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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Aug. 30, 2002

Geology Field Trip Set for October 12

LAWRENCE--Rocks and fossils of northwestern Kansas will be the focus of a non-technical field trip sponsored by the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas. The field trip, scheduled for Saturday, October 12, 2002, is open to the public and is part of national Earth Science Week activities (October 13-19).

The trip is also sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, Kansas Chapter, and includes a stop at the Smoky Valley Ranch Preserve, 16,800 acres of shortgrass prairie in Logan County that the group purchased in 1999.

The trip will provide an overview of the geology of the Smoky Hills and High Plains. The first stop, at the Smoky Valley Ranch Preserve, will focus on the geology and history of the preserve. At Monument Rocks, participants will learn about the inland seas that covered the region during the Cretaceous Period, roughly 80 million years ago, as they explore the chalk monoliths carved by wind and water. The trip will also stop at Lake Scott State Park, where participants can visit El Quartelejo, site of the northernmost pueblo in the U.S., learn about springs, and get a look at outcrops of the Ogallala Formation, well known as an aquifer throughout the High Plains. The last stop will allow participants to look for fossils in the region's Cretaceous chalk, which is famous for the large marine vertebrate fossils, including sharks, mosasaurs, and giant fish.

The field trip will depart from Oakley at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, October 12, and return about 5:30 p.m. The trip is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. A $15 registration fee will be charged per person. Additional information about this and previous field trips is available on the GeoKansas web site (

The KGS has conducted public field trips during Earth Science Week for the past three years. Earth Science Week was established in 1998 by the American Geological Institute, based in Alexandria, Virginia, to educate people about the Earth and earth sciences. To find out more about Earth Science Week or to request an information kit, visit their web site (

To register for the trip, contact Liz Brosius (785-864-2063;, Rex Buchanan (785-864-2106;, or Bob Sawin (785-864-2099; at the Kansas Geological Survey.

Story by Liz Brosius, (785) 864-2063
Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach