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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Sept. 24, 2002

KGS Releases Cross Sections

LAWRENCE--A new cross section showing the subsurface stratigraphy from Gove to Harper counties in Kansas is now available from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

The cross section consists of two full-color plates, each of which measures 32 by 40 inches. One of the plates shows the cross section according to the different types of rock, or lithology. The other plate shows the cross section according to the named rock units encountered.

The cross section is based on the correlation of 21 wells drilled in Gove, Ness, Pawnee, Edwards, Pratt, Barber, and Harper counties. The location and orientation of the cross section was chosen to represent an area of maximum change in the Pennsylvanian stratigraphy ranging from thin limestones on the north to thick carbonate banks to clastics farther south.

Correlation of the wells was done by CORRELATOR, a software package developed at the Survey. The program uses artificial intelligence to match rock units from well to well. The computer-driven technique demonstrates a unique approach to preparing large-scale stratigraphic cross sections using digital well-log data. The technique provides high-resolution correlation between known and established stratigraphic markers resulting in new geologic insights.

For example, the cross section was used to recognize the correspondence between locations of the southeastern Pennsylvanian bank margin, the northern edge of the Mississippian Cowley, and the eastern margin of the cleaner and thick Hutchinson Salt. The result provided corroborating evidence for structural reactivation along a major basement weakness that was episodically active at least prior to 250 million years ago.

CORRELATOR and the newly published cross section were developed by Survey scientist Ricardo Olea.

"The cross sections should be used as a reference to provide a detailed view of the third dimension that is missing in geologic maps," said Olea.

Copies of these new plates, KGS Technical Series 16, are available from the KGS publications sales office, 1930 Constant Ave., Lawrence, KS 66047 (or phone 785-864-3965). The cost is $10 per plate, plus $4.00 postage and handling. Kansas residents should add 7.3% sales tax on the entire order.

Story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-2106
For more information, contact Ricardo Olea, (785-864-2095)
Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach