KGS Home General Info Index Page Geology of Northeastern Kansas--A field trip highlighting the rocks and fossil in the Lawrence-Topeka area

Earth Science Week


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.

photo of Clinton Spillway

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.

Click here to see other pictures from the field trip.

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

photo of Echo Cliff

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

Click here to see other pictures from the field trip.

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.

photo of people collecting fossils at final stop

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.

Click here to see other pictures from the field trip.

To request a guidebook, please contact Liz Brosius (785-864-2063) or Rex Buchanan (785-864-2106) at the Kansas Geological Survey.

Additional information on Kansas geology is available on the Survey's web site at

Kansas Geological Survey, General Information
Updated October 18, 2000
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