Cherokee Lowlands—Introduction

drawing of outline of this region on Kansas map

Cherokee Lowlands--Intro | Cherokee Lowlands--Rocks and Minerals
Cherokee Lowlands--Places to Visit | Other regions

Download fact sheet on the rocks and minerals of the Cherokee Lowlands.

The Cherokee Lowlands is a gently rolling plain, occupying roughly 1,000 square miles in Bourbon, Crawford, Cherokee, and Labette counties. The lowlands developed on the easily eroded shales and sandstones of the Cherokee Group. Next to the Mississippian outcrops in the Ozark Plateau, the rocks of the Cherokee Group are the oldest rocks occurring at the surface in Kansas. They were deposited during the early part of the Pennsylvanian Period, approximately 300 million years ago.

The gently sloping landscape is traversed by shallow stream valleys. Isolated sandstone hills offer occasional topographic relief. One of these, Blue Mound, is located just east of Kansas Highway 69 in southern Cherokee County, a half mile north of the Oklahoma border.Cherokee LowlandsThe region is characterized by deep, fertile soils, which have eroded from the soft rocks of the Cherokee Group. These soils and the relatively flat and well-drained topography make the region good for farming, except where the surface has been disturbed by mining. Generally trees grow only on the slopes of hills, banks of larger streams, and in abandoned mining areas.

Text by Liz Brosius, Kansas Geological Survey. Unless noted otherwise, illustrations by Jennifer Sims, Kansas Geological Survey; photographs by John Charlton, Kansas Geological Survey.

Cherokee Lowlands--Intro | Cherokee Lowlands--Rocks and Minerals
Cherokee Lowlands--Places to Visit | Other regions