The mean annual precipitation in Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties is 17.71 inches. (All climatic data are from records of the U.S. Weather Bureau stations at Ulysses, Sublette, and Hugoton.) The precipitation in this area usually is sporadic and somewhat local, the amount of rainfall in one storm at times varying greatly from one part of the area to another. The highest annual precipitation on record in this area was 28.34 inches at Hugoton in 1941. The next to the highest annual precipitation was 27.36 inches at Ulysses, also in 1941. The highest annual precipitation at Sublette was 27.24 inches in 1923. The mean annual precipitation is 17.24 inches at Ulysses (Fig. 3), 18.02 inches at Sublette (Fig. 4), and 17.87 inches at Hugoton (Fig. 5). The greatest precipitation is during the summer, particularly in June, and the least is in December and January (Fig. 6). The mean annual temperature in this area is 54.6 deg. F. The temperature in this area has been as high as 111 deg. F. and as low as -28 deg. F.
Figure 5--Graph showing (A) annual precipitation at Hugoton, and (B) cumulative departure from normal precipitation at Hugoton. A large version of this figure is available.
Drilling activities in the Hugoton area are described in the annual oil and gas development, reports published by the State Geological Survey. Bulletin 54 (Ver Wiebe, 1944) and Bulletin 56 (Ver Wiebe, 1945) contain large maps that show all wells drilled in this field to the end of 1943 and 1944, respectively. On January 1, 1945, there were 328 gas wells in the Grant-Haskell-Stevens area, including 70 wells in Grant County, 41 in Haskell County, and 217 in Stevens County (Fig. 7). These wells had an average deliverability of 1,788,623 cubic feet of gas a day. [Deliverability standard pressure is 311.6 pounds per square inch. Data supplied by R.J. Phillippi of the Kansas State Corporation Commission.] The aggregate potential open flow of 265 of these wells was more than 3 billion cubic feet of gas a day in 1943. In 1944 the entire Hugoton field produced 83,007,568,000 cubic feet of gas and by the end of that year the total production from the field was more than 433 billion cubic feet.
Figure 7--Oil and gas fields of Grant, Haskell, and Stevens counties. Current information on oil and gas production can be found on online.
According to Hemsell (1939, pp. 1054-1067), gas occurs in at least two zones and as many as six zones in the Permian rocks in the Hugoton field. The first gas is encountered about 10 feet below the top of the Herington limestone member of the Nolans limestone, which is the uppermost formation in the Wolfcampian series. Much larger quantities of gas are obtained from the Krider limestone member, which is at the base of the Nolans limestone. Additional quantities of gas are obtained from the Winfield limestone, from two zones in the Fort Riley limestone member of the Barneston limestone, and in a few places from the Florence limestone member of the Barneston limestone. Hemsell states that the gas-bearing beds dip 12 to 14 feet a mile east-southeastward toward the Anadarko Basin. Along the west side of the Hugoton field these beds grade laterally into red and brown elastics which serve as a trap for the gas that is migrating up the monoclinal structure.
By estimating that the average porosity of the gas-producing beds is 12 percent and that their average thickness is 45 feet, Hemsell computed that the Hugoton gas field originally had a reserve of 7.4 million cubic feet of gas to the acre. The proved area in Kansas, therefore, had a total reserve of nearly 12 trillion cubic feet of gas (Hemsell, 1939, p. 1061).
Deposits of volcanic ash occur in several places in Grant County (Pl. 12) and at one place in Haskell County, but only one deposit has been worked commercially (Landes, 1928, pp. 22, 23, 26-28). This deposit (owned by Western Spar Products Company) is in the NW 1/4 sec. 24, T. 30 S., R. 35 W., and formerly was connected to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad by a narrow gauge spur line. According to Landes (1928), the ash has an average thickness of 9 feet and is of good quality, ranking third among the 37 samples analyzed by him. The screen analysis of the ash from Grant County is given in Table 1. Several thousand tons of ash have been taken from this deposit and it has been estimated that 15,000 tons of ash remain.
Table 1--Screen analysis of volcanic ash from NW 1/4 sec. 24, T. 30 S., R. 35 W., Grant County (Landes, 1928, p. 23). Percent by Weight.
Sand and gravel is another mineral resource of this area, and is used primarily for road metal. It is found mainly along the Cimarron River and North Fork Cimarron River in the lower part of the Meade formation of Pleistocene age.
A total of 918,632 acres of land was under cultivation in Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties in 1940. (All agricultural data, unless otherwise stated, are from records of the U.S. Census Bureau). There were 1,128 farms in the three counties and the average farm comprised 842 acres. The following list of crops grown in Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties was compiled by the 1940 census (Table 2).
Table 2--Acreage of principle crops grown in Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties.
The population of the counties is shown in Table 3. (All population data, unless otherwise stated, are from records of the U. S. Census Bureau.)
Table 3--Population of Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties from 1889 to 1939.
In addition to the highways, there are many graveled county and township roads in the area. Most of the roads are not surfaced, but because of slight precipitation and rapid evaporation the earth roads are passable during most of the year.
Kansas Geological Survey, Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Geohydrology|
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Web version May 2002. Original publication date July 1946.