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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, June 24, 2005

New Map of Chase County Available

LAWRENCE--A new full-color map of the geology at the surface in Chase County is now available from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas.

The map designates the type and age of rock layers found at the surface or immediately under the vegetation and soil. Much of the surface bedrock in the Flint Hills, which are predominant in Chase County, is Permian-age limestone or shale that formed from deposits in shallow seas about 280 million years ago. Many of the limestone layers contain deposits of flint, also called chert, that gave the region its name.

The deeply incised river valleys in the county, carved out by the Cottonwood and the north branch of the Verdigris rivers and their tributaries, consist mainly of much younger Quaternary-age sediments.

Besides surface rocks, the map features towns, rivers, streams, roads--from interstate highways to unimproved roadways--landing strips, lakes and ponds, political boundaries, and contour lines indicating elevations and the steepness of the terrain. The outcrop patterns on the map also reflect topographic variations in the landscape.

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 for a variety of engineering and environmental enterprises.

Based on a geologic map of Chase County compiled in 1951, this computer-aided map updates the names and grouping of rock units to conform to current classifications. The map is drawn at a scale of 1:50,000 so that one inch on the map equals about 3/4 mile of actual distance. It measures 43 inches by 44 inches.

Copies of the new map are available from the Kansas Geological Survey, 1930 Constant Ave., Lawrence, KS 66047-3726 (or phone 785-864-3965). The cost is $15.00, plus $4.00 for handling and postage. Kansas residents should call for specific sales tax to be charged. More information about the maps and other KGS products is available at the Survey's web site (

Story by Cathy Evans, (785) 864-2195

Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach