Karst, Maps & Imagery

Karst: Ours are the holiest lands: more sinkholes, caves, drops, voids, and just plain holes than any other part of Illinois. This is the karst-sinkhole plain. Let’s explore the karst landscape and what industrial development could mean. In this section, you’ll find maps of the project area with depictions of karst, and information on environmental impacts and engineering difficulties and dangers for wind turbine installation.

These three documents are presented to help understand the the Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) proposed by developer Joe Koppeis’ Southern Illinois Wind, LLC, and his financial partner, Boston-based North Renew Energy. This industrial-scale operation would transform 15,000 acres of our natural area, recreational, and agricultural lands into a factory zone. The map, aerial, and Lidar images are in Pdf format and may be downloaded for ease of viewing, allowing you to zoom in and closely examine the proposed area.

The proposed project area depicts the sections, ranges, and townships submitted by the developer for ecological consultation. The roughly 15,000-acre area stretches from Valmeyer to past Fults, and includes the communities of Valmeyer, Maeystown, Fults, and Renault. The area has 702 residential properties; of which 585 are owner-occupied.

The proposed project area is shown overlaid on aerial imagery taken in March 2017. Taken with a Digital Mapping Camera (DMC), this type of image is geometrically corrected so that the scale is uniform and the image has the same lack of distortion as a map. This image also is a true natural-color rendition, so the colors you see are representative of the real world. Aerial imagery and overlay courtesy of the Illinois State Geological Survey.

The proposed project area is shown overlaid on Lidar surface topography image. Lidar (an acronym for Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging) is a surveying method using pulsed laser light from an airplane to make 3-D images of a landscape. For this image, the laser-generated data was processed into what is called a “bare earth Digital Elevation Model (DEM), and, so, removed all above ground features, including vegetation, structures, and roads. Color is representative of elevation (blue = lower elevation and brown = higher elevation) and is shown on the elevation scale in the lower left corner. The Lidar image shows the details of our County’s karst-sinkhole plain: the holiest land in Illinois with more sinkholes, caves, rifts and rills, voids, drops, and just plain holes. Lidar imagery and overlay courtesy of the Illinois State Geological Survey.

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