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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Oct. 3, 2002

Geologic Map of Shawnee County Available

LAWRENCE--A new geologic map of Shawnee County, showing the age and type of rocks at the earth's surface, is now available from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

In addition to depicting the county's surface geology, the map shows roads, railroads, airports, quarries, streams, lakes, and other features. Because geologic maps show the rock formations likely to be encountered in a given location, they are useful in construction, in understanding soils and agriculture, in searching for water and mineral deposits, and in a variety of engineering and environmental uses.

This map is based on field work done in the late 1950's by U.S. Geological Survey geologists William D. Johnson, Jr., Holly C. Wagner, and W. L. Adkinson. The map was originally published in 1967 and has been out of print for many years. The new version was produced by KGS automated cartography staff.

"This new map combines the original high-quality geologic map with an updated base map, making it more useful," said Larry Brady, coordinator of the Survey's geologic mapping program. "The map will be important for future infrastructure projects in the Topeka area."

Most of Shawnee County is in the glaciated region of Kansas, the area characterized by deposits of silt, gravel, and boulders that were left behind by the glaciers that covered northeastern Kansas about 600,000 years ago. These glacial deposits cover the much older limestones, sandstones, and shales that were deposited during the late Pennsylvanian and early Permian Periods of geologic time, from about 300 to 280 million years ago.

The map shows a number of slopes covered with glacial deposits. These deposits are more widespread north of the Kansas River, and the map shows several pits where the glacial material was mined for gravel. No glaciation occurred south of the Wakarusa River in Shawnee County.

The map, produced in full-color, is drawn at a scale of 1:50,000, so that one inch on the map equals about 3/4 mile of actual distance. The full-color map measures about 44 inches by 37 inches.

Copies of the new map are available from the Kansas Geological Survey, 1930 Constant Ave., Lawrence, KS 66047 (or phone 785-864-3965). The cost is $15.00, plus $4.00 for handling and postage. Kansas residents should add 7.3% sales tax on the cost of the entire order. More information about the maps and other Survey products is available at the Survey's web site (

Story by Liz Brosius, (785) 864-2063
For more information, contact Larry Brady, (785) 864-2159
Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach