Blue Rapids in Marshall County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Oldest Rocks in Kansas
The Monument to the Ice Age
—Blue Rapids, Kansas —
The oldest rocks in Kansas can be found right here in Blue Rapids. They are called Sioux Quartzite, a metamorphosed red sandstone originally deposited as sand in riverbeds, buried, and made extremely hard by heat and pressure. This quartzite was formed over 1.5 billion years ago in what is now southern Minnesota. In Kansas, only meteorites are older.
Glaciers picked up pieces of Sioux Quartzite near Pipestone, Minnesota and brought them nearly 300 miles to northeastern Kansas.
Sioux Quartzite boulders were used by Blue Rapids residents for building materials and decorative hardscaping.
The rock called pipestone was once river mud. It was part of the same river system that had the sand that became the Sioux Quartzite. Pipestone is now the special claystone from which Native Americans carved pipe bowls.
Can you imagine something that is 1.5 billion years old?
Erected 2012 by George Callison and Concerned Blue Rapids Citizens and Organizations.
Location. 39° 40.895′ N, 96° 39.569′ W. Marker is in Blue Rapids, Kansas, in Marshall County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and 6th Street, on the left when traveling south on Main Street. Click for map.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gigantic Glaciers (here, next to this marker); Ice Age (here, next to this marker); War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Holm Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); Blue Rapids Public Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Blue Rapids Station Bell (about 600 feet away); Oldest Roundabout in Kansas (about 600 feet away); Historical Baseball Game (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Blue Rapids.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Blue Rapids revives Ice Age Monument. (Submitted on November 16, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Ice Age Monument dedicated (The Blue Rapids Historical Society). (Submitted on November 16, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. About Sioux Quartzite. (Submitted on November 16, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Environment • Paleontology •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 225 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.