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Subsurface Studies in Northeastern Kansas

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Subsurface Studies in Northeastern Kansas

By John W. Ockerman

Cover of the book; gray-patterened paper with black text.

Originally published in 1935 as Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 20. This is, in general, the original text as published. The information has not been updated. An Acrobat PDF version (14.5 MB) is also available.


A few changes have taken place in the stratigraphic nomenclature of Kansas since this report was prepared. The Admire, here classed as a formation at the top of the Wabaunsee group (uppermost Pennsylvanian), is now considered to be a group of formations at the base of the Big Blue series of Permian age.

Raymond C. Moore, State Geologist


Purpose of the Report

This report was prepared in response to many inquiries for subsurface information concerning northeastern Kansas. It contains the results of studies of logs and samples of wells, together with information relative to oil and gas possibilities in the following counties: Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Douglas, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, and Wyandotte. The purpose is to present detailed subsurface information on the aforementioned counties, using all of the available well records, all published data relative to the area, and incorporating the results of detailed lithologic studies of the pre-Pennsylvanian formations that have been carried on by the State Geological Survey. Several subsurface cross-sections are included in order to correlate the stratigraphy of the several counties. Following the discussion of the general stratigraphy and structure of the region there is outlined for each of the counties the well records and subsurface correlations. This will make it possible for anyone desiring subsurface information in any part of the area to find it summarized by counties. The information can be supplemented by the more detailed lithologic descriptions presented under the heading "General Stratigraphy."

Earlier Reports

Little has been written about subsurface conditions in northeastern Kansas. In 1908 Erasmus Haworth published a "Special Report on Oil and Gas" in which he included descriptions of numerous wells drilled in Kansas (Kans. Univ, Geol. Survey, vol. IX, 1908). Several of the old wells drilled in the northeastern part of the state were described, but no information was given as to the general structure or production in the various counties. Raymond C. Moore and Winthrop P. Haynes in 1917 described the oil and gas developments in Kansas up to that date and included in their report not only a description of wells but also a county-by-county summary of oil and gas developments and possibilities (Oil and gas resources of Kansas: Kans. Geol. Survey, Bull. 3, 1917). All of the counties included in this report were discussed, but much information has become available through more extensive drilling since that time. Bulletin 13 of the Kansas Geological Survey briefly indicates the oil and gas production of Kansas up to 1927, but includes very little subsurface information concerning northeastern Kansas (Moore, Raymond C., and Landes, Kenneth K.: Underground resources of Kansas, 1927). "Oil and Gas Resources of Kansas in 1927," by L. W. Kesler, describes the Linwood and Six Corners gas fields in Leavenworth County and the Craig Station-Monticello and Dallas fields of Johnson County (Kans. Geol. Survey, Min. Resources Circ. 1, 1927). Fanny Carter Edson describes the pre-Mississippian sediments of Kansas, and discusses the lithology and the paleontologic correlations of the rocks encountered in the Ramsey Petroleum Company well, Kaul No. 1, SW NE NE sec. 2, T. 11 S., R. 11 E., Wabaunsee county, Kansas (Edson, Fanny Carter: Pre-Mississippian sediments in central Kansas. Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Bull., vol. 13, No. 5, pp, 441-458, 1929). Hugh McClellan has recently described in detail the various pre-Pennsylvanian rocks in Kansas, and has outlined the major structures of the state (McClellan, Hugh: Subsurface distribution of pre- Mississippian rocks of Kansas and Oklahoma. Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Bull., vol. 14, No. 12, pp. 1535-1556, 1930). His contribution of knowledge is very valuable to subsurface workers in the eastern part of the state as well as in the central and western part.


The writer is indebted to oil and gas companies and independent oil and gas operators working in northeastern Kansas for the help they have given in the way of well cuttings and well logs. Mr. H. S. McQueen of the Missouri Bureau of Geology and Mines has aided the writer in connection with the insoluble residue studies of the pre-Pennsylvanian formations. The work on this report has been carefully supervised and directed by Dr. Raymond C. Moore of the Kansas Geological Survey.

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Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web Jan. 27, 2014; originally published May 1935.
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