North-Central Section, GSA — 42nd Annual Meeting
24-25 April 2008
We are pleased to announce that this meeting is sponsored by
- University of Southern Indiana Department of Geology and Physics
Pott College of Science and Engineering
- Indiana Water Resources Association
- Historic New Harmony
- Indiana Oil and Gas Association
- Peabody Energy
- Marshall Miller and Associates, Inc.
- The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science
- Professional Geologists of Indiana
- Cleveland Museum of Natural History
- Illinois State Geological Survey
- Mulzer Crushed Stone, Inc.
We welcome other potential sponsors to help defray the costs of the meeting.
When your company or organization sponsors the North-Central Section Meeting,
you will be prominently recognized.
Please contact the local committee chair, Paul K. Doss, for further information.
Evansville, Indiana, USA, has a population of ~130,000 and is bounded to the south by the Ohio River. Our riverfront is now the permanent home of the WWII vessel LST 325. These "Landing Ship Tanks" were constructed in the Evansville shipyards during the war years, and this particular ship saw duty in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Evansville is also home to the largest old growth forest in a large city in the United States. Wesselman Woods is a National Natural Landmark with nearly 200 acres of virgin bottomland hardwood forest. Just east of Evansville, our neighbor, Newburgh, Indiana, is home to Angel Mounds State Historic Site, nationally recognized as one of the best-preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States. The site, on the rich bottom lands of the Ohio River, was occupied from A.D. 1100 to A.D. 1450 by people of the Middle Mississippian culture. Just an hour to our east are the beautiful, rugged hills of Hoosier National Forest; an hour to our west are the hills of Shawnee National Forest; and a few hours south is Mammoth Cave National Park.
Middle Pennsylvanian sandstones, siltstones, and shales in the flanks of the Illinois Basin underlie this area. To our west is the active midcontinent New Madrid seismic system. And, as we are periodically reminded, Evansville sits on top of the faulted Paleozoic rocks of the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. Although this area did not have direct ice cover during recent glacial periods, glacial influence is quite prevalent in outwash-dammed lake deposits and extensive loess blankets. The Evansville regional legacy is firmly rooted in the discovery and extraction of fossil fuels, particularly the petroleum and coal resources of the Illinois Basin. We see a reinvigorated exploration and development of petroleum resources and expansions in the working surface and underground coal mines. In fact, our keynote address by Bill DiMichele of the Smithsonian Institution will describe the exciting, "as seen on TV," discovery of the preserved Pennsylvanian rainforest in regional coal mines. We have many opportunities and challenges as we address regional and local issues of brine disposal, acid mine drainage, subsurface coalmine subsidence, flooding, and land-use changes from development.
Perhaps most important, however, is that we are in the heart of what is accepted as the birthplace of North American geology. During the early to mid 1800s, New Harmony, Indiana, truly was the hub of frontier geology for what was then known as the Northwest Territories. David Dale Owen's geological enterprise, based in New Harmony, created the first reconnaissance geological maps of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. New Harmony was so well known throughout the geological community in the mid-1800s that when Charles Lyell, the "founder of modern geology" and champion of uniformitarianism, visited North America in 1841, he insisted on coming here. If you take advantage of the opportunities we have designed to visit New Harmony in person or in sessions, we hope you get the same sensation of legacy that we do when visiting the labs that were in use then and examining the same outcrops described nearly 200 years ago.