Classification of Red Beds at Point of Rocks, Morton County, Kansas

A Historical Review

Authors

  • Robert S. Sawin Kansas Geological Survey

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/cres.v0i262.11841

Keywords:

keyword

Abstract

The age of red beds exposed below the bluff-capping Ogallala Formation at Point of Rocks in Morton County, Kansas, has been disputed since they were first recognized in the late 1800s. Over the years, nearly 25 maps and reports have variously classified the strata as Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, or Permian, creating an interesting history of speculation and stratigraphic nomenclature. Many of the interpretations relied on the indirect method of comparing lithologies to similar exposures in surrounding states, but none were in-depth studies. Until recently, the Kansas Geological Survey has considered the rocks to be Jurassic based on Zeller (1968), the currently recognized stratigraphic guide and chart for Kansas. A comprehensive study by Smith et al. (2015)--using outcrop descriptions, subsurface information, and detrital zircon data--constrained the age of the red beds at Point of Rocks, assigning them to the Guadalupian Big Basin Formation, the uppermost Permian unit in Kansas.

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Published

2016-08-26