ETGS/AIPG Newsletter
November 1999


In this issue...

ETGS/AIPG Meeting for November 1999
November Presentation
Last Month's Presentation
Autumn Field Trip
ETGS Online: Web Site Updates
Membership Renewal
Contact Information


Ryan's Family Steak House
401 South Tulane Avenue, Oak Ridge

Monday, November 1, 1999
11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Please arrive by 11:45 to order your food or visit the buffet, and join us in the meeting room by 12:00.


Groundwater Characterization in Memphis:
Somewhat Different than East Tennessee

Greg Underberg
Oak Ridge, Tennessee


Waste management activities at the Defense Depot Memphis Tennessee have resulted in chlorinated volatile organic plumes in the uppermost unconfined aquifer. Stratigraphy at the site consists of Quaternary fluvial deposits of alternating sand, gravel and thin clay sequences. Groundwater flow directions are controlled primarily by the paleotopography of underlying Late Eocene clays. Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) activities focused on the nature and extent of contamination and possible interconnections through erosional "windows" to an underlying water-supply aquifer. Rotasonic drilling and geophysics were used to characterize stratigraphy and estimate the configuration of the paleosurface. Operation of groundwater extraction wells resulted in significantly more dewatering of the unconfined system, indicating a perched rather than laterally continuous system.

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Our October presentation was given by Dr. Dan Britt, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Tennessee. During his presentation, Visits to Small Planets: The "Geology" of Asteroids, Dr. Britt discussed the study of these poorly understood bodies, as well as the uniformitarian process of asteroid impacts upon the Earth and other planets. Although he noted that it is not entirely proper to apply the word "geology" to these extraterrestrial objects, Dr. Britt explained how asteroids are indeed becoming field areas for the study of morphology, structure, mineralogy, etc. The abstract of Dr. Britt's presentation is included in the October Newsletter, and he may be reached via e-mail at dbritt@utk.edu. ETGS and AIPG thank Dr. Britt for an out-of-this world program!

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a great way to earn Professional Development Hours!*

Because of the heat and busy schedules of late summer, it was decided to postpone the traditional society picnic until later in the fall. Meanwhile, considering the success to the summer field trip, it was suggested that an autumn field trip might be more enjoyable than a picnic. Discussion at the September and October meetings centered on Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park System on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Big South Fork and Pickett State Park, its neighbor to the west, offer a scenic setting atop the Cumberland Plateau and provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy a relaxing day or weekend socializing and learning more about the geology of our region. Based on a show-of-hands vote during the October meeting, the trip was scheduled for Saturday, November 13. (There is an "away" game for the University of Tennessee that day.)

Of particular interest are features such as Twin Arches, Hazard Cave, Natural Bridge, and Indian Rock House. All four features can be visited by mid- to late-afternoon with approximately 3.5 to 4 miles of easy to moderate hiking, combined with a little backwoods driving on unpaved (sometimes rutted) park roads. Although the final details will be worked out at the November 1 meeting, we should be able to meet at a central location (e.g., Pickett State Park Visitor Center) around 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (10:00 a.m. Central Time). (Check the field trip web site at http://www.discoveret.org/etgs/fall99.htm, or contact one of the ETGS officers listed at the end of the Newsletter for final details.) From there we could visit the sites in any order, depending on the travel and camping plans of those present. It will probably be desirable to bring a packable lunch and some light trail snacks. Although picnic tables are available in some areas, canyon views and sandstone shelters provide a pleasant dining environment in the Twin Arches area.

Although this trip will be somewhat less formal than our summer field trip in North Carolina, Harry L. Moore is graciously contributing material relevant to Twin Arches from his book A Geologic Trip across Tennessee by Interstate 40 (University of Tennessee Press, 1994).  Mr. Moore is Head of the Geotechnical Section for Region 1 of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He is also the author of A Roadside Guide to the Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (University of Tennessee Press, 1988). Combined with interpretive information available from the parks and the expertise of those on the trip, Mr. Moore's material on Twin Arches will provide the foundation for our exploration of the area. A general introduction to the local geology is provided in an online brochure.

As with the summer outing in Hot Springs, this one should be accessible as a day trip for folks in Knoxville, Nashville, and Chattanooga areas. However, there is also an opportunity to camp Friday and/or Saturday nights for those who wish to do so. (In fact, this destination was originally suggested as a place to have an evening gathering around a bonfire.) Although the group camping areas close at the end of October, we should be able to find enough adjacent camp sites in the Bandy Creek Campground. Depending on interest and availability, it may also be possible to stay at Charit Creek Lodge. The lodge is accessible only by hiking or horseback. Unless there is a timely cancellation, it is not likely that any beds will be available. However, according to information provided by Susan Gawarecki, there is an "indoor camper" option (around $11.00 plus tax). No meals or beds are provided, but access to common areas of the lodge is included. Anyone interested in staying at the lodge should make reservations directly by calling 865-429-5704. This is the same number used to make reservations for the very popular LeConte Lodge in the Smokies, so the line is frequently busy.

The field trip web page http://www.discoveret.org/etgs/fall99.htm will be updated as new information becomes available. Please attend the November meeting, and check the web site November 1-13 for final details. Click the "Reload" or "Refresh" button each time you visit to be sure you see the latest information.

*Although the granting of Professional Development Hours (PDHs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) is determined by the licensing board of each state, it is anticipated that the material presented during the geology hike will qualify for such credit.

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The ETGS web site is growing to serve the needs of the local geological community! A web site's value lies in its ability to convey up-to-date information. It will be a dynamic site, changing as often as necessary to keep up with the needs of the Society. Therefore, the following "tour" of the information presented currently on the site should be outdated very soon.

  • ETGS Home Page: This is the main page or "index" page for the site. It will contain useful links to other geology resources on the web. For starters, look for Dr. Byerly's list of "leisure-reading" books in this area very soon.

  • General Information: This page contains a brief description of ETGS and its activities for the benefit of potential members.

  • Next Monthly Meeting: This section contains the location, date and time of the next regularly scheduled meeting, as well as information about the program and the invited speaker. Depending on presentation scheduling, this page may be updated even before the Newsletter is sent via e-mail.

  • Newsletters: Each edition of the Newsletter will be added to this site as it is produced, permitting easy access to past issues. Previous editions (back to January 1999) may be added in the future.

  • Membership Form: A printable membership information form has been added to make it easier to join or renew a membership. (Forms are also be available at each monthly meeting). It is important to complete the entire form at least once a year to keep your membership records up to date. If you experience any problems printing this form, please notify Brad Stephenson at jbrad@ispchannel.com. A pdf (portable document format) version of the form may be developed in the future, if it is needed.

  • Field Trips: This is THE place to find the latest information about the upcoming trip to Big South Fork and Pickett State Park. Following the event, this information will be replaced with photographs and other items of interest from the trip. A photo album documenting the summer field trip to Hot Springs, North Carolina is also included in this section.

All members are encouraged to provide articles, photographs, and other relevant information for inclusion on the site. In particular, please pass along the URL (address) of any useful geology-related web sites for inclusion in the "links" area. Of course, all editorial assistance is welcome. Errors, omissions, outdated information, and inactive links should be reported so they may be corrected. Finally, anyone with an interest in web-site authoring should feel free to get involved. Please send suggestions and contributions of material to Brad Stephenson at jbrad@ispchannel.com.

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As the new year approaches, it is time once again to renew your membership in ETGS. Please consider joining or renewing your membership at the November or December meeting. Doing so will save the printing and postage costs necessary to mail you a reminder. Dues received during the remainder of 1999 will extend your membership through the end of 2000. Membership dues remain a bargain at just $15 per individual, $20 per couple, and $5 per student.

Whether you join or renew at a monthly meeting or by mail, please complete a membership form so that we can keep the society's records updated. In particular, please make sure we have at least one current e-mail address. If you have a paper edition of the Newsletter from earlier this year, just use the membership form contained within it. Forms are also be available at each monthly meeting, as well as online at http://www.discoveret.org/etgs/member.htm.

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Post Office Box 6193
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6193


President, J.J. Hollars, SAIC, 865-481-4741, james.b.hollars@cpmx.saic.com
Vice President, Rick Arnseth, Tetra Tech NUS, 865-483-9900, arnsethr@ttnus.com
Secretary/Treasurer, Seaira Stephenson, Scientific Sales, 865-483-9332, sstephenson@scisale.com
Newsletter/Webmaster, J. Brad Stephenson, P.E. LaMoreaux & Associates, 865-483-7483, jbrad@ispchannel.com



President, Larry Weber, Geosciences Design Group, 615-883-9434, gdgllc@bellsouth.net
President-Elect, Chris Maner, Tenn Dept of Env and Conserv (TDEC), Div of Water Supply, magmatic@earthlink.net
Vice President, Brian Parnell, MAPCO Express, 615-367-3100
Secretary/Treasurer, Ken Haislip, Ogden Env & Energy Services, 615-333-0630, shaislip@bellsouth.net
Screening Chairman, Robert Freas, Franklin Industries, 615-259-4222

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