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Geology of Kansas (1920)

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Pennsylvanian System

General Description

The Pennsylvanian system as observed in Kansas consists of a thick series of alternating shale and limestone formations, with irregular beds of sandstone and some beds of coal.


Pennsylvania strata appear at the surface in a broad belt extending from northern Iowa to Texas, all of northwestern Missouri, southeastern Nebraska, the eastern one-fourth of Kansas and a large portion of Oklahoma and Arkansas being composed of these rocks (plate I). The Pennsylvanian of the mid-continent region was at one time without doubt continuous with the beds of the same age in Illinois and states farther east, and it is possibly directly continuous with the Pennsylvanian formations which come to the surface in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The system is of greatest economic importance because of the oil and gas contained in many of its more porous.formations, and because of its deposits of coal, shale, clay and limestone.


The Pennsylvanian rocks of Kansas have a thickness, according to Haworth of nearly 3,500 feet in the southern part of the state and a slightly smaller amount to the north (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, p. 78). A total thickness of about 3,000 feet has been measured along Kansas river. As the Pennsylvanian rocks have a general dip to the west they are consequently much thinner along the eastern border of their outcrop, where only the older formations have been spared by erosion, and thickest in the counties adjoining the belt of Permian outcrop. Since the dip of the beds is low and the relief of the surface slight, outcrops of the lower formations are separated by a distance of more than 100 miles from those of the upper. Accordingly, measurement of the thickness of the lower formations at their outcrop does not indicate precisely their thickness at points a considerable distance to the west and compilation of surface measurements does not show accurately the total thickness of the system. However, the record of deep wells indicates that the figures given are approximately correct.

Lithologic Character

The Pennsylvanian system is composed of a number of varieties of shale, sandstone, limestone, clay and coal, which, though rather thin in a vertical direction, are unusually persistent horizontally. Many of the limestones have been traced from the north to the. south border of the state and in some cases a considerable distance into adjoining states. This persistence of the Pennsylvanian beds has made the detailed studies of Haworth, Bennett, Adams, Beede and others of great value and wide application, and we now have an excellent general knowledge of the stratigraphy of eastern Kansas.

From a quantitative standpoint, the shales are the most important of the rocks of the Pennsylvanian, constituting a considerable proportion of almost every formation. The shales are in general rather argillaceous. In many cases; however, they are quite sandy, and at many horizons grade both laterally and vertically into sandstone. Some of the shales are highly calcareous, in places containing so much lime that they might rather be called shaly limestones. The general color of the Pennsylvanian shale is gray or yellowish brown, but variegated tints of other colors are not uncommon. Dark or black slaty shales with abundant carbonaceous or bituminous matter also occurr.

The limestones are probably next in importance in the Pennsylvanian of the region. They are, for the greater part, light-colored fossiliferous, fine-grained, compact rocks, many of the beds, especially the thicker ones, being also quite cherty. Some are oolitic and thick-bedded. The fragments of fossils of various sorts are extremely abundant in many formations, and in certain cases make up almost the entire body of the rocks. These include the more or less recognizable fragments of bryozoans, corals, shells of brachiopods and other invertebrates.

Sandstone is abundant at certain horizons, but, quantitatively considered, it is less important than the foregoing rock types. As a rule, the sandstones are of medium grain and contain a great deal of mica. In a few instances they are coarse grained and non-micaceous. In color they vary from white to blue gray or yellow, but in almost all cases they weather to a yellowish brown. The sandstone formations are not very persistent horizontally, grading laterally as well as vertically into shales of more or less impervious character. The sandstones have a very great economic importance because of their content of oil and gas at very many places.

Coal is important in the lower divisions of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas, especially in the southeastern portion of the state. The coal beds of the Cherokee shale and of the overlying Marmaton formation are the most valuable. Clays are common in certain areas. They occur especially near the base of the Pennsylvanian associated with beds of coal.

Effect on Topography

The lithologic character and the structure of the Pennsylvanian rocks of eastern Kansas are very closely reflected in the topography and physiography of the region. The limestone formations characteristically form more or less well-defined escarpments with steep eastern slopes, and very long, gentle dip slopes to the west, which are traceable in some instances for miles. The escarpments made by the outcrops of these resistant formations may be followed with the greatest ease from one border of the state to the other, and have been mapped in some detail by Haworth and Bennett (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, plates VIIb, VIIc). The outcropping lines of the different formations are shown in the geologic map (plate I). Geologic cross sections drawn in various directions across the state have been prepared with considerable care, a study of which shows the general relation of the formations to each other and to the surface outcrops (Haworth, 1898, 1908) (see plates XV-XVII);


In common with the Mississippian and other systems outcropping in eastern Kansas and the adjoining region, the Pennsylvanian strata have a gentle inclination outward from the Ozark highlands, In northeastern Kansas they dip toward the northwest, in central eastern Kansas almost due west, and in the southern counties of the state slightly southwest. If the Pennsylvanian is continuous beneath the thick overlying formations of Permian, Cretaceous and Tertiary age in the western part of Kansas, the system is a part of the shallow sag or syncline which characterizes the broader structure of the state. However, when examined in detail it is seen that there are many irregularities in the structure of the Pennsylvanian rocks. For example, at many points in eastern Kansas the rock strata are absolutely horizontal, or are even inclined to the east. [Note: A typical anticline may be cited in the vicinity of Alma, Wabaunsee County, in which there is an east dip of 160 feet in six miles. In the Cushing district, the most important of all the Oklahoma pools, there is a vertical distance of only 160 feet from the top of the dome to the bottom of the adjacent syncline.] These irregularities are minor waves on the major structure of the Pennsylvanian, and though not prominent, they are of the very greatest importance to the oil producer, for they control in a very essential way the distribution of the oil and gas in the rocks. They are the anticlines sought for by the geologist.


On the basis of difference in lithologic character and fossils, and to a certain extent on the evidence of erosion breaks at places in the series, the rock strata of the Pennsylvanian have been divided into a number of formations and members. The names used in this report are those which appear to accord most closely with the established rules of priority in the nomenclature of geologic formations, and are, with very few exceptions, the names which have been recommended by the Committee on Geologic Names of the United States Geological Survey (Hinds and Greene, 1915). A considerable amount of geologic work has been done in the region where the Pennsylvanian outcrops, and the subdivisions which have been recognized have been traced across most of the state. They may be accepted, therefore, as well-defined stratigraphic units.

Divisions of the Pennsylvanian Rocks of Kansas
Group Formation Member
Missouri Wabaunsee formation Eskridge shale
Neva limestone
Elmdale shale.
Americus limestone
Admire shale
Emporia limestone
Willard shale
Burlingame limestone
Shawnee formation Scranton shale
Howard limestone
Severy shale
Topeka limestone
Deer Creek limestone
Tecumseh shale
Lecompton limestone
Kanwaka shale
Douglas formation Oread limestone
Lawrence shale
Iatan limestone
Weston shale
Lansing formation Stanton limestone
Vilas shale
Plattsburg limestone
Lane shale
Kansas City formation Iola limestone
Chanute shale
Drum limestone
Cherryvale shale
Winterset limestone
Galesburg shale
Bethany Falls limestone
Ladore shale
Hertha limestone
Des Moines Marmaton formation La Cygne shale
Lenapah limestone
Nowata shale
Altamont limestone
Bandera shale
Pawnee limestone
Labette shale
Fort Scott limestone
Cherokee shale Undifferentiated

In the development of our present knowledge of Pennsylvanian stratigraphy in Kansas, these beds have been subdivided into various groups and formations which do not accord with present classification. Many geologic names have been used, and a good deal of confusion has followed the different definitions and use of geologic names by various workers. The development of the stratigraphic classification adopted in this report, and its relation to the names, which have previously been used, is shown in detail in a previous publication (Moore and Haynes, 1918). Reference to this summary of classification will obviate the necessity of recounting the usage of various authors in the definition and description of the stratigraphic units.

The general stratigraphy of the subdivisions of the Pennsylvanian will be discussed briefly, The descriptions must, however, be regarded as a mere summary of Kansas geology, adapted to the use of those especially interested in the development of oil and gas. The discussion of stratigraphic problems of purely scientific interest, and matters not germane to the subject of this report, are purposely omitted.

Des Moines Group

[Note: Named from Des Moines, Iowa (Keyes, 1893).]

The Pennsylvanian system of the western Mississippi valley has been divided into two main groups, the lower termed the Des Moines group and the upper the Missouri group. These divisions, which are identical with the "Lower" and "Upper Coal Measures," respectively, of earlier geologists, were originally made in the belief that the higher, younger portion of the Pennsylvanian was differentiated from the lower part by a much greater proportion of calcareous matter. This is in truth a generally distinguishing feature, but detailed studies over a wide area have shown that limestones are more abundant in the Des Moines group than first supposed, and that shale and sandstone are almost if not quite as important in the Missouri group as in the Des Moines. Lithologic differences are therefore not so sharply defined. However, a well-marked faunal change occurs at the line of division between the two groups, and in Missouri there is evidence of an erosion break of wide extent at about the same horizon. The major classification of the Pennsylvanian indicated may be accepted, therefore, in this report. It is to be hoped that additional paleontologic study will make possible a subdivision of the Pennsylvanian of the western Mississippi basin into groups which are at least approximately correlative with those defined in the Appalachian region.

The Des Moines group includes approximately 500 to 800 feet of the lower strata of the Pennsylvanian of Kansas. It consists chiefly of clastic materials such as shale and sandstone, but contains an important minor content of limestone (fig. 3). Deposits of coal and clay of great economic value also occur. The porous sandstones of the Des Moines are the chief containers of the oil and gas deposits of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Figure 3—Generalized section of the Des Moines group of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas.

Generalized section of the Des Moines group of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas.

Rocks of the Des Moines group outcrop in an irregular band surrounding the older beds. They occupy the southeastern portion of Kansas, extending from Miami county on the northeast to Montgomery County on the southwest, including all or portions of Linn, Bourbon, Crawford, Neosho, Cherokee and Labette counties. The beds of the Des Moines dip to the west and northwest and are continued from the zone of their outcrop an unknown distance. It appears from a study of well records in Butler County and adjacent counties that the Des Moines group extends at least at far west as this part of the state, but it is thinner than at the outcrop.

Variations in the thickness of the Des Moines group are largely dependent upon changes in the character of the Cherokee shale, The total thickness of the group may be obtained by measuring its various units in the area of their outcrop. These may be supplemented by the records of deep wells, and indicate a varying thickness in different localities: at Atchison, 813 feet; Kansas City, 669 feet, etc.

The Des Moines group has been divided into two formations of approximately equal thickness, the Cherokee shale below and the Marmaton formation above. This appears to be very desirable both on lithologic and faunal grounds. - The Cherokee is essentially a shale and sandstone formation, almost lacking in limestone; but beginning with the persistent limestone of the Fort Scott horizon, the Marmaton contains a number of well-defined limestone members. Distinct differences in the faunas of the two formations have been recognized! by Beede and Rogers (1908).

Cherokee Shale

[Note: Named from Cherokee County, Kansas (Haworth and Kirk, 1894, p. 105).]

The Cherokee shale, at the base of the Pennsylvanian system in Kansas, is especially important because it contains the more or less irregular beds of sandstone which are the chief oil and gas producers of the state (fig. 3). The formation is exposed at the surface over most of Cherokee County, from which it takes its name, and in the eastern portions of Crawford and Bourbon counties. The belt of Cherokee extends northeastward across most of Missouri and has been traced southwest through Oklahoma as far as Arkansas river. It is possible that it extends eastward into Arkansas.

The Cherokee shale has an average thickness of 400 to 500 feet in southeastern Kansas, but there is considerable variation. At Topeka deep drilling indicates a thickness of 704 feet, at Atchison 598 feet, at Emporia 351 feet. It appears from this that the Cherokee shale is thicker to the north and northwest, but not so thick to the west. In Oklahoma the Cherokee shale is very much thicker, aggregating more than 1,000 feet in the vicinity of Pryor creek (Shannon and Trout, 1915), and if correlated with the Winslow and Boggy formations farther south, a total thickness of more than 1,500 feet is attained. The lower part of the Pennsylvanian in eastern Oklahoma is certainly older than the Cherokee shale in Kansas.

The lithologic character of the Cherokee shale is indicated in the generalized section (fig. 3), which shows a succession of shales and sandstones, with beds of coal and discontinuous limestone layers at certain horizons. Shale constitutes by far the greatest part of the formation, although the proportion of sandstone is not negligible in quantity. There is considerable lithologic variation, both vertically and laterally, in the Cherokee shale. The color ranges from light ash gray to yellowish brown and jet black. and there are changes in the material from finest-grained clay shale to very sandy shale and sandstone. Sandstone beds are very abundant throughout the Cherokee, but are not of sufficient persistency to be of value in stratigraphic study. They are the source of most of the production of southeastern Kansas and the adjacent portion of Oklahoma, and possibly also in the Butler County field. The Bartlesville sand is the most important of the oil and gas horizons of the Cherokee. It has been encountered. throughout most of the producing field. At the base of the formation in many places is the Burgess sand. Other oil and gas sands of the Cherokee are recognized in the description of individual districts which follow.

The Cherokee shale is not as abundantly fossiliferous as some of the divisions of the Kansas Pennsylvanian, but it is fairly well defined faunally. The most abundant and characteristic fossil is the small productid Marginifera muricata (see plate III). The little shells of Chonetes mesolobus, which is characterized by the sharply defined double furrow on the convex valve, is also very common. It occurs also in the Marmaton formation but is not known to be present above this horizon. The remainder of the fauna consists of large cephalopods and other mollusks, a few corals and bryozoans, and some long-ranging brachiopods.

Plate III—Typical fossils of the Cherokee and Marmaton formations. Corals: Chaetetes milleporaceus, part of a colonial growth broken to show the slender, closely packed corallites, (12); Axophyllum rude, a small, straight horn coral, viewed from the side, (14). Bryozoans: Fistulipora nodulifera, a massive, growth composed of very minute cells which open outward in tiny apertures (11). Brachiopods: Chonetes mesolobus; a small concavo-convex shell the middle portion of which is marked off in a small, distinct lobe, (1) view of concave brachial valve, (2) view of convex ventral valve; Marginifera muricata, a shell of the Productus type with rather coarse ribs and small spines, (3) Squamularia perplexa, a rounded shell with prominent beaks, the surface marked by fine radiating spines and concentric growth lines, (5) brachial view, (6) side view; Composita subtilita, one of the commonest Pennsylvanian fossils, side view, (7); Pustula punctata, a large Productus type shell with very numerous small spines arranged in distinct concentric bands, (15) side view, showing convexity of ventral valve, (16) ventral view. Pelecypods: Nuculopsis ventricosa; small, smooth-shelled, with very convex valves, (10); Aviculopecten interlineatus, a small scallop with prominent concentric ridges (13). Trilobites: Griffithides scitulus, a rolled up specimen (8) showing head shield, (9) side view. [Also available as a larger Adobe Acrobat version, 2.4 MB.]

Typical fossils of the Cherokee and Marmaton formations.

Marmaton Formation

[Note: Named from Marmaton River, eastern Kansas (Haworth, 1898, p. 92, 94).]

The Marmaton formation, in striking contrast to the underlying Cherokee shale, contains a number of well-defined members which have been traced the entire length of the formation outcrop across the state. Between the, limestones are persistent shale members. Although differentiated almost entirely on a physiographic basis, the Marmaton formation is a natural lithologic unit and has a fauna which is sharply distinct, both from that of the underlying Cherokee and from that of the beds of the succeeding Missouri group (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, pp. 74-75). Since no break in sedimentation or marked change in lithologic character occurs within the formation as here defined, and since the fossils of the Marmaton are a unit, there seems to be little or no basis, so far as Kansas is concerned at least, for dividing the Marmaton into two formations as has been done in Missouri. [Note: The formations in the Missouri report corresponding to the Marmaton formation are the Henrietta formation below, and the Pleasanton formation above (Hinds and Greene, 1915).]

The outcrop of the Marmaton formation appears as a broad band twenty to thirty miles wide, trending in a direction from northeast to southwest across southeastern Kansas. It is the most important surface formation in Labette, Crawford and Bourbon counties. In this district the Cherokee is buried a relatively slight depth, so that drilling operations are inexpensive.

The average thickness of the Marmaton is about 300 feet to 400 feet. The entire thickness is present, of course, only toward the west, border of the belt outcrop, where the upper members of the formation have not been removed by erosion.

The Marmaton is characterized by an abundance of invertebrate fossils, at least sixty new species being introduced at the very base of the formation. On account of its extraordinary abundance in some of the limestones of the Marmaton and its relative absence from the higher beds of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas, the coral Chaetetes milleporaceus (plate III) may be regarded as one of the most striking paleontologic features of the formation. This species which is marked by the almost microscopic size of the individual corallites forms colonial growths of remarkable size, some of them three or four feet in diameter. Other common fossils in the Marmaton are Squamularia perplexa, Marginifera muricata, Axophyllum rude, Fistulipora nodulifera, and Griffithides scitula.

The Marmaton formation includes eight members of alternating limestone and shale.

Fort Scott limestone member

[Named for Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas (Swallow, 1866, p. 25).]

At the base of the Marmaton is the Fort Scott limestone, comprising a lower limestone bed, 5 to 18 feet thick, a thin but persistent intermediate shale bed 7 to 8 feet thick, and an upper limestone bed 10 to 12 feet thick. The total average thickness of the member is thus about 30 feet. The Fort Scott limestone appears, at the surface in a narrow band at the east edge of the Marmaton belt of outcrop, and extends from the south border of the state near Chetopa and Oswego to the east state boundary in the vicinity of Fort Scott. It forms a prominent escarpment almost the entire distance. In places the top of the limestone. is marked by a long dip slope which extends miles to the west. It has been determined that24 the Wheeler sand in the Cushing district, the Oswego sand in the Bartlesville pool, and possibly certain sands in the Glenn pool, are at the horizon of the Fort Scott limestone member (Shannon and Trout, 1915, p. 86).

Labette shale member

[Named from Labette County, Kansas (Haworth, 1898).]

The Labette shale lies between the Fort Scott limestone and the succeeding Pawnee limestone, its thickness ranging from 20 to 60 feet in Kansas and to more than 120 feet in northern Oklahoma. The formation consists of clayey and sandy shales, which grade locally into somewhat shaly sandstone.

Pawnee limestone members

[(Swallow, 1866, p. 9)]

The Pawnee limestone is a massive, rather fine-grained limestone haying an average thickness of about 45 feet where completely developed. A maximum thickness of 52 feet has been observed in Kansas (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, p. 83-84). It is exposed in a narrow zone from a point west of Chetopa to the east Kansas border in the vicinity of Fulton. The Pawnee limestone may be distinguished readily from the underlying Fort Scott limestone by its massive bedding and its large content of iron. The Pawnee limestone is distinctly less fossiliferous than the Fort Scott.

Bandera shale member

[Named from Bandera, Bourbon County, Kansas (Adams, Girty, and White, 1903, p. 32).]

The Bandera shale is a rather thick, somewhat lenticular member, blue to black in color. It measures from 60 to 120 feet in Kansas, but according to, observations in northern Oklahoma it is much thinner there. Near Oolagah the Bandera disappears and the Pawnee and Altamont limestones come together, forming the Oolagah limestone of Oklahoma geologists, or the "big lime" of drillers. The Bandera shale outcrops in a zone three to eight miles in width, which reaches from the south part of the state in the vicinity of Altamont northeastward to the vicinity of Prescott. As a whole the shale is rather argillaceous, but there are gradations to sandy shale, shaly sandstone or pure sandstone. Quarries for flagstone are operated at various points along the outcrop. Some of the oil and gas sands of Kansas are at this horizon; and the Peru sands of the Dewey-Bartlesville field in Oklahoma have been referred to this member (Shannon and Trout, 1915). Coal is locally important in the Bandera shales, being mined near Hammond.

Altamont limestone member

[Named from Altamont, Labette County, Kansas (Adams, 1896, p. 22).]

The Altamont limestone is a fairly well-defined horizon extending from the western counties of Missouri across Kansas and a considerable distance into Oklahoma. According to Haworth and Bennett (1908) it has a maximum thickness of 10 feet, decreasing in places to no more than 3 or 4 feet. In northern Oklahoma it is described as having an average thickness of about 30 feet (Shannon and Trout, 1915, p. 87). The Altamont limestone is a rather hard, massive, highly siliceous limestone, blue to bluish gray in color. It is especially characterized by the abundance of the fossil Squamularia perplexa. The Altamont forms a prominent escarpment throughout the greater extent of its outcrop.

Nowata shale member

Above the Altamont limestone is a thick, persistent shale member which outcrops in a narrow strip from Pleasanton southward to Parsons and Edna and into Oklahoma. It appears that the correct name for this member is the Nowata shale from the name given by Ohern in Oklahoma (Ohern, 1910, p. 23). The name Walnut shale given by Haworth and Bennett (1908, p. 86) is not available for this division, as it had previously been employed to designate a formation in the Cretaceous of Texas. The average thickness of the shale is about 70 feet. The width of the outcrop zone varies from one mile to six or eight miles. The physical properties of the Nowata shale are essentially the same as those of associated shale members. Production of oil or gas is not reported from this horizon.

Lenapah limestone member

[(Ohern, 1910, p. 25)]

A thin but persistent limestone bed which has been called the Lenapah member, succeeds the Nowata shale. It has an average thickness of 8 to 10 feet in Kansas and is prominently exposed on both sides of Verdigris river at the south line of the state at Coffeyville. According to Haworth and Bennett (1908, p. 87), it occupies a zone 7 to 8 miles wide along Pumpkin creek and its tributaries in northeast Labette County, To the north it is much thinner. The name Coffeyville limestone is inapplicable to this horizon inasmuch as the name had earlier been used for a very different stratigraphic division.

La Cygne shale member

A thick, persistent member at the top of the Marmaton formation, consisting of a variety of shales and intercalated sandstones, with some thin, discontinuous beds of limestone is here termed the La Cygne shale. The average thickness of the shale is about 125 feet, but in the vicinity of Blue Mound, Boicourt and LaCygne a thickness of 150 feet has been observed. The La Cygne shales are valuable on account of their content of heavy beds of sandstone and limestone at different places. The oil-producing sands of the Rantoul, Paola and other districts in eastern Kansas, belong in part at least to this horizon. The name Pleasanton shale, which has previously been used for this member in Kansas reports, is not correctly applied. This name was given to a larger division. The new term here employed is taken from the town of La Cygne in Linn County.

Missouri Group

[Named from northwestern Missouri (Keyes, 1893, p. 85)]

The Missouri group, comprising the upper or barren portion of the "Coal Measures," resembles the upper half of the Des Moines group lithologically, but differs from that group as a whole in the greater persistency of its individual members and in containing more limestone, less sandstone, and much less coal. It is sharply distinguished from the Des Moines by faunal characters and at least in certain areas is limited below by an unconformity. From an economic standpoint the Missouri group is much less important than that underlying it, since it contains but little coal, or, so far as known, oil or gas.

The formations of Missouri age comprise much the larger portion of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas. Their outcrops form a broad band in a north-south direction across the state immediately west of the Des Moines beds. The west boundary of the group is an irregular line trending almost due south from Marshall County to Cowley County.

The total estimated thickness of the Missouri group in central Kansas, based on observations of the surface outcrops, is more than 2,000 feet. However, the formations become somewhat thinner toward the northwest and west, as indicated by deep drilling. The Missouri group in southeastern Kansas has a thickness of approximately 1,500 feet.

The lithologic character of the Missouri group is indicated by the generalized columnar sections, figures 4 and 5. Here, as well as in the lower part of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas, shale is quantitatively much the most important rock type, but limestone forms a very essential and prominent part of the group because of the persistency of the limestone members and their pronounced effect on topography. In the lower portion of the Missouri group limestone comprises approximately one-half the section. Sandstones are locally very thick and massive, but in general their lateral extent is not great.

Figure 4—Generalized section of the Kansas City, Lansing and Douglas formations of the Missouri group of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas.

Generalized section of the Kansas City, Lansing and Douglas formations of the Missouri group of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas.

Figure 5—Section of bluff at Kansas City, showing succession of limestones and shales. (U. S. Geol. Survey.)

Section of bluff at Kansas City, showing succession of limestones and shales.

On the basis of lithologic character and the contained fossils, the Missouri group has been divided into five formations. These, in their order from bottom to top, have been given the following names: Kansas City, Lansing, Douglas, Shawnee, Wabaunsee. Each of these formations will be described briefly.

Kansas City Formation

[Named from Kansas City, Mo. (Hinds and Greene, 1915, p. 23)]

At the base of the Missouri group is the Kansas City formation, which may be differentiated readily as a lithologic and faunal unit from other parts of the Pennsylvanian system in Kansas. Its outcrop forms a somewhat irregular but clearly defined belt trending slightly west of south from the vicinity of Kansas City to Montgomery County. It has been traced also a considerable distance beyond the borders of the state into Missouri and Oklahoma. The total thickness of the Kansas City formation varies from 200 to more than 300 feet, the thickness at Kansas City being about 225 feet (see fig. 4). As observed at its type locality, more than half of the formation consists of limestone; contrasting sharply with most of the associated formations. Shale members of the Kansas City are argillaceous or calcareous, but in some cases are black and slaty. There is very little sandstone in the formation, although thin beds occur locally. The Kansas City formation is one of the best-defined stratigraphic horizons in the eastern part of Kansas. As indicated in the table of formations, nine members of alternating limestone and shale. are included in the Kansas City formation.

From the standpoint of the fossils which are contained in the Kansas City formation there appear to be three subdivisions, the first including the beds below the Drum limestone. the second composed of the Drum, and the third including the members above the Drum limestone. The lower part of the Kansas City formation is chiefly distinguished faunally from the subjacent Marmaton beds by the appearance of a considerable number of new species which become common. Among these may be mentioned Chonetes verneuilianus, Spiriferina kentuckiensis, Conocardium parrishi, Schizodus wheeleri, Pharkidonotus percarinatus, and Lophophyllum distortum (see plate IV). The Drum limestone, which is more or less oolitic, contains a fauna which is very different from those of other parts of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas. It is dominantly composed of mollusks which occur both in great variety and extraordinary numbers. Among the most common and interesting of these are representatives of the genus Pseudomonotis, which is commonly an element only of the Permian faunas. The upper part of the Kansas City formation contains a very interesting crinoid fauna, which has been studied especially in the vicinity of Kansas City. The large coral Campophyllum torquium and many of the common brachiopods of the Pennsylvanian are numerically very abundant in this part of the formation.

Plate IV—Typical fossils of the Kansas City formation. Corals: Lophophyllum distortum, a slender, straight horn coral with thin walls and a small central axis or pseudocolumella, 19; Campophyllum torquium, a robust coral which in some instances grows more than a foot in length, extremely abundant in some Kansas limestones, 2. Crinoids:, Cromyocrinus kansasenais, 11; Eupachycrinus verrucosus, 12, calyces of robust species. Bryozoans: Septopora biserialis, one of the lace pattern type, 18. Brachiopods: Orbiculoidea convexa, a primitive but unusually large round shell with a conical point, 1; Derbya crassa, a flat shell with radiating ribs which is very common in some beds, 3; Hustedia mormoni, a small form with coarse ribs and prominent beaks, 4 ventral valve, 5 dorsal valve; Spiriferina kentuckiensis, distinguished by its coarse ribs, fine concentric surface lines and shape, view of hinge line 6, ventral valve 7; Chonetes verneuilianus, marked by a deep, angular depression on the ventral valve, 10., Pelecypods: Pseudomonotis hawni, a somewhat irregular shell with ribs of unequal size, 13; Schizodus wheeleri, nearly smooth but with a prominent ridge extending from, the beak, 14; Myalina swallovi, a small, very oblique shell with the beaks at the sharp point, 16 view along hinge line, 17 side view, Gastropods: Pharkidonotus percarinatus, a roughly knobbed shell coiled in a single plane, side view 15. [Also available as a larger Adobe Acrobat version, 2.8 MB.]

Typical fossils of the Kansas City formation.

Hertha limestone member

[Named from Hertha, Neosho County, Kansas (Adams, Girty, and White, 1903, p. 35).]

The Hertha limestone, erroneously called Bethany Falls limestone in earlier Kansas reports (Haworth, 1898; Haworth and Bennett, 1908) is a resistant, heavy-bedded, gray, crystalline limestone, varying in thickness from a maximum of 22 feet, measured at Uniontown (Haworth and Bennett, 1908) to nothing where it disappears to the south in the vicinity of Mound Valley. In Missouri the Hertha limestone has a thickness ranging from 4 to 18 feet (Hinds and Green, 1915, p. 116). In some places the limestone is quite ferruginous but elsewhere it bleaches to a nearly pure white. Because of its resistence to erosion it forms a well-marked escarpment above the soft La Cygne shale of the Marmaton formation.

Ladore shale member

[Named from Ladore, Neosho County, Kansas (Adams, 1914, pl. 1).]

The Ladore shale is a clayey or sandy shale which grades locally into shale, limestone or sandstone. It immediately overlies the Hertha limestone and appears at the surface to the west of the Hertha escarpment. The thickness of the Ladore ranges from less than 3 feet near Kansas City to a maximum of more than 40 feet near the southern border of the state. Towards the extreme south where the Hertha limestone is absent the Ladore shale rests directly upon the La Cygne.

Bethany Falls limestone member

[Named from Bethany Falls, Harrison County, Missouri. This member has been called Mound Valley limestone in earlier Kansas reports. (Broadhead, 1868, p. 320).]

Overlying the Ladore shale is the persistent Bethany Falls limestone, which has been traced from the southern part of Kansas across Missouri and into Iowa. As observed in the north part of its outcrop, this member consists of two main beds—the lower, a thick, massive, somewhat loosely cemented, unfossiliferous limestone, which locally has a somewhat oolitic texture: and the upper, a rather thin-bedded, fossiliferous limestone. The formation is light or dark gray in color. Its thickness is about 22 or 23 feet at Kansas City, but farther south it is gradually smaller, until in the vicinity of Mound Valley it is less than 4 feet, and farther south it disappears.

Galesburg shale member

[Named from Ladore, Neosho County, Kansas (Adams, 1914, p. 18).]

The Galesburg shale, overlying the Bethany Falls limestone, is a clay shale formation which changes locally to sandy or bituminous shale. The thickness of the member ranges from 5 to 6 feet, as observed in the vicinity of Kansas City, to 60 feet in northwestern Labette County.

Winterset limestone member

[Named from Winterset, Madison county, Iowa (Tilton and Bain, 1897,p. 517-519). This member was called Dennis limestone in an earlier report (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, p. 93).]

This member is a blue, thin-bedded limestone with buff shaly partings. Locally it is distinctly cross-bedded, and in its upper portion is characterized by an abundance of chert. The large amount of chert is perhaps the most prominent feature of the member, distinguishing it from other limestones of the formation. The main chert beds at Kansas City belong to the Winterset member. In the southern portion of the Winterset outcrop in Kansas the chert is so abundant that the cherty debris from the weathering of the member covers considerable areas. The chert is dark blue or nearly black and contains an abundant molluscan fauna. The thickness of the Winterset is nearly 30 feet at Kansas City and farther to the northwest in Missouri it reaches a maximum of 40 feet. Toward the southwest in Kansas, however, the formation becomes thinner, decreasing to less than 5 or 6 feet in the vicinity of Cherryvale. The member forms a prominent escarpment between Erie and Shaw.

Cherryvale shale member

[Named from Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas (Haworth, 1898, p. 483.)]

Above the Winterset limestone is a rather thick argillaceous or calcareous shale, called the Cherryvale shale. Locally, as in the vicinity of Coffeyville, the Cherryvale shale is very sandy, but at Cherryvale it is a good clay shale and is extensively used in the manufacture of brick. Thin lenticular limestones occur in the shale toward the north. The maximum, thickness of the Cherryvale, as recorded in the vicinity of its type locality, is about 125 feet, from which the thickness decreases northward to about 25 feet.

Drum limestone member

[Named from Drum Creek, Montgomery County, Kansas (Adams, Girty, and White, 1903, p. 87).]

Succeeding the Cherryvale shale is the easily recognized Drum limestone, which is characterized by a rather persistent oolitic texture and by a distinctive fauna. Locally the Drum limestone is variable both in composition and texture. Notwithstanding its individual peculiarities which make it a desirable key horizon, the member does not have a great stratigraphic value on account of its extreme variability in thickness and its local discontinuity. The Drum limestone is recognized in the bluffs at Kansas City, where it is known familiarly as "the oolite," and is very prominent in southeastern Kansas in the vicinity of Coffeyville and Independence, but it has not been traced throughout its entire outcrop. The Drum ranges in thickness from a very few feet, or nothing at all, to as much as 80 feet, measured in Montgomery County.

Chanute shale member

[Named from Chanute, Neosho County, Kansas (Haworth and Kirk, 1894, p. 109).]

Overlying the Drum limestone is a rather variable composite member which has been given the name Chanute shale. In the vicinity of its type locality at Chanute it is a fine clay shale excellently adapted for brick manufacture, but at Independence and other points the shale is very sandy, East of Neosho river the Chanute is represented by a sandstone which constitutes the main mass of the hills, and is exactly equivalent to the clay shales but a few miles distant. Locally the Chanute shale contains much bituminous matter and thin coal beds. In the vicinity of Thayer the coal is sufficiently important to be worked. The outcrop of the Chanute member is wide at the south and narrow at the north. Its thickness, as observed in Kansas, varies from 25 to 100 feet, the maximum occurring toward the south, where this member apparently coalesces with the shale member overlying the Iola. In the vicinity of Kansas City, Mo., the Chanute is represented by a succession of alternating shale and thin limestone beds which are rather persistent locally.

Iola limestone member

[Named from Iola, Allen County, Kansas (Haworth and Kirk, 1894, p. 109).]

The top member of the Kansas City formation is the Iola limestone, a light gray, somewhat crystalline, massive member which is very easily identified. It is, in general, rather free from joints; making it possible to obtain large blocks in quarrying. The Iola limestone is very resistant to weathering agencies and forms a well-defined escarpment along the line of its outcrop from Chanute and Iola northeastward to Kansas City. The escarpment crosses into Missouri at the southeast corner of Johnson county, but turns westward up Kansas river to De Soto, and toward Leavenworth on Missouri river as far as Walcott. Between Iola and Kansas City the member has a rather uniform thickness of 30 to 40 feet, but to the southwest and the northeast it becomes very much thinner or disappears. At Neodesha it is only one foot six inches thick (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, p. 99). The Iola limestone is one of the best-marked stratigraphic horizons in Kansas.

Lansing Formation

[Named from Lansing, Leavenworth County, Kansas (Hinds and Greene, 1915, p. 28).]

A very important faunal break, clearly defined by Beede and Rogers (1908, p. 318) and Girty (cited by Beede and Rogers, 1908, p. 115), occurs at the top of the Kansas City formation. Accordingly the beds above the Iola limestone which were formerly included in the Pottawatomie formation have been separated from the underlying beds and named from typical outcrops in the vicinity of Lansing, near Leavenworth, the Lansing formation (Haworth, 1898, p. 94; Haworth and Bennett, 1908, p. 75). Faunally, the Lansing formation appears to be continuous with the succeeding Douglas formation, but as the latter differs lithologically from the Lansing, and has been defined in the literature for some time, it seems desirable to recognize both formations.

The Lansing formation has an approximate thickness of 140 feet in the north, but is somewhat less thick toward the south, where the shale is less important, The formation appears at the surface in a rather narrow band, which crosses the state in a direction slightly west of south from Leavenworth to the vicinity of Sedan, in Chautauqua County. Four subdivisions, two prominent limestone members and two shale members, are recognized.

The fossils of the Lansing are particularly noteworthy on account of the appearance of a number of new species which are very abundant in the upper Pennsylvanian of Kansas and the adjoining region. Among these may be mentioned especially Chonetes granulifer, Enteletes hemiplicata, and the abundant Fusulina group (see plate V). Many of the common Pennsylvanian fossils may be found in the rocks of this formation.

Plate V—Typical fossils of the Lansing, Douglas, Shawnee and Wabaunsee formations. Protozoans: Fusulina sp., examples of the small spindle-shaped fossils which are so common in many of the Pennsylvanian and Permian limestones of Kansas, 5, 6. Corals: Lophophyllum profundium, a small horn coral with very prominent central axis or pseudocolumella which in broken or weathered specimens may project from the calyx, 4. Echinoids: Archeocidaris aculeata, example of a sea-urchin spine which is common in some beds. Bryozoans: Fenestella shumardi, a delicate colony of the lace pattern type, natural size 17, enlarged fragment showing the apertures of the individual zooids, 17a; Rhombopora lepidodendroidea, a slender branching growth with the almost microscopic apertures of the individual animals on all sides, each aperture rhombic in shape, 15. Brachiopoda: Productus cora, a very common species with fine, somewhat flexuous ribs, ventral valve 2, dorsal valve 3; Chonetes granulifer, a gently concavo-convex shell with very fine radiating; ribs and short diverging spines along the hinge line, found in extraordinary numbers in some formations in Kansas, ventral valve 1; Meekella striatocostata, a shell of somewhat peculiar outline with large, rounded ribs marked by a pattern of finer ones, dorsal view 7; Spirifer cameratus, one of the most widely distributed and easily recognizable shells in the Pennsylvanian, its plications or ribs grouped into little bundles, dorsal view 9; Enteletes hemiplicata, a globose shell with small rounded beaks, coarse ribs which unite at the edges of the shell in a very jagged, zigzag line, and the surface marked by fine striations which radiate from the beaks, dorsal view 10, front view 11, side view 12; Hustedia mormoni, side view 16. Pelecypods: Limopteria longispina, a peculiar bivalte with a very long anterior wing and forward projection of the shell, side view 13; Edmondia aspenwallensis, a rather evenly convex shell with concentric, ridges, side view 14. [Also available as a larger Adobe Acrobat version, 2.5 MB.]

Typical fossils of the Lansing, Douglas, Shawnee and Wabaunsee formations.

Lane shale member

[Named from Lane, Franklin County, Kansas (Haworth, 1895, p. 277).]

At the base of the Lansing formation is the Lane shale, having an average thickness of 50 to 60 feet, but reaching a maximum of about 150 feet towards the south. The lower part of the member is clayey and the upper part somewhat sandy, but there are local variations. As a whole the member is rather free from sand.

Plattsburg limestone member

[Named from Plattsburg, Clinton County, Missouri. The name Allen limestone has been applied to this member in earlier Kansas reports (Broadhead, 1868, p. 817-827).]

This important limestone in the lower portion of the Lansing formation was defined by Broadhead, as early as 1862, from exposures at Plattsburg, Mo., and although the name "Allen" limestone has been used by this survey in its early reports, it seems that there is no question of the priority of the term here employed. The Plattsburg is a fairly persistent horizon, but locally variable in its features. It is rather highly crystalline and massive and contains many fossils, the fauna being particularly interesting on account of its many fossil sponges. It differs from ordinary limestone in that it breaks very readily into small angular fragments. It is cherty in the upper part. The Plattsburg varies notably in thickness, ranging from 4 or 5 feet in some areas to 75 or 80 in others. To the northwest in Missouri and to the southwest in Oklahoma it gradually thins and disappears.

Vilas shale member

[Named from Vilas, Wilson county, Kansas (Haworth, 1898, p. 51).]

Separating the two limestone members of the Lansing is the lenticular Vilas shale, which ranges in thickness from 125 feet at a point south of Vilas to little more than 5 feet in the bluffs of Fall river at Neodesha, and to almost nothing farther south. It is notably thin also to the northeast, being only 5 feet at Kansas river and 3 or 4 feet in parts of northwestern Missouri. Where the Vilas shale is very thin, a single escarpment is made by the overlying Stanton limestone and the underlying Plattsburg, but where the shale is very thick the Stanton is weathered back four or five miles from the outcrop of the Plattsburg. The Vilas shale is both sandy and clayey, and in places includes black slaty shale, with thin coal seams.

Stanton limestone member

[Named from Stanton, Miami county, Kansas (Swallow, 1866, p. 75).]

The uppermost member of the Lansing formation is the Stanton limestone, composed of massive limestone beds separated by thin slaty beds. The limestone beds vary in thickness from 6 or 8 feet to 20 feet, and the persistent shale partings, which are rather rich in bituminous matter, from 4 to 8 feet. The total thickness of the Stanton varies from 20 to 40 feet, but it maintains a rather uniform development from point to point. With the underlying Plattsburg member, the Stanton limestone forms one of the most prominent escarpments in eastern Kansas. It is traced with readiness from the southern border of the state, near Caney, to Neodesha, Altoona, and Benedict on Kansas river, and from Kansas City northeastward across Missouri. West of the escarpment there is an extensive dip slope, forming a zone from five to twenty miles in width. The dip slope of the Stanton west of Olathe, covered by a thin. mantle of shale, extends all the way to Lawrence, a distance of nearly thirty miles.

Douglas Formation

[Named from Douglas County, Kansas (Haworth, 1898, p. 93).]

The Douglas formation is essentially a body of shale and sandstone with an important capping limestone member and a very thin, nonpersistent limestone in its middle portion. The outcrop of the formation is a northeast-southwest zone from 5 to 30 miles in width, limited by the escarpments of the Stanton and Oread limestone members. The limestone at the top of the formation, though one of the thickest and most persistent limestones in the Kansas Pennsylvanian, comprises but a small portion of the entire formation. The shale members of the Douglas are variable in composition and texture, changing markedly from point to point. In the north there is a predominance of clay shale, which is sufficiently pure locally for use in brick manufacture, but toward the south the proportion of sand is notably, increased. In places here the shale is replaced by thick, massive sandstone. Coal occurs at one or two horizons in the formation but is not of great thickness and has been worked only locally.

The thickness of the Douglas formation ranges from about 350 feet to 550 feet, 425 feet being an average. Like the subjacent formation, the Douglas includes four members of alternating shale and limestone.

The fossils of the Douglas formation are not very unlike those of the Lansing formation; although a number of species have been found in the Iatan limestone which are not reported from the lower beds: Limopteria longispina, a common form in the Douglas, does not occur above the Oread limestone. Productus cora, a long-ranging Pennsylvanian species, is very abundant in the Oread as are also species of Fusulina. A very interesting slender Fusulina resembling F. longissima is abundant in the lower Oread.

Weston shale member

[Named from Weston, Platte County, Missouri. The name Le Roy shale has been used by Haworth for this member (Keyes, 1899).]

The lowest member of the Douglas formation is the Weston shale, named from typical outcrops on Missouri river above Leavenworth. It consists of clayey and sandy shale and ranges in thickness from 60 to 100 feet. The shale is soft and weathers readily, a noticeable escarpment being formed where the overlying Iatan limestone member is well developed.

Iatan limestone member

[Named from Iatan, Platte County, Missouri (Keyes, 1899).]

Overlying the Weston shale is the thin Iatan limestone, called by Haworth and Bennett (1908, p. 106) the Kickapoo limestone. In the north the Iatan is a dark to light gray limestone, thin and irregularly bedded or massive in character, weathering in large blocks. In Doniphan county, where it is persistent and well developed, it has a thickness of 15 feet. At Lawrence and Ottawa it is but 3 or 4 feet thick and at points to the south is scarcely recognizable. However, it has, been identified in southern Kansas in the vicinity of Independence and elsewhere, where it forms a rather persistent horizon.

Lawrence shale member

[Named from Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas (Haworth and Kirk, 1894, p. 110).]

The Lawrence shale consists of 150 to 300 feet of argillaceous shale and sandstone, containing in places coal seams and thin but rather persistent beds of limestone. The member is thinnest in the north and thickest in the south, where it is very sandy. Coal in the Lawrence shale is of commercial Importance in Franklin and Atchison counties. In Platte County, Missouri, there are interesting deposits of sandstone of Lawrence age which lie unconformably. upon the lower members of the Douglas and the upper members of the Lansing formations (Hinds and Greene, 1915, p. 170). These sandstones with the underlying basal conglomerates apparently represent deposits in ancient river channels, and indicate that the region in which they occur was lifted above sea level during Lawrence time. That the emergence was local and temporary is shown by the limited distribution of the sandstones and by the presence of the Oread limestone above them.

Oread limestone member

[Named from Mount Oread, Lawrence, Kansas. The State University is located on Mount Oread. (Haworth, 1894, p. 123, 124)]

The Oread limestone, consisting of three distinct limestone beds separated by shale beds, is one of the most important divisions of the Upper Pennsylvanian in Kansas. The lower limestone bed is buff brown or gray in color, massively bedded, and 8 to 12 feet in thickness. Upon it rests 20 to 60 feet of blue or drab shale. The middle limestone of the Oread, which succeeds, has a uniform thickness of less than 3 feet, but is traced from the-north to the south limits of the state. The overlying shale is in part blue-gray and in part black, bituminous, and thinly bedded. It has a total thickness of 6 to 15 feet. The upper division of the Oread is a thin-bedded, cherty, buff limestone, 10 to 25 feet thick. It has uneven, wavy shale partings and is readily distinguished from the thick-bedded, essentially non-cherty, lower Oread limestone. The average thickness of the entire member is 50 to 70 feet. It is resistant to erosion and forms a prominent escarpment extending entirely across Kansas.

Figure 6—Section of rocks exposed near Eudora and Lawrence, Kan. (U. S. Geol. Survey.)

Section of rocks exposed near Eudora and Lawrence.

Shawnee Formation

[Named from Shawnee County, Kansas (Haworth, 1898, 4. 93, 94).]

Immediately overlying the Douglas formation is the Shawnee formation, consisting of alternating limestone and shale members, most of which are traceable entirely. across the state. Quantitatively the shales are much the most important, constituting more than three-fourths of the entire formation. The thin shale members are predominantly argillaceous or calcareous, the thick members arenaceous and micaceous. Black-slaty shale and thin coal seams are found at a number of horizons in the formation. The Shawnee formation crops out in a broad belt extending from Doniphan and Atchison counties on the northeast to central Chautauqua County on the southwest. Subdivisions of the formation are well developed and persistent throughout the area of the Shawnee outcrop, but may be studied to best advantage where exposed in their rtype localities along Kansas river. The maximum thickness of the Shawnee is slightly more than 500 feet, but at certain localities it is possibly not more than 375 or 400 feet. It has been suggested by the paleontologic study of Beede and Rogers (1908, p. 845, 846) that the upper boundary of the Shawnee formation should be drawn at the base of the Scranton shale instead of at the base of the succeeding Burlingame limestone; but such a change in classification has not been adopted formally. Nine subdivisions of alternating shale and limestone are recognized in the Shawnee formation.

The fossils of the Shawnee, while including many of the common Pennsylvanian forms of the lower formations, are differentiated by the appearance of more than a dozen new species and the disappearance of nearly forty species which are found in the Douglas and lower formations. Fusulina secalica is very abundant in the Lecompton limestone. Chonetes granulifer and spines of Archeocidaris are very common in some of the limestones. An interesting crinoid fauna, in many respects resembling that found in the Chanute shale of the Kansas City formation, is present in the Howard limestone. Some of the common fossils of the Shawnee formation are among those illustrated in plate V.

Kanwaka shale member

[Named from Kanwaka township, Douglas County, Kansas (Adams, 1902, p. 45).]

The basal member of the Shawnee formation is the Kanwaka shale, which consists of 50 to 100 feet of clayey shale and sandstone. Thin seams of coal have been observed, but they have no commercial value. In northern Kansas the shale is calcareous and locally includes thin beds of impure limestone, but toward the south in it is very sandy and may well be termed sandstone. The name Elgin sandstone has been suggested (Haworth, 1898, p. 64) for this phase of the member on account of exposures near Elgin in southern Chautauqua County. Here the sandstone is nearly 140 feet thick but toward the south in Oklahoma it becomes thinner. The Elgin sandstone is probably the "1,000-foot" sand of the Ponca City field and the "970-foot" sand of the Newkirk pool, in both of which areas it contains oil (Shannon and Trout, 1915, p. 90).

Lecompton limestone member

[Named from Lecompton, Douglas County, Kansas (Bennett, 1896).]

The Lecompton member consists of limestone and thin shale beds having a total thickness of 15 to 30 feet. The interbedded. shales of the Lecompton increase in thickness toward the south. The limestone is yellowish gray in color and weathers to yellowish brown. It is fossiliferous, containing especially large numbers of Fusulina and sea-urchin spines. The beds are somewhat soft, and are sometimes reported by drillers as chalk rock.

Tecumseh shale member

[Named from Tecumseh, Shawnee County, Kansas (Beede, 1898, p. 27-34).]

Arenaceous shales, or shaly sandstone ranging in thickness from 40 to 70 feet, overlie the Lecompton and are traced from Kansas river to the southern border of the state. This member, called the Tecumseh shale, weathers readily and a prominent escarpment is produced by the succeeding limestone.

Figure 7—Section showing the succession of rocks in the plateau south of Topeka, Kan. (U. S. Geol. Survey.)

Section showing the succession of rocks in the plateau south of Topeka.

Deer Creek limestone member

[Named from Deer creek, Shawnee County, Kansas (Bennett, 1896).]

Succeeding the Tecumseh shale are three limestone beds with thin intervening shale beds, which are grouped to form the Deer Creek limestone. The average thicknesses of the limestones from bottom to top, as measured along Kansas river are, respectively, 6, 2, and 5 feet, while that of the shales is 10 and 4 feet, making a total thickness of 20 to 30 feet for the member. The limestones of the Deer Creek are buff or gray in color and rather thin-bedded. The upper bed is cherty and locally has an oolitic texture. In southern Kansas the Deer Oreek limestone has a bluish color and is much jointed and broken.

Calhoun shale member

[Named from Calhoun, Shawnee County, Kansas, Kansas (Beede, 1898, p. 29).]

The Calhoun shale overlying the Deer Creek limestone is a rather argillaceous shale, 50 feet thick near its type locality on Kansas river, but thinner both to the north and south. It contains thin beds of bluish limestone in some localities.

Topeka limestone member

[Named from Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas (Bennett, 1896, p. 116, 117).]

The Topeka limestone comprises 20 to 25 feet of blue and buff limestone with interbedded shales, all of which, with the exception of a rather persistent layer of black slaty shale, weathers to a deep buff color. The Topeka limestone does not form a prominent escarpment, but takes part in the dip of the Deer Creek limestone.

Severy shale member

[Named from Severy, Greenwood County, Kansas (Haworth, 1898, p. 67).]

The Severy shale, overlying the Topeka limestone, varies in thickness from 40 to 60 feet. It is mainly an argillaceous shale, but is locally quite sandy and the upper part is in places very rich in bituminous matter. The Severy shale member contains coal beds of good grade from 8 to 20 inches in thickness in the vicinity of Osage county, Kansas, and in parts of northwestern Missouri.

Howard limestone member

[Named from Howard, Elk County, Kansas (G.I. Adams, quoted in Haworth, 1898, p. 67).]

Lying a few feet above the top coal of the Severy shale at Scranton, Carbondale, Osage City and Topeka is the Howard limestone member, consisting of two main limestone beds separated by 1 or 2 feet of shale. The thickness of the whole member is but 3 to 7 feet, and its persistency is remarkable. The Howard is often reported in drilling as solid limestone.

Scranton shale member

[Named from Scranton, Osage County, Kansas (Haworth and Bennett, 1908, p. 112).]

At the top of the Shawnee formation is the Scranton shale member, 160 to 200 feet in thickness. The lower part of the Scranton is prevailingly clay and sandy shale or sandstone; the upper part contains a number of shales. The Scranton shale is easily eroded, making prominent the succeeding escarpment of the Burlingame limestone.

Figure 8—Generalized section of the Shawnee and Wabaunsee formations of the Missouri group of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas.

Generalized section of the Shawnee and Wabaunsee formations of the Missouri group of the Pennsylvanian in Kansas.

Wabaunsee Formation

[Named from Wabaunsee County, Kansas (Prosser, 1895).]

The Wabaunsee formation, comprising the upper portion of the Pennsylvanian system in Kansas, has been defined to include the limestones and shales above the Howard limestone and underlying the well-defined horizon of the Cottonwood limestone. It is recognized that this grouping traverses a marked faunal change at the base of the Elmdale member (Beede and Rogers, 1908) and that the lower limit of the formation does not coincide with the faunal transition indicated by Beede and Rogers at the base of the Scranton shale. It will doubtless be necessary to reclassify the stratigraphic divisions near the top of the Pennsylvanian and the base of the Permian. However, in this report, which is not primarily concerned with problems of stratigraphy, it does not seem wise to depart from the grouping previously employed by this survey and the United States Geological Survey.

The outcrop of the Wabaunsee, limited on the west by the prominent "Flint Hills" escarpment of the Cottonwood and Wreford limestones, appears as a north-south band across the state, wide at the north, but narrowing markedly toward the south. Important westward extensions occur up the valleys of Kansas and Cottonwood rivers. The thickness of the Wabaunsee is about 500 feet. Eight members, consisting of rather thin limestones and thick shales, are recognized as distinct stratigraphic units in Kansas.

The fauna of the Wabaunsee formation is distinguished by the introduction of fossils which are closely related to the succeeding Permian period. Indeed, the transition from the upper beds here included in the Wabaunsee into the lower part of the Permian is so gradual that there is lack of agreement as to the precise line of division. Edmondia aspenwallensis, Hustedia mormoni, Derbya crassa, Chonetes granulifer, Fusulina, and a number of other fossils are extremely common in parts of the formation. Some of the limestones and shales contain a very interesting and abundant molluscan fauna. Certain beds are almost wholly made up of Fusulina. One of them, the Americus limestone, weathers readily and the loose shells of this little form may be scooped up in almost any quantity.

Burlingame limestone member

[Named from Burlingame, Osage county, Kansas (Haworth, 1898, p. 72).]

At the base of the Wabaunsee is the persistent Burlingame limestone, 7 to 12 feet in thickness, composed of two main limestone layers, yellow or brown in color, separated by shale. It is a massive ledge which forms a prominent escarpment readily traced across, the state.

Willard shale member

[Named from Willard, Shawnee County, Kansas (Beede, 1898, p. 81).]

The Willard shale is a rather thin member immediately above the Burlingame limestone, composed of blue and yellow shale, with a small amount of friable limestone. Its thickness in Lyon County, where it is typically developed, is about 45 or 55 feet.

Emporia limestone member

[Named from Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas (Kirk, 1896, p. 80).]

Above the shale thus defined is about 9 feet of hard blue limestone of sufficient stratigraphic importance to receive recognition as a distinct member under the name Emporia limestone. The Emporia consists of two limestone beds, the lower 3 feet in thickness and the upper 2 feet, separated by about 4 feet of shale. It has been traced from Greenwood County across Lyon and Wabaunsee counties into Shawnee County. On account of its characteristic blue color it was called, the "Emporia blue limestone" by Smith in his account of the geology of Lyon County (Smith, 1901, p. 190; Smith, 1902, p. 2, 10).

Admire shale member

[Named from Admire, Lyon County, Kansas (Adams, Girty, and White, 1903, p. 53).]

A thick succession of shale and sandstone with thin beds of limestone and coal is included In the Admire shale member. The total thickness of the member in Lyon County is approximately 300 feet. About 70 feet above the base of the Admire are five thin limestone beds called by Smith (1902) "the Emporia system," and mapped by Adams (1903, p. 52) as the Emporia limestone. Some confusion has therefore arisen with regard to the true character of the Emporia member. It appears that the higher limestones are nonpersistent, not even extending across Lyon County, and are hardly entitled to rank as a distinct subdivision. The upper portion of the Admire consists of sandy shale and soft, massive sandstone.

Americus limestone member

[Named from Americus, Lyon County, Kansas (Kirk, 1896).]

Overlying the Admire shale is a thin, rather persistent limestone 8 feet in thickness. Along its outcrop, at the edge of the escarpment which it forms over the Admire, it is characteristically broken into large blocks which are strewn down the slope beneath.

Elmdale shale member

[Named from Elmdale, Chase County, Kansas (Prosser and Beede, 1902, p. 718).]

The Elmdale shale consists of approximately 130 feet of variegated shale and thin interbedded limestone, the shale predominantly yellow to bluish in color, the limestone gray. About 30 feet above the base of the member is a very friable limestone bed composed almost entirely of the wheat-grain-like shells of the minute protozoan Fusulina, and about 30 feet higher there is a conspicuous yellow limestone. The Elmdale shale has been studied especially in the region west of Cottonwood Falls, but has been recognized to a considerable distance north and south.

Neva limestone member

[Named from Neva, Chase County, Kansas (Prosser and Beede, 1902, p. 718).]

Succeeding the Elmdale shale are two beds of massive bluish-gray limestone, each a little more than 4 feet in thickness, separated by about 2 feet of shale, which form together the Neva limestone member. The limestone makes a prominent bench and breaks off at the outcrop in large rectangular blocks with rough, jagged surfaces. They weather to a very light color, which has been well likened to the color of bleached bones. The Neva limestone becomes thinner to the north, but has been traced into Oklahoma far south of the Kansas line. The southern portion of the Neva member in Oklahoma is, however, represented by sandstone (Beede, 1914, p. 7, 21). The Neva limestone, or perhaps the Elmdale shale, should be regarded as the base of the Permian, according to Beede (1914, p. 21).

Eskridge shale member

Named from Eskridge, Wabaunsee County, Kansas (Prosser and Beede, 1902, p. 718).

Between the Neva and the succeeding prominent limestone at the base of the Permian is the Eskridge shale member, 30 to 40 feet in thickness. The shale is green, brown or yellow in color, and being easily weathered like other shale members, is represented at its outcrop by a gentle, grass-covered slope. (Fig. 10.)

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Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
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