New ISGS Sediment Laboratory Opens

Samples await analysis in the reopened Sediment Lab.The Sediment Laboratory of the Illinois State Geological Survey reopened officially during fall 2007 after 5 years of being closed. Hue Hwa Hwang, the Sediment Lab director, has been working on rebuilding the lab that in the past had offered substantial technical service to both scientific and engineering communities. The Sediment Lab is now offering particle size analysis of sediment samples to both ISGS staff and the public. As a result of the cooperation between Hwang and laboratory staff member, Adrian Gurga, the Sediment Lab has completed 194 particle size analyses of samples from November 2007 through February 2008. Most of the samples are of glacial and postglacial sediments drilled with the ISGS CME 75 in support of geologic mapping funded by the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (STATEMAP) and the Central Great Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition. Hwang has strived to optimize data quality of the particle size analysis by establishing internal laboratory standards. The standard deviation for sand, silt, and clay fractions of ISGS internal reference standards is better than 1%, which is an excellent achievement for the hydrometer method used for particle size analysis. Laboratory staff will continue to work toward improving the service capability and quality of the Sediment Lab in order to meet the needs of both ISGS programs and public demand.