Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


A GIS database was constructed for Morton County, extreme southwestern Kansas, on the Fort Hays State University Geographic Information System (GIS) with data layers representing roads, public land-survey system, railroad, pipelines, soil types, streams, contours, land use/land cover, Cimarron National Grassland boundary, digital ortho-photo quadrangles, surface geology, and paleontologic sites. Data were obtained from multiple sources: Morton County GIS Office, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Digital Line Graph data, Environmental Protection Agency Geographic Information Retrieval and Analysis System data and surface geology and paleontologic sites layers created from field data collected during the summer of 1995. All data were manipulated into a consistent format, and stored in the Kansas Coordinate System, South Zone based on the Lambert Conformal Conic Projection. Geologic mapping and paleontologic reconnaissance were conducted during May and June, 1995, for the Midway Southeast and Elkhart North 7.5 USGS quadrangle, within the Cimarron National Grasslands. The surface geology within the study area is dominated by Quaternary dune sand, alluvium, loess, and undifferentiated Quaternary: Tertiary Ogallala Group (and undated reworked Ogallala Group); and minor amounts of Triassic(?) Dockum Group(?). Seven fossil localities were found within Morton County, with five sites within the study area. All five of these fossil localities were within fluvial sand and gravel beds of the Ogallala Group above a distinct calcrete layer. The Ogallala Group was divided into two informal units: 1) undifferentiated Quaternary and Ogallala Group and 2) Ogallala sand and gravel limited to the fluvial beds from which all of the fossils were found. Taxa found within the Ogallala sand and gravel beds indicate an early Hemphillian Land-Mammal Age. Maps for 1) surfical geology, 2) legends for surficial geology, and 3) locations of paleontologic sites were completed for the US Forest Service, using GIS mapping capabilities that conformed to Primary Base Series (NAD 27) 7.5' quadrangles within the study area. A correlation of soil type to geologic unit shows that there is a strong relationship of specific soil types with geologic units.


Ken Neuhauser

Date of Award

Spring 1996

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1996 Kevin L. McNinch


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