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  • mining Illinois coal

    ISGS project will seek valuable elements, minerals from coal and coal waste

    The Office of Fossil Energy within the U.S. Department of Energy has selected to award nearly $1.5 million to the Illinois State Geological Survey for a project that will evaluate the availability of valuable rare earth elements and critical minerals in coal and coal waste streams in Illinois and nearby states. 

  • man at injection well site

    Carbon capture and storage project with ADM concludes

    On May 19, 2021, ADM and the University of Illinois announced the successful completion of the Illinois Basin - Decatur Project, a carbon capture and storage project designed to evaluate and test the technology at commercial scale.

  • Greg Cane analyzes a sample.

    International testing validates accuracy of Stable Isotope Lab analyses

    The Illinois State Geological Survey’s stable isotope laboratory recently passed a standards proficiency test overseen by the International Atomic Energy Association. 

  • Monroe County Illinois lidar map

    ISGS updates Illinois sinkhole data

    The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) now provides up-to-date downloadable data about sinkholes for the entire state of Illinois. This replaces the previous ISGS GIS dataset of statewide sinkhole areas, which was published in 1997.

  • ISGS research technician Katie Braun flies a drone over Lake Michigan, collecting data by mapping magnetic materials both above and buried beneath the surface. 

    Going beyond the surface

  • PRI scientists bring expertise to study of critical interfaces

    PRI scientists from the Illinois State Water Survey and Illinois State Geological Survey are part of a collaborative project to study “critical interfaces” in the environment.

  • rendering of the proposed innovative power plant

    DOE awards $25 million to PRI for design of innovative power plant

    The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $25 million to a three-year project led by the Prairie Research Institute that will design a next-generation power plant in Springfield, Illinois. The innovative plant design combines multiple techniques to both reduce emissions and capture and re-use carbon dioxide.

  • Prairie State Generating Company (PSGC) in Marissa, Illinois.

    ISGS combines innovation and expertise in carbon storage

    For almost 20 years, PRI’s geologists and engineers have been developing methods for the safe capture, storage, and utilization of CO2 from power plants and industrial operations. This has been in response to federal and state laws requiring reductions in CO2 emissions, as this byproduct of power generation has a direct link to atmospheric greenhouse gasses and climate change. 

  • " "

    Earth MRI funds critical minerals projects in Illinois

    The U.S. Geological Survey and the Association of American State Geologists will provide $106,978 in funding for critical minerals projects in Illinois. As part of this effort, the Illinois State Geological Survey will perform geochemical analyses for regions all over Illinois and adjoining states. 

  • ISTC and ISWS Director Kevin OBrien with University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen at City, Water, Light, and Power in Springfield, Illinois.

    Carbon capture collaborations lead clean energy drive

    The Prairie Research Institute — is leading a drive to implement CO2 removal strategies, an essential step to a clean-energy future. 

  • ""

    Geological Survey assists state agencies with COVID-19 data

  • aerial view of silos

    DOE funds ISGS work on carbon storage

  • electron microscopy from the fossiliferous dolomitic shale rock

    ISGS scientist collects sample that appears to be oldest fossilized fungus

    The authors argue this shows that fungi were one of the first organisms to survive on the Earth's surface and likely played a key role in supporting the first plant life.

  • Buying a home in Illinois? You'll need PRI for that.

    Nearly 150,000 homes were sold in Illinois last year. For every Illinois home sold, the Prairie Research Institute provides data needed for banks, title companies, insurance companies, and consumers to make informed decisions about home ownership. 

  • geologist Sam Panno explores Calf Cave in Joe Daviess County

    Jo Daviess County collaboration tackles water quality

    With its unique geology marked by sinkholes, crevices, and caves, Jo Daviess County is highly susceptible to water contamination. Scientists from the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) and Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) are using their expertise and collaborating with a local organization to help citizens understand water quality issues and protect their water supplies.

  • Glasford crater in Peoria

    "It was a bad day for Peoria County about 450 million years ago."

  • Piper Navaho aircraft

    Flights to image 3D geology in Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana

    Scientists with the Illinois State Geological Survey are partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Geological Surveys of Kentucky and Indiana to image geology using airborne geophysical technology as part of the USGS Earth Mapping Resource Initiative.

  • Illinois elevation map

    ISGS provides high-resolution digital elevation data for all 102 Illinois counties

    For the first time, high-resolution digital elevation data that are essential for planning by local, state, and federal agencies are available online for all Illinois counties.

  • Joe Devera speaks to K-6 students

    ISGS researcher Joe Devera to participate in natural resources event for 30th year

    Each April in southern Illinois, students in grades K-6 participate in Stewardship Week, an outdoor education event. This year, just like every year for the past 30, Joe Devera, senior paleontologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey, will be back to share his knowledge and love of fossils with inquiring young minds.

  • erosion on the Lake Michigan shoreline

    Freshwater coastal erosion alters global carbon budget

    Shoreline erosion can transform freshwater wetlands from carbon-storage pools to carbon sources, according to a new study led by Illinois State Geological Survey researchers. 

  • drill at Mt. Auburn

    Initial results show Mt. Simon Sandstone in Macon County is suited to carbon storage

    Preliminary results from a stratigraphic characterization well drilled in December 2018 by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) and collaborators near Mt. Auburn, Illinois, indicate that the Mt. Simon Sandstone at this location has excellent reservoir characteristics for storage of CO2. The T. R. McMillen #2 well is part of the CarbonSAFE Illinois–Macon County project, which is intended to establish the feasibility of storage of 50 million tonnes or more of CO2.

  • map of Central Illinois' Mahomet aquifer

    Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force issues recommendations

    A task force formed by the Illinois General Assembly to identify gaps in protection of the Mahomet Aquifer has issued its final recommendations. Illinois State Water Survey hydrologist George Roadcap served as a member of the task force, and other Prairie Research Institute scientists provided data and expertise to support the group’s yearlong effort.

  • T.R. McMillen 2 well

    ISGS drills Christian County well to investigate potential for carbon dioxide storage

    On Dec. 3 the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) completed drilling the T.R. McMillen #2 well in Christian County, Illinois, as part of its CarbonSAFE Illinois program. Preliminary results indicate the Mt. Simon Sandstone at this location is suitable for a commercial-scale CO2 storage site.

  • drilling equipment in field

    ISGS, ISWS install new wells for national groundwater monitoring

    Scientists and staff from the Illinois State Geological Survey and the Illinois State Water Survey  ollaborated with county and local governments in Kane County to install groundwater-monitoring wells in northeast Illinois as part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Ground Water Monitoring Network

  • Timothy Larson with children in Malawi

    Finding water in Malawi

    Geophysicist Timothy Larson was part of a project through Geoscientists Without Borders to drill water wells in Malawi.  

  • Diagram of the biphasic carbon dioxide absorption technology

    DOE award received to develop and scale up carbon capture technology

    A biphasic CO2 absorption (BiCAP) technology developed at the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) has been selected for development and bench-scale testing by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a transformation technology for post-combustion carbon capture.

  • PRI Celebration of Excellence (text)

    2018 Celebration of Excellence

    On April 11, the Prairie Research Institute honored employees for their outstanding achievements and excellent work. Selection committees composed of staff from across the organization reviewed multiple strong nominations before selecting the 2018 honorees.

  • Yu-Feng Lin

    Yu-Feng Lin named director of Illinois Water Resources Center

    Yu-Feng Lin, a hydrogeologist at the Illinois State Geological Survey, is the new director of the Illinois Water Resource Center, which addresses the state’s water resources challenges through research and education.

  • Yu-Feng Lin on a tour of the University of Illinois Energy Farm

    ISGS receives $720,000 award from DOE for geothermal research

    The Illinois State Geological Survey received a $720,000 grant from the Department of Energy to determine the feasibility of tapping geothermal energy for heating and cooling on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus.

  • Walt Kelly, Zohreh Askari, and Sam Panno

    PRI researchers gain new insights into how groundwater flows within the Illinois Basin

    A conceptual model of water movement in rock layers many feet underground, published by Prairie Research Institute scientists, shows for the first time that water is flowing steadily south through the thick sequence of rock layers that form the Illinois Basin.

  • Geologic formation could hold clues to melting glacier floodwaters