Page 3–The GeoRecord Vol 6.3
Fall 2000

Stratigraphy of Vertebrate Fossils from Niobrara Chalk
The Smoky Hill Chalk member of the Niobrara Chalk of western Kansas is famous for vertebrate fossils. Many fossils were collected in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, before the stratigraphy of the Niobrara Chalk was adequately understood; hence, stratigraphic information for many of these specimens is lacking. A new article published in the Survey’s online Current Research bulletin demonstrates a technique to determine stratigraphic positions of specimens collected long ago. The article, Inferring Stratigraphic Position of Fossil Vertebrates from the Niobrara Chalk of Western Kansas, by S. Christopher Bennett, was submitted in June and published in September 2000, an example of the quick turnaround possible with online publication.

This article, along with previously published articles in the Current Research in Earth Sciences, can be viewed at

Kimberlite PIC
Kimberlites, rare igneous rocks that are the source of diamonds, are described in a new Public Information Circular, written by Pieter Berendsen, Tom Weis, and Kevin Dobbs. In Kansas, thirteen kimberlites have been identified so far, twelve in Riley County and one in Marshall County. Copies of Kansas Kimberlites (Public Information Circular 16) can be obtained free of charge by contacting Publications Sales at the KGS. These circulars also are available electronically through the Survey’s World Wide Web site at

Woodson County Geologic Map
A new, full-color geologic map of Woodson County was released recently by the KGS. Geologic maps show the age and type of rock at the earth’s surface and are useful in a variety of construction, engineering, and environmental purposes, along with providing basic geologic information. One notable geologic feature in southern Woodson County is an area of once-molten igneous rock that crops out at the surface. Igneous rocks are unusual in Kansas, where almost all of the surface rocks are sedimentary rocks, such as limestones and shales. The map was developed by Survey geologist Dan Merriam and is drawn at a scale of 1:50,000, so that one inch on the map equals about 3/4 mile. Copies of the new map are available from the KGS.The cost is $15.00, plus tax, shipping, and handling.



Segment of Woodson County

Geologic Map.

To celebrate the third annual Earth Science Week (October 8–14), the Kansas Geological Survey sponsored a public field trip to look at the rocks and fossils of northeastern Kansas. The field trip on Saturday, October 7, 2000, gave the public a general introduction to the geology of the region.

The trip made several stops in the Lawrence and Topeka area. Participants learned about basic bedrock geology at Clinton Lake spillway, viewed evidence of Ice Age glaciers, and investigated sandstone deposits left by an ancient river at Echo Cliff near Dover. The trip’s final stop was a roadcut with numerous fossils of invertebrate animals that lived during the Pennsylvanian Period, about 300 million years ago.

Earth Science Week was established in 1998 by the American Geological Institute to educate people about the Earth and earth sciences. Helping the public learn about local geology is one of the goals of this year’s Earth Science Week celebration. To request an information kit, volunteer to help, or find out what’s happening in other regions, visit the Earth Science Week Web Site at

Field Trip Kicks off Earth Science Week


The sandstones at Echo Cliffs in Waubaunsee County were discussed at one of the stops.

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