Friday, August 06, 2010

New publication: The Permian System in Kansas

The Kansas Geological Survey has published, "The Permian System in Kansas," as Bulletin 57.

[right, Permian red beds near Medicine Lodge, Barber County, Kansas; the light-colored “rim rock” is probably the Medicine Lodge Gypsum Member of the Blaine Formation above the red beds of the Flower-pot Shale; from photo files of the Kansas Geological Survey]

Rocks of Permian age in Kansas were first recognized in 1895, and by the early 21st century the internationally accepted boundary between the Permian and the Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian Subsystem) was recognized in Kansas at the base of the Bennett Shale Member of the Red Eagle Limestone. The upper boundary of the Permian is an erosional unconformity that is overlain by rocks of Cretaceous age. Currently accepted stratigraphic nomenclature for the Permian of Kansas recognizes the Wolfcampian, Leonardian, and Guadalupian Series, and the lithostratigraphic formations within each of these series reflect a wide spectrum of depositional environments. Summaries of the lithofacies, thicknesses, depositional environments, and source
areas of, and for, the rocks in each series provide a basis for inferring the history of the Permian in Kansas as currently understood. Fluctuations from shallow-marine to terrestrial environments associated with climate change as a result of the waning of Gondwana glaciers and latitudinal shifts are recorded in the Permian rocks of Kansas. Economically these Permian rocks have been, and are, an important source of hydrocarbons, salt, gypsum, building stone, aggregate, and ground water.

This report on the Permian System in Kansas is “a work in progress” and future multi-disciplinary studies of chrono- and sequence stratigraphy, climate history, structural aspects, sediment transport, and diagenesis will further enhance our understanding of the end of the Paleozoic in Kansas.

The Permian System in Kansas
by R. R. West, K. B. Miller, and W. L. Watney

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