Skip Navigation

Geohydrology of Allen County

Prev Page--Geology || Next Page--Ground water

Mineral Resources

The total value of mineral resources produced in Allen County during 1963 was $11,789,000 (R. G. Hardy, oral commun., 1965).

Oil and Gas

The first discovery of gas in Allen County was at Iola in 1873 (Moore and Elledge, 1920). Active prospecting in 1894 near Humboldt led to the discovery of a considerable amount of gas and some oil. Development of other fields in the county closely followed these initial discoveries. In 1964, oil production from 1,815 wells in 11 fields was 845,099 barrels. Gas production totaled 617,320 million cubic feet of gas from 113 wells (Beene and Oros, 1965). [Cumulative production as of the end of 2008 was 48,275,824 barrels of oil and 5,228,549 MCF of gas. Additional information can be found at the oil and gas page of the Kansas Geological Survey.]

Some of the production reported in Allen County was from the "Squirrel sand" in the upper part of the Cherokee Group at a depth of about 800 to 950 feet. A major part of the production in the county, however, was from the Bartlesville sand, an oil sand in the lower part of the Cherokee Group at depths ranging from 550 to 1,000 feet. A few wells in the extreme northwestern part of the county produce from Mississippian limestones at about 11200 feet (Goebel and others, 1962).

In 1964, 196 intent-to-drill permits and 6 secondary recovery permits were issued to oil and gas producers by the State Corporation Commission. A large percentage of the oil produced in the county is recovered by secondary methods.


Several limestones have been quarried in Allen County and used for cement, crushed rock for road metal, riprap, subgrade, and embankment material. Three limestones are currently (1965) being quarried and processed for cement and road metal. They are the Stoner Limestone Member of the Stanton Limestone, the Spring Hill Limestone Member of the Plattsburg Limestone, and the Raytown Limestone Member of the Iola Limestone. The Raytown is the limestone being used in the production of cement. These limestones are being quarried where they are relatively thick; have desirable physical properties such as low magnesium content, fairly high calcium content, adequate hardness, and durability; and are near principal areas of use. The Winterset Limestone Member of the Dennis Limestone and the Bethany Falls Limestone Member of the Swope Limestone have been quarried in past years.

Sand and Gravel

Sand and gravel produced in Allen County totaled 3,000 short tons in 1963 (R. G. Hardy, oral commun., 1965).

The sand and gravel deposits are restricted to the valleys of the major streams and to upland surfaces adjacent to these streams. The deposits are composed predominantly of chert sand and gravel, but include about 20 to 30 percent clay and silt.

Ceramic Materials

At the present time (1965), only one shale is being used for the manufacture of brick and other ceramics in Allen County. This shale, the undifferentiated Lane and Bonner Springs Shales, is being taken from a pit near the northeast corner of Humboldt (fig. 8). The ceramics produced from the Lane and Bonner Springs are red or reddish brown.

Figure 8--Shale pit in undifferentiated Lane and Bonner Springs Shales, Humboldt Brick Co., NW sec. 34, T. 25 S., R. 18 E.

Black and white photo of narrow pit, tens of feet deep and about as wide; extends for quite a ways into distance.

Prev Page--Geology || Next Page--Ground water

Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web April 14, 2009; originally published December 1969.
Comments to
The URL for this page is