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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, April 21, 2000

Map of Atchison County Landslides Now Available

LAWRENCE--A new map showing the location of landslides in Atchison County is now available from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

The map, compiled by Survey geologist Gregory C. Ohlmacher, is part of a larger project to inventory and describe geologic hazards in northeastern Kansas. According to Ohlmacher, landslides in the Atchison area are associated with saturated soil conditions that occur following extended periods of rainfall or snow melt.

The map shows the location of recent landslides, older landslides, and rock-fall hazards in Atchison County. The landslides in Atchison County are fairly shallow and commonly occur in shale layers. Rock falls are associated with quarries, highway cuts, stream banks, and the Missouri River bluffs.

This information can be used by city planners and engineers, public works officials, and anyone interested in building on a particular piece of property. "For example," said Ohlmacher, "if someone wants to build on property with a beautiful view of the river, the map could alert them to potential landslide hazard."

Based on two U.S. Geological Survey 7.5-minute topographic maps, the map shows the topography--changes in elevation--of the land's surface in Atchison County. The map also depicts roads, quarries, houses, and other man-made features.

Although landslides and rock falls are scattered throughout Atchison County, they are especially common in the eastern part, along the Missouri River. To better depict these higher-density areas, the map includes several enlarged sections.

A companion map is being prepared that combines the locations of landslides depicted on this map with information about geology, soils, and slopes . This map will show the relative susceptibility of different areas to landslide activity.

"The plan is to map landslides throughout the Kansas City metro area," said Ohlmacher. This area includes Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson, and possibly Douglas counties.

The map, produced in full-color, is drawn at a scale of 1:36,000, so that one inch on the map equals just over one-half mile of actual distance. The full-color map measures about 26 inches by 26 inches.

Copies of the new map are available from the Kansas Geological Survey, 1930 Constant Ave., Lawrence, KS 66047 (or phone 785-864-2157). The cost is $15.00, plus $5.00 for handling. Kansas residents should add 6.9% sales tax.

Story by Liz Brosius, (785) 864-2063
For more information contact Greg Olmacher (785) 864-2194

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs