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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Manhattan in Riley County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Geology at Konza

 
 
Geology at Konza Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
1. Geology at Konza Marker
Inscription.

The image on this plaque depicts your view of the Konza Prairie and the Kansas River Valley. Looking from west to southwest, the view is typical of the Flint Hills in their natural state. Due west is the floodplain of the Kansas River and to the southwest, along the horizon, are two low rounded hills. The difference in elevation from the grass covered hilltops to the wooded stream valleys is about 400 feet. Given the opportunity to explore the landscape of the image, you would find clues to the underlying geology of the Flint Hills. A hike, along a stream valley or an eroded hillside, would allow you to see layers of exposed sedimentary rocks: limestones (some with chert/flint) and mudrocks. These exposed rocks are between 240 and 290 million years old. Geologists refer to rocks of this age as Permian. Originally described in the 1800s, the name "Permian" is taken from similar rock formations of the southern Ural Mountains located near the town of Perm, Russia.

Careful study of fossils and related features show that the region's sedimentary rocks were formed from sediments deposited on the bottom of an ancient shallow sea. The climate of this ancient marine environment was very dry, much like parts of the Persian Gulf during the twentieth century. Limestone layers (A, B, C, and E) and some thin mudrock layers record these marine

Strata on Geology at Konza Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
2. Strata on Geology at Konza Marker
conditions. Thicker mudrock layers (D) provide evidence of ancient soils. These ancient soils developed when sea level lowered and exposed the area to terrestrial processes in the present day climate, thick mudrock layers weathered (decompose or disintegrate) easily. The weathering of these layers form the hillsides and valleys of the view you now see. Limestones, with their numerous layers of chert/flint, are more resistant to weathering than the softer mudrock layers. It is the limestone layers which cap the hills or create prominent ledges in the hillsides. The chert/flint, found near the surface, is harder than steel, making it difficult to plow and cultivate the soil. It is this distinctive geologic feature which preserves the native conditions of the region and gives the region its name: THE FLINT HILLS.
 
Erected 1997 by The Nature Conservancy and the Kansas State University Division of Biology.
 
Location. 39° 7.95′ N, 96° 32.347′ W. Marker is near Manhattan, Kansas, in Riley County. Marker is on Pillsbury Drive (Kansas Route 177) 5 miles north of Interstate 70, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at the Konza Prairie-Kansas River Valley Interpretive Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3700 Pillsbury Drive, Manhattan KS 66502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Konza Prairie-Kansas River Valley Interpretive Center image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
3. Konza Prairie-Kansas River Valley Interpretive Center
At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Konza Prairie (here, next to this marker); The Tallgrass Prairie (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Manhattan's Union Pacific Depot - Revived (approx. 3.2 miles away); Yuma Street (approx. 3.2 miles away); Change & Growth (approx. 3.2 miles away); Colorado Street (approx. 3.3 miles away); The American Veteran (approx. 3.5 miles away); Riley County Courthouse (approx. 3.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Manhattan.
 
Also see . . .
1. Konza Prairie. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. K-177 Overlook Park. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas State University. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Flint Hills Geology. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Geology, Geomorphology and Geohydrology of the Flint Hills. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. EnvironmentPaleontology
 
View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
4. View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park
View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
5. View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park
View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
6. View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 209 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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