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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Dec. 3, 1996

Geologists Receive Contract from State Dept. of Transportation

LAWRENCE--Geologists from the Kansas Geological Survey and the University of Kansas have received a contract from the Kansas Department of Transportation to help develop methods of locating deposits of rock that can be used for making durable concrete for building the state's roads.

The $32,000 contract is with Robert Goldstein of the KU geology department and Evan Franseen, from the Kansas Geological Survey.

The project is designed to help the Kansas Deptartment of Transportation (or KDOT) find locations that can produce rock of the quality needed for highway construction. The research will also identify less expensive and less time-consuming tests than those now required to evaluate the rock's durabilty.

"Unsuitable construction materials can cause highways to deteriorate rapidly and require tax dollars for repairing or replacing roads," said Goldstein. "We'll work with KDOT to develop new methods of finding the kind of rock that's suitable for making concrete."

Goldstein and Franseen will take rock samples from four existing quarries in eastern Kansas, probably from quarries located in Riley, Greenwood, Wyandotte, or Labette counties. By analyzing the composition of the rock from those quarries, they will learn more about the environment under which the rock was deposited. They also plan to develop tests that will quickly identify the most useful rock layers.

"The rocks in eastern Kansas quarries vary considerably, even across a small area," said Franseen. "The rock quality depends on the geologic conditions at the time the rock layers were deposited. We will develop methods that will help KDOT predict where appropriate rock deposits are located, and some simple tests to help identify the kinds of rock they need."

story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965
Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs