Public Information Circulars

Our nontechnical Public Information Circular series covers a variety of popular and timely issues related to the geology and natural resources of Kansas. Free print copies are available, though we may charge a nominal fee for large quantities of a single title.


From shell fragments in a chunk of gravel to spectacular specimens in museum displays, Kansas fossils contain important evidence about the history of life on earth.

Crinoid fossils


Though we seldom feel them, earthquakes are not rare. Every 24 hours, more than 1,000 earthquakes occur around the world. KGS scientists employ a variety of methods to study earthquake activity in Kansas.


Rocks and Minerals

Kansas has an amazing history recorded in its rocks, minerals, and fossils. Each rock layer, mineral, and fossil provides clues to past environments — seas, swamps, forests, grasslands, and glaciers — that covered all or part of the state at one time or another.



KGS scientists have an important role in investigating and distributing accurate information about geologic processes and human activities that alter the environment. Landslides, though not common in Kansas, are potentially serious. Radon gas, a carcinogen, comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium found in soil, rocks, and groundwater.

Section of McDowell Creek Road damaged by a landslide after heavy rains

Oil & Gas

The KGS is a repository for many types of data obtained in the process of petroleum exploration and production. Our collections include drill cuttings and cores from thousands of wells, well logs obtained from boreholes, and voluminous other data accumulated through more than 100 years of drilling. KGS researchers evaluate and interpret data and publish information for the public.

Oil field storage tanks

Industry & the Environment

KGS research and data help individuals and industry make informed decisions about difficult issues and explore practical ways to manage some of today's greatest challenges.

Average temperature map

Climate and the Environment

Kansas was once literally on the forefront of climate change when a continental ice sheet extended into the northeast corner of the state 700,000 years ago. More recently, drought remains a costly threat both environmentally and economically.

Dry channel of Cimarron River

Surface Water

Surface water—in lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds, and playas and other wetlands—is our most visible source of freshwater, but it makes up just one-fifteenth of the 1 percent of useable freshwater on Earth. Surface water is more abundant in the eastern part of Kansas, where higher annual precipitation replenishes rivers, lakes, and wetlands on a fairly regular basis.

Dakota Sandstone at Wilson Lake

Public Resources

The KGS collects and disseminates information and tools to help Kansans understand and use the state's natural resources.

geologic  map