Page 2–The GeoRecord Vol 4.1
Winter 1998
From the Director

by Lee C. Gerhard,

Director and State Geologist

As we reflect on the inherent conflicts between urbanization, recreation, and resource access, the long-term consequences of these issues must be carefully evaluated

As society places more and more emphasis upon recreation for a growing population, a consequent stress on natural resources develops. Limestone quarries, sand and gravel deposits, clays, and other materials that have a low unit value, but a high “place” value, are frequently overstepped by urban expansion. It is important that Kansas and its communities identify the raw materials necessary for future growth and arrange to protect access to those resources.

The Kansas River corridor supports an estimated 1,000,000 Kansans. This area is one of the fastest growing in the country and requires an ever-increasing abundance of basic resources for its continued development. At the same time, this growing, urban population demands more recreational resources. As we reflect on the inherent conflicts between urbanization, recreation, and resource access, the long-term consequences of these issues must be carefully evaluated.

Similarly, ground water is being “mined” in western Kansas at a rate that exceeds its natural replenishment. Some have suggested that our approach to resource conservation has not been holistic, and that we need to look at the entire natural system to understand the effects of any perturbation. A new Survey circular on sustainable development of water resources is thought provoking and should provide the substance of much debate on resource sustainability.

When I was younger, I had easy answers to some of these questions. I find the answers more difficult now. If you have suggestions that might help Kansans resolve some of these significant questions, I invite you to share them. Comments can be sent to me at

Survey Data on the World Wide Web

Oil and gas data, water data, and a variety of other data sets are now available electronically through the Kansas Geological Survey’s home page on the World Wide Web. New data bases, such as a listing of water-well completions in Kansas, have been posted during the past year; existing data bases are updated regularly. As a result, the public has access to the same, up-to-date data bases used by Survey researchers.

The most popular data base is the Survey’s Digital Petroleum Atlas. That electronic atlas includes oil and gas production data by field (a data base that was viewed more than 5,000 times by KGS customers during December 1997), current oil and gas plays, geophysical data, and a variety of maps for selected Kansas counties and other areas in the northern midcontinent. Other data sets include a list of well logs in the Survey’s Geoscience Data Library, an index of holdings in the Survey’s core facility, plugged wells in the state, and the bibliography of Kansas geology.

The address for the Survey’s home page is To reach the KGS data bases, click on the data sets button on the Survey’s home page.


KGS Homepage on the World Wide Web. Data bases can be accessed by clicking on the "Data Sets" button.

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