News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, April 7, 2008
LAWRENCE--Researchers at the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, have received funding from the U.S. Geological Survey to map the geology in four Kansas counties.
The $206,000 award, given for 2008, will be matched by state funding to support ongoing geologic mapping projects in Reno, McPherson, Harvey, and Morris counties.
"Geologic maps provide information that isn't available anywhere else," said Survey Geologist Greg Ludvigson. "They are a valuable resource for anyone needing to make natural resources decisions, such as local governments who have to resolve conflicting land-use issues."
The maps illustrate rock layers and unconsolidated materials, such as sand and gravel, at the surface or just beneath the vegetation and soil.
Kansas counties are mapped in order of greatest need. Determining which counties should be mapped next is based mainly on two key issues--land-use conflicts caused by population growth and limitation of water resources.
Reno, McPherson, and Harvey counties are in a developing corridor north and west of Wichita where competition is increasing over land use. Growing public demand for municipal water supplies and saltwater contamination issues also affect the region.
Morris County in the Flint Hills, although mostly rural, contains the headwaters of the Neosho River, a major water source in southeast Kansas. It also contains extensive limestone resources and is adjacent to the I-70 Corridor and the rapidly expanding Fort Riley area.
Geologic mapping in the four counties was last done in the 1940s and 1950s. Fieldwork for the new maps will continue into 2009. When completed, the maps will be available to the public.
The funding comes from the U.S. Geological Survey's STATEMAP program, which is part of the U.S.G.S. National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP). Providing support for state and federal mapping efforts, NCGMP is the primary source of funds for the production of geologic maps in the country.