Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Fossil soil (paleosols) in the Dakota Formation (Cretaceous) in Central Kansas provide insight into environmental conditions at the time of soil genesis. Therefore, incorporation of paleopedology into the overall study of this important formation is highly valuable. Detailed lithologic descriptions of the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) #1 Jones, Kenyon #1, and Gaydusek WII cores, plus five measured sections, provide a starting point whereby these paleosols can be identified and systematically classified. The aforementioned cores and measured sections are actually only eight specific locations within a six county region in central and north central Kansas. To expand reach of the study, geochemical data resulting from laboratory analyses of nearly 100 samples collected from the three cores and two of the measured sections cerate rough geochemical profiles of these individual locations. The laboratory analytical data are consider “the truth” whereby spectral gamma-ray data collected from the core locations, specifically thorium, uranium, and potassium values, are used to compare and contrast geochemistry between the core. Simple graphical tests demonstrate that spectral gamma-ray derived geochemical data when weighed against laboratory analytical geochemical data are not compatible. Additionally, a series of “Harker” variation diagrams using concentrations of the most persistent oxides (SiO2, TiO2, Al2O3, and K2O) show that geochemistry does not significantly discriminate between “soil” (samples from identified paleosol intervals) and “non-soil” samples. Spectral gamma-ray logs are plentiful, but found to be ineffective in the virtual reality identification and correlation of paleosols.


Ken Neuhauser

Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2006 Scott W. Cumming


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