Field Trip Highlights—Northeastern Kansas

color photo of people looking at exposed bank of glacial till

Rocks and fossils of northeastern Kansas were the focus of a non-technical field trip sponsored by the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas. The field trip on Saturday, October 7, 2000 was open to the public and was held in celebration of national Earth Science Week (October 8-14).

Earth Science Week was established in 1998 by the American Geological Institute (AGI), based in Alexandria, Virginia, to educate people about Earth and the earth sciences. Helping the public learn about local geology is one of the goals of this year's Earth Science Week celebration.

The first stop was the spillway at Clinton Lake, where participants got an introduction to basic bedrock geology in northeastern Kansas.

color photo of 20+ people looking up at various rock layers croppping out of slope in background

The spillway at Clinton Lake is a good place to see a cross section of the rock layers that are typical of this area. These interbedded limestones and shales were deposited during the Pennsylvanian Period of geologic history, about 300 million years ago.

The next stop was at Echo Cliff near Dover to investigate sandstone deposits left by an ancient river.

color photo of 25 to 30 people in front of tall sandstone bluff

Echo Cliff, which stands about 75 feet above Mission Creek, is an excellent example of ancient river-channel deposits.

The trip's final stop was a roadcut with numerous fossils of invertebrate animals that lived during the Pennsylvanian Period, about 300 million years ago.

color photo of half dozen people looking for fossils along extensive rock outcrop

The new interchange at the junction of K-4 and U.S. Highway 24 is a great place to see and collect invertebrate fossils, such as brachiopods, bryozoans, fusulinids, crinoids, and trilobites.

View additonal pictures from the field trip.

Guidebooks – Geology of Northeastern Kansas Field Trip Guidebook is available online and as Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2000-55, from KGS Publications Sales office, 785-864-3965.

Unless noted otherwise, field trip photographs by Bob Sawin or Liz Brosius, Kansas Geological Survey.

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