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Geologic Studies in Southwestern Kansas

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Location and extent of the area

Purpose of the report

Previous geologic studies

Field work for this report

Other sources of geologic information

Departments of the Federal Government

Departments of the Kansas State Government

City and County Departments

Other sources



General features

The Plains

Valleys of the Arkansas drainage

Valleys of the Cimarron drainage

Red Hills and Ashland basin


General features




Sunshine and cloudiness

Humidity and evaporation

Dust storms


Exposed pre-Tertiary rocks

Permian rocks

Triassic(?) rocks

Lower Cretaceous rocks

Cheyenne sandstone

Kiowa shale

Upper Cretaceous rocks

Dakota formation

Graneros shale

Greenhorn limestone

Carlile shale

Niobrara formation

Tertiary formations

Lower Pliocene(?) beds

Ogallala formation

General relations

Previous studies


General statement

Facies variations

Sand and silt



Volcanic ash

Areal description

The bedrock floor

Variations in the western area

Variations in the central area

Character in the eastern area

Age and correlation

Origin of the formation

Scope of the problem

Significance of climate

Source of materials


Mode and progress of deposition

Cause of deposition

Origin of the capping limestone

Correlation with events in the Rocky Mountain area

Rexroad formation

General character and distribution

Age and correlation

Origin of the formation

Quaternary formations

Odee formation

General character

Areal description

Age of the formation

Origin of the formation

Local deposits of Pleistocene age in Meade County

"Equus niobrarensis beds"

"Jones Ranch beds"

Kingsdown formation

General character

Areal description

Age of the Kingsdown beds

Origin of the formation

Volcanic ash deposits

General character


Age of the ash deposits

Origin of the ash deposits


Terrace deposits

Quaternary deposits of the Ashland basin

Dune sand

Valley fill

Structural Geology

Structures in pre-Tertiary rocks

Structures in Tertiary and Quaternary beds

Minor solution-and-collapse structures

The Meade trough

Jones Ranch basin

Syracuse flexure and fault

Finney basin

Ashland basin

Recent earth tremors and their possible significance


Physiographic divisions

Upland areas

Kearny area

Kalvesta area

Syracuse upland

Stanton area

Cimarron Bend area.

Haskell area

Minneola area

Odee area

Intermediate and lowland areas

Pawnee river drainage basin

Arkansas valley area

Scott-Finney depression

Finney sand plain

Cimarron valley area

Meade area

Red Hills

Ashland basin

Drainage history

Streams north of the Arkansas valley

Arkansas river

Streams south of the Arkansas valley

River terraces

Arkansas valley

Cimarron valley

Sand dunes

General features

Modern wind action

Sand drifts related to cultivated fields

Sand drifts along stream channels


Barchans and transverse dune ridges

The sand-dune cycle

Eolian phase

Eluvial phase

Interruption of the cycle

Multi-cycle dune topography

Agronomic implications of the dune cycle

Hydrologic implications of the dune cycle

Source of the dune sand

Direction of dune-building winds

Winds of the present

Winds of the past

Sinks and depressions

Sinks developed within historic time

Big Basin and St. Jacob's Well

Other depressions

Large imbricate blocks of Bluff creek

Minor valley forms

Historic changes in stream channels

Arkansas river

Cimarron river

Economic Resources


Soil erosion by water

Soil erosion by wind

Surface waters

Ground water

General relations

Utilization of ground water

Artesian water in the redbeds

Water in the Dakota sandstone

Ground water in the Tertiary of the upland area

Artesian wilier of the Meade basin

Ground water of the valley areas

Buckner creek

Arkansas valley

Cimarron valley

Oil and gas

Volcanic ash

Sand and gravel



Building stone


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Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web Feb. 8, 2017; originally published September 15, 1940.
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