Page 4–The Geologic Record Vol. 5.2
Spring 1999

A Place to Visit


Quivira National Wildlife Refuge


Stafford County,





Despite their inhospitable appearance, the salt marshes at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge provide food, cover, and a resting place for thousands of migrating waterfowl each year. Over 250 bird species have been spotted at the Stafford County refuge. Underlying the surface deposits of windblown dune sand is the Great Bend Prairie aquifer, water-bearing deposits of sand and gravel. In the vicinity of Big Salt Marsh, pictured here, the natural saltwater in the bedrock is forced to the surface. As the water evaporates, salt concentrations increase. The average salinity at Big Salt Marsh ranges from 5,000 to 10,000 parts per million (ppm), which is considerably lower than that of seawater (19,000 ppm), but much greater than the upper limit for drinking water (250 ppm). To get to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, take 4th Avenue west from Hutchinson for 28 miles, then turn north on County Road 973, which brings you to the refuge headquarters and visitor’s center.

Kansas Geological Survey

1930 Constant Avenue, Campus West

Lawrence, Kansas


(785) 864-3965


Kansas Geological Survey Advisory Council
  • Tom Collinson, Chair, Pittsburg
  • Robert Crangle, Lincoln
  • David J. Heinemann, Topeka
  • Dyan Jones, Prairie Village
  • Sheila Leiker-Page, Victoria
  • Jeffrey Mason, Goodland
  • Dennis McKinney, Greensburg
  • Stephen Morris, Hugoton
  • David Nance, Pittsburg
  • Marvin Odgers, Sublette
  • Larry J. Richardson, Wichita
  • John K. Strickler, Manhattan
  • William W. Hambleton, Emeritus Member, Lawrence
  • A. Scott Ritchie, KU Geology Assoc. Rep., Wichita

Director: Lee C. Gerhard
Editors: Liz Brosius, Robert Sawin, Rex Buchanan
Design: Jennifer Sims

The mission of the Kansas Geological Survey, operated by the University of Kansas in connection with its research and service program, is to conduct geological studies and research and to collect, correlate, preserve, and disseminate information leading to a better understanding of the geology of Kansas, with special emphasis on natural resources of economic value, water quality and quantity, and geologic hazards.

The Geology Extension program furthers the mission of the KGS by developing materials, projects, and services that communicate information about the geology of Kansas, the state's earth resources, and the products of the Kansas Geological Survey to the people of the state


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