Collecting seismic data

Geophysics and Hazards; Exploration Services

Geophysical methods measure earth properties to characterize features such as rock layer geometry, sinkholes, and earthquakes.

An accessible version of the documents on this site will be made available upon request. Please contact the KGS editor at to request the document be made available in an accessible format.

Kansas Earthquakes

The KGS has compiled datasets and resources to help people learn about seismicity, including earthquakes somehow created or triggered by actions of humans.

A seismometer being installed a network station site.

Seismic Reflection

Seismic reflection technology has been applied to characterizing the shallow geology at locations that are environmentally contaminated; in detecting shallow subsurface voids that might be related to sinkholes, tunnels, or construction; and in mapping faults or bedrock surfaces, among other uses.

KGS seismic work at a sinkhole in Pawnee County

Water-Level Measurement Project

Since 1996, Exploration Services has managed the acquisition of data related to changes in water level and associated saturated thickness in the state's aquifers.

Rick Miller collecting water level measurements

Surface Wave Research

Surface waves have been used in two distinct ways at the KGS. Vs Profiling, or shear-wave velocity profiling, evaluates the stiffness of subsurface material. Near-surface imaging is a method used to detect anomalies below the ground.

Example of surface wave data collected in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Forensic and Archaeology Research

The forensic and archaeology geophysics program uses non-invasive, near-surface geophysical methods to identify shallow subsurface targets.

Blair Schneider and Madison Rice collecting GPR data at an archaeology site.

Gravity and Magnetic Data

The potential-field database at the Kansas Geological Survey contains 72,000 line-km (45,000 line-mi) of regional aeromagnetic data and 62,606 gravity-station measurements covering Kansas.

Combined gravity and magnetic map of Kansas.

Recent Publications

  • Open-File Report 2023-18 (pdf)

    Time Lapse, High-Resolution Seismic Reflection Imaging (Line 1) of a Void in the Hutchinson Salt Beneath #1 Knackstedt Disposal Well, McPherson County, Kansas, by R. Miller, S. Peterie, D. Borisov, and J. Ivanov

  • Open-File Report 2023-19 (pdf)

    Report on Feasibility Study of Regional Arbuckle Properties in South-Central Kansas: Now and Planning for the Future, by S. Peterie, D. Newell, R. Miller, and R. Mandel

  • Open-File Report 2023-20 (pdf)

    Passive Seismic Characterization of High Priority Salt Jugs in Hutchinson, Kansas: November 2021, by E. P. Knippel, J. Ivanov, S. L. Peterie, R. D. Miller, B. C. Bennett, B. Wedel, C. Umbrell, O. Jones, and A. Hoch