Western Shawnee County and vicinity is in the western part of the Forest City basin--a structural basin in the northeastern part of Kansas and in neighboring parts of Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa--that formed mainly after Mississippian time (Lee, 1943, p. 13). The west edge of the basin is delineated by the Nemaha uplift, which lies 12-20 miles west of the mapped area. The axis of the Forest City basin is adjacent to the uplift; the mapped area lies east of the axis. Here, the outcropping rocks strike mainly N. 15°-30° E. and dip to the northwest about 15-30 feet per mile. In several places there are small folds trending northeastward and having less than 20 feet of closure. The structural relief in the area is about 380 feet. The structural pattern is shown on plate 3 by contours drawn at 20-foot intervals on the base of the Zeandale Limestone.
Two major sets of vertical joints are apparent in many of the limestone units. The primary system trends generally N. 60°-70° E., and the secondary system about N. 20°-30° W. In some places another, less pronounced system of joints of varied trend occurs with the two major sets.
Oil and Gas
To date (1963), 16 wells have been drilled for oil and gas in the western Shawnee County area (pl. 3), but no oil or gas in commercial quantities has been found. Shows of oil were reported in drillers' logs from sandstone, probably in the Cherokee Group (Middle Pennsylvanian), in the St. Marys Coal, Oil and Gas Co. St. Marys College 1 well in the SE cor. NW NW sec. 12, T. 10 S., E. 12 E., and from dolomite in the Simpson Group (Middle Ordovician) in the McKnab Fritz 1 well in the center of the SW SE NW sec. 4, T. 12 S., R. 14 E. Oil stains were noted in samples of dolomite from the Devonian part of the Hunton Formation in the Kaiser-Francis and Shawver-Armour Adams "A" 1 well in the center of the SE NW sec. 20, T. 11 S., R. 13 E., and in samples of the Viola Limestone (Middle and Upper Ordovician) from the Skelly Oil Co. Wallace 1 well in the NW SE SW sec. 13, T. 10 S., R. 13 E., and from the Musgrove Petroleum Co. Holland 1 well in the NW NW NW sec. 6, T. 10 S., R. 13 E. Oil stains are present in sandstone of the Simpson Group (Middle Ordovician) in the Musgrove Heiland 1 well and in dolomite of the Simpson in the Kaiser-Francis and Shawver-Armour Adams "A" 1 well.
Shows of gas have been reported in drillers' logs of sandstone in the Scranton Shale in the St. Marys Coal, Oil and Gas Co. St. Marys College 1 well, and in the Holl et al Warner 1 well in the SE cor. NW sec. 36, T. 11 S., E. 13 E., and of sandstone in the Douglas and Pleasanton Groups (Upper Pennsylvanian) and the Cherokee Group (Middle Pennsylvanian) in the Jenkins and Scott Hayden 1 well in the NW NE SE sec. 8, T. 12 S., E. 14 E. Gas was also reported from rocks in the Kansas City Group (Upper Pennsylvanian) in the Jones-Davidson Omar Allen 1 well in the SE cor. NE NW sec. 2, T. 11 S., E. 14 E., and in the T. M. Barnsdall Staley 1 well in the SW NW SW sec. 23, T. 11 S., E. 13 E.
Rocks in the Kansas City Group, Hunton Formation, Viola Limestone, and Simpson Group yield oil on small anticlinal structures in the north-central, south-central, and southwestern parts of Wabaunsee County (Smith and Anders, 1951; Hilpman, 1958; Goebel and others, 1962). Carbonate rocks in the Hunton Formation and Viola Limestone yield most of the oil, primarily from local porous zones. Several small folds or noses with slight closure at the surface in western Shawnee County and vicinity were drilled (pl. 3) but did not yield oil or gas. The occurrence of good vuggy porosity in parts of both the Hunton and the Viola in several wells and the presence of oil stains indicate, however, that continued exploration might be successful.
Four coal beds have been mined in western Shawnee County and vicinity for domestic and commercial use. Schoewe (1946) described the coal resources of the Wabaunsee Group in detail, and most of the data presented herein are from his publication. Whitia (1940) described the coal resources of all post-Cherokee rocks in Kansas.
The Nodaway coal bed (at the base of the Howard Limestone), which was formerly mined fairly extensively around Topeka, crops out just above the flood plain on the south side of the Kansas River at the east edge of the area. The Nodaway has not been exploited in its outcrop area, but Schoewe (1946, table 35) reported that it was mined in a shaft in the SE sec. 32, T. 11 S., E. 15 E. The Elmo coal bed in the uppermost part of the Cedar Vale Shale Member of the Scranton Shale was formerly mined by shaft, drift, and strip operations south of U.S. Highway 40 near Wanaker School. The coal is 1-1.4 feet thick in the SW sec. 29 and the NW SE sec. 31, T. 11 S., E. 15 E., and in sec. 36, T. 11 S., E. 14 E. (Schoewe, 1946, table 35); the reported mine in sec. 29 may have properly been in the SE, rather than the SW. A 1- to 1.6-foot-thick seam of Elmo coal was formerly drift mined along Blacksmith Creek in the N2 sec. 10, T. 12 S., E. 14 E. (Schoewe, 1946, table 35). This bed was also mined in drift and shaft openings in the NW NE sec. 1, T. 11 S., R. 14 E., until 1927, when excessive water caused the mine to be abandoned (Schoewe, 1946, p. 132). A landowner reported that a small amount of coal was taken from the Elmo along a stream in the W2 NE sec. 35, T. 11 S., R. 14 E.
Schoewe (1946, p. 132) reported that a coal bed 1.2-1.6 feet thick in the basal part of the Wamego Shale Member of the Zeandale Limestone was strip mined near the south line of the NE sec. 27, T. 12 S., R. 14 E., until 1920. The bed may have been subsequently obscured by slope wash and cultivation, for the authors found no evidence of it. The Lorton coal bed, in the uppermost part of the French Creek Shale Member of the Root Shale, was mined as recently as 1939, for domestic use, in a small cut along a tributary of Gladden Ravine in the SW sec. 28, T. 12 S., R. 13 E., west of Dover. There, the coal is about 0.5 foot thick but is shaly in its basal part.
The Elmo coal, the most important bed in the mapped area, is bituminous ih rank and contains proved reserves of 3,950,000 tons and potential reserves of 256 million tons (Schoewe, 1946, p. 134). The unnamed coal bed in the Wamego Shale contains proved reserves of 1,280,000 tons and potential reserves of 64 million tons (Schoewe, 1946, p. 134) Most reserves in the Nodaway coal bed occur at localities east of the report area; the potential reserves of the Nodaway in the mapped area are very small. Reserves in the Lorton coal bed have not been calculated.
Limestone quarried in western Shawnee County and vicinity is used primarily as road metal and concrete aggregate. The Burlingame and Wakarusa Limestone Members of the Bern Limestone and the Tarkio Limestone Member of the Zeandale Limestone are the principal units quarried. A limestone in the upper part of the Auburn Shale was formerly quarried in a pit, now bisected by U.S. Highway 40, in sec. 35, T. 11 S., R. 14 E. In 1962, quarrying of the Bern Limestone was concentrated along Blacksmith Creek; but formerly, the Bern was quarried farther east, in the SW sec. 31, T. 11 S., R. 15 E., and north of the Kansas River, in the SE NE sec. 29, T. 10 S., R. 15 E. The principal rock quarried is the Burlingame Limestone Member of the Bern, but the Wakarusa is also used where it is not intensely weathered. A thick limestone lens in the Soldier Creek Shale Member of the Bern Limestone was quarried along both sides of the Kansas Turnpike south of Auburn in the NW SW sec. 25, T. 13 S., R. 14 E., for use in construction of the highway.
The Tarkio Limestone Member of the Zeandale is quarried north of U.S. Highway 40 near West Union School southeast of Willard, 1.75 miles north-northwest of Dover, and 3.2 miles west-northwest of Auburn.
Where quarried, the Burlingame and Wakarusa Limestone Members of the Bern are 5.7-7 feet and 3.2-4 feet thick, respectively. The limestone lens in the Soldier Creek Shale Member of the Bern is 10.5 feet thick, and the Tarkio Limestone Member of the Zeandale Limestone ranges from 5 to 10.5 feet in thickness. The limestone in the upper part of the Auburn Shale is about 4 feet thick. Chemical analyses of limestone from three of these beds are given in table 1. Test data on the structural quality of the Tarkio and Maple Hill Limestone Members of the Zeandale Limestone, the Dover Limestone Member of the Stotler Limestone, and the Grayhorse Limestone Member of the Wood Siding Formation from that part of Wabaunsee County which is within western Shawnee County and vicinity study area are included in the report by Mudge and Burton (1959, table 1).
Table 1--Chemical analyses of selected limestones in western Shawnee County and adjacent parts of Douglas County, Kansas. [In percent by weight; Tr. = trace; Adapted from Runnels and Schleicher, 1956; CaCO3, MgCO3 and CaCO3
equivalent are all calculated; L.O.I. is net loss of weight on ignition from 105° to 1000° C; Al2O3 includes MnO, ZrO2, V2O5, and TiO2 when present; Total iron expressed as Fe2O3; S omitted from computing total because it is included in L.O.I.; Total does not include amounts shown for CaCO3, MgCO3 or CaCO3.]
|Zeandale Limestone||Tarkio Limestone Member||SW SW 29||11 S.||14 E.||3||49444||86.94||1.9||89.34||48.71||0.91||39.31||3.36||1.16||6.72||0||0||100.17|
|Auburn Shale||Limestone bed||SE NE 35||11 S.||14 E.||4.1||53209||88.31||4.56||92.75||49.75||2.18||40.81||3.85||0.86||1.86||0.12||0.01||0.15||99.58|
|Bern Limestone||Burlingame Limestone Member||SW 31||11 S.||15 E.||4||49453||86.1||7.01||95.55||48.41||3.25||42.04||2.19||0.51||3.23||0.05||0.1||99.88|
No dimension stone is produced commercially in the area, but the Reading Limestone Member of the Emporia Limestone and the Tarkio Limestone Member of the Zeandale have been quarried along their outcrops for local use in construction of houses, barns, and small bridges. Limestone of the Tarkio is difficult to saw because of its hardness but can be hand dressed satisfactorily (Risser, 1960, p. 110).
Sand and Gravel
Sand and gravel is produced commercially in Shawnee County from the alluvium along the Kansas River. Most of the pits are east of the mapped area, but in 1962 one was being operated in the northern part of sec. 29, T. 11 S., R. 15 E. Most of the sand is used as building, paving, and fill material, but small amounts are used as engine blast sand. Most of the gravel is utilized by the building industry, but some is used for paving or for fill.
Deposits of glacial sand and gravel of Kansan age are quarried at many places for use as road metal. Much material has been removed from the thick deposit just east of Rossville in the SW cor. sec. 36, T. 10 S., R. 13 E., and from the glacial outwash deposit in the NE SE sec. 10, T. 12 S., R. 13 E., along the Wabaunsee County-Shawnee County line. The glacial-outwash deposit contains hard lenses cemented by calcium carbonate. These lenses and the large cobbles and small boulders must be removed by screening. Gravel for use on the roads near Grove has been obtained from a pit in the SE SE sec. 9, T. 10 S., R. 14 E. Glacial sand and gravel have also been dug in the center of the S2 SE sec. 24, T. 11 S., R. 13 E. Gravel from several small pits in Kansan terrace deposits on the north side of Mission Creek southwest of Dover has been used locally, probably as road metal. These pits are in the NW sec. 3 and NE NW and NW NE sec. 5, T. 13 S., R. 13 E.
Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web October 2005; originally published 1967.
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