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Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2004-39

Isopach Mapping of Desmoinesian Coals--Bourbon Arch Region, Eastern Kansas

Troy A. Johnson
Energy Research Section
Kansas Geological Survey

KGS Open File Report 2004-39
Aug. 2004


The Middle Pennsylvanian Series in east-central Kansas includes numerous coal seams within both siliciclastic and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic sedimentary successions (Jewett et al., 1968). The majority of coal is found in the Cherokee and Marmaton Groups (Desmoinesian Stage). Pennsylvanian strata in eastern Kansas are estimated to contain 53 billion tons (48 billion metric tons) of "deep" (>100-ft [>30-m]), but thin (<2-ft [<0.6-m]) coal ranging in maturity from high-volatile C- to A bituminous. Coals with the largest resources are the Riverton, Weir-Pittsburg, Mineral, and Bevier (Brady, 1997). Mapped coals in this report include the aforementioned, as well as the Mulberry, Lexington, Summit, Mulky, Croweburg, Scammon, Tebo, Dry Wood, Rowe, and Neutral coals.

The objective of this open-file report is to provide accessible, high-resolution coal isopach and structure contour maps and regional cross sections to the public. Maps and cross sections are based on regional interpretation and correlation of approximately 860 compensated density, neutron/density-porosity, and more numerous gamma ray-neutron logs. Wells with log data average approximately 6.5 per township. Data used to create cross sections and structure and isopach maps (formation tops and raster log images) are available through the Kansas Geological Survey's online oil and gas well databases. Detailed information regarding coalbed gas contents and various other geologic aspects of these coal seams is provided in Johnson (2004): "Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, and Coalbed Gas Potential of Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian Stage) Coals--Bourbon Arch Region, Eastern Kansas," available online and in print form September 2004, from the Kansas Geological Survey.

List of Maps

The maps are presented as web pages and as Acrobat PDF files. You will need the Acrobat PDF Reader, available free from Adobe, to view the PDF versions.


Brady, L. L., 1997, Kansas coal resources and their potential for coalbed methane: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Transactions of the 1997 Midcontinent Section Meeting, p. 150-163.

Jewett, J. M., O'Connor, H. G., and Zeller, D. E., 1968, The Pennsylvanian System; in, The Stratigraphic Succession in Kansas, D. E. Zeller, ed.: Kansas Geological Survey, Bulletin 189, p. 21-43.

Johnson, T. A., 2004, Stratigraphy, depositional environments, and coalbed gas potential of Middle Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian Stage) coal--Bourbon arch region, eastern Kansas: M.S. thesis, University of Kansas, 309 p.; also Kansas Geological Survey, Open-file Report 2004-38. [Available online]

Merriam, D. F., 1963, The geologic history of Kansas: Kansas Geological Survey, Bulletin 162, 317 p.

Kansas Geological Survey, Energy Research
Updated Sept. 3, 2004
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