire updated GIS data and redesign the Lake Rim Web site.

Publications and Websites

Lake Michigan Rim Web site

Contact: Chris Dintaman (cdintama@indiana.edu)



Watershed modeling tools and linkages to the Lake Rim geographic information system (GIS)

Issue

The watersheds along the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan have been severely affected by industrial and agricultural activities. These watersheds are experiencing substantial water-quality problems, including fecal coliform bacteria, among others.

Objective

This project focuses on surface-water hydrology of the Trail Creek and Little Calumet Watersheds. We will provide the physical basis for studying surface-water flow and contaminant transport in the pollution of ground and surface waters of the Lake Rim area of northwestern Indiana.

Publications and Websites

Interfacing watershed modeling tools and a GIS: Example for the Lake-Rim area of northwestern Indiana
Zlotin, A., Olyphant, G.A., and Harper, D., 2000. Interfacing watershed modeling tools and a GIS: Example for the Lake-Rim area of northwestern Indiana. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 32(4): 469.

Contact: Denver Harper (dharper@indiana.edu)





 
 
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