News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Dec. 10, 1996
The map depicts the age and type of rocks at the surface of Ness County, along with roads, towns, rivers, railroads, intermittent and permanent lakes, and other features. The map was compiled by Ken Neuhauser, Tina Wilcox, and Bruce Schumacher of Fort Hays State University.
Because they show the materials likely to be encountered in a given location, geologic maps are useful in construction, in searching for water and mineral deposits, and in a variety of engineering and environmental uses.
According to Neuhauser, most of Ness County is covered by rocks deposited during the Cretaceous Period, about 80 million years ago, and by much more recent deposits.
The Cretaceous rocks are mostly limestones and shales that crop out along rivers and streams and in the northern part of the county. They include the Fort Hays Limestone, a thick, blocky formation, and the Niobrara Chalk Formation, famous for its fossils. The Greenhorn Limestone, which includes the well-known Fencepost limestone bed, crops out in southern Ness County, particularly along Walnut Creek and the Pawnee River.
The rest of the county is covered by much younger rocks, soils, and a silt-like material called loess, all deposited in the past few million years by wind and rivers. Many of the rivers and streams are bordered by alluvium--unconsolidated sands and gravels deposited by water. The uplands are mantled by loess. In some locations, the Ogallala Formation crops out.
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. The full-color map measures about 40 inches by 40 inches.
The map is one in a series of new geologic maps being produced by the Survey.
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 $5.00 for handling. Kansas residents should add 6.9% sales tax.
story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965
Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs