Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The Fairport, Kansas 7.5 Minute Quadrangle covers a portion of northeastern Ellis County and northwestern Russell County and lies within the Smoky Hills Physiographic Province. The Quaternary deposits in the quadrangle include Recent (Holocene) alluvium, undifferentiated Illinoian and Wisconsinan loess, Illinoian high terrace deposits, and Wisconsinan low terrace deposits. The gravels contained in the river alluvium are derived from the Miocene Ogallala Formation and Cretaceous rock. Loess occurs principally in upland areas and on some high terraces. In addition, the terraces are stratigraphically equal to those of the Smoky Hill River Valley to the south. The Cretaceous bedrock exposed in the quadrangle includes: the Fort Hays Limestone Member of the Niobrara Chalk; the Codell Sandstone, Blue Hill Shale, and Fairport Chalk members of the Carlile Shale; the Pfeifer Shale, Jetmore Chalk, Hartland Shale, and Lincoln Limestone Members of the Greenhorn Limestone; and the Graneros Shale. They combine to represent 425 feet (130 meters) of exposed bedrock. Economically important subsurface units include the Shawnee and Lansing-Kansas City (Pennsylvanian), the Simpson (Ordovician), and the Arbuckle (Cambrian-Ordovician). The Lansing- Kansas City and Arbuckle groups represent the most economically important units in the area. Pre-Mississippian structures located in the quadrangle include the Ellis Arch and Russell Rib. Post-Mississippian structures include the Central Kansas Uplift and the Fairport Anticline, which is asymmetrical, the west side being steeper. Two distinct set s of joints were measured in the Fort Hays Limestone in the quadrangle. The dominant joint set, set I strikes N 78o W whereas set II strikes N 36oE, with an average dihedral angle of 65o. The joints are all vertical, or nearly so, and form a conjugate shear system that resulted from nearly horizontal compressive deformation suffered during the Late Laramide Revolution (Early Tertiary). The joints in the Fairport Quadrangle are responsible for the rectangular drainage pattern in the area. The regional dip of the Cretaceous strata in the quadrangle is to the north or slightly east of north and is nearly horizontal. Locally, dips vary and may occur in any direction. The discovery oil well in western Kansas, the C. C. Oswald Well No. 1, is located along the crest of the Fairport Anticline in the quadrangle, and produces from the Lansing-Kansas City oil-bearing horizon.


Richard Zawerksi

Date of Award

Summer 1988

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1988 Nils W. Thompson


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