Geologic Formations and their Water-bearing Properties
Undifferentiated RedbedsCharacter--The undifferentiated redbeds of Permian age are not exposed in Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties, and the only available data concerning these beds are the logs of the many gas wells that have been drilled in this area. Therefore, no detailed lithologic description of them can be given. The redbeds encountered in these wells consist principally of red shale, siltstone, and sandstone containing interbedded salt, gypsum, anhydrite, and dolomite.
Distribution and thickness--The Permian redbeds underlie all of Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties but they do not crop out in this area. The nearest outcrop is in southeastern Meade County about 20 miles from the southeast corner of Haskell County. The total thickness of redbeds exposed in Meade County is more than 100 feet (Frye, 1942, p. 93). There is an erosional unconformity between the Permian redbeds and the overlying Cretaceous or younger sediments, and the thickness of the redbeds in this area, therefore, is variable. Most of the oil and gas tests in this and adjacent areas penetrate between 1,200 and 1,600 feet of redbeds.
Age and correlation--Norton (1939) and others have determined by the study of well cuttings that the Permian redbeds underlying Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties and adjacent areas include representatives of all the formations recognized by the State Geological Survey of Kansas from the lower Ninnescah shale to the Taloga formation.
Water supply--No water is obtained from the redbeds in Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Counties. These beds yield some water to artesian wells in Morton County, but the water has a relatively high mineral content and is not suitable for most uses. Potable water is reported to have been encountered in a few gas-test wells in the redbeds in Grant and Stevens Counties, but no chemical analyses of the waters are available.
Morrison (?) FormationSeveral test holes drilled by the State and Federal Geological Surveys in Stanton, Morton, and Hamilton Counties (Latta, 1941, and McLaughlin, 1942 and 1943) encountered deposits of green, rusty-brown, and maroon clays that probably are a part of the Morrison formation. A test hole in Hamilton County penetrated nearly 100 feet of these deposits. The formation also crops out at Two Buttes in eastern Colorado and has been encountered in test holes in Norton County near the Kansas-Nebraska line.
Test hole 9 in northwestern Grant County encountered 6.5 feet of greenish-gray clayey shale before entering the Permian redbeds. This material is believed to be a part of the Morrison formation and probably represents the easternmost extension of this formation in southwestern Kansas. It has not been encountered in test holes in Kearny, Finney, or eastern Morton Counties nor in any other part of the Grant-Haskell-Stevens area. No wells in this area obtain water from these beds.
Kansas Geological Survey, Grant, Haskell, and Stevens Geohydrology|
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Web version May 2002. Original publication date July 1946.