James S. Aber, Susan E. Aber, and Michael J. Everhart Illustrated by Chelsea Feeney
Flyover Country no more. Fossils, badlands, and caprocks are scattered through the prairie, all there to be found with Roadside Geology of Kansas as your guide. A billion years of geologic history left zinc and lead deposits, salt beds, and oil buried beneath layers of limestone and shale, deposited in the many seas that inundated the continent. Finally, glaciers reconfigured stream drainages, left enormous boulders scattered about, and provided the windblown silt for excellent cropland. Nineteenth-century paleontologists flocked to the chalk outcrops of western Kansas to collect fossils of dinosaurs, mosasaurs, giant turtles, and more. Settlers used the rock they found at the surface to build houses, bridges, water towers, and churches, as well as stone fence posts that wouldn’t burn during prairie wildfires. Guides for sixteen roads, including all the state’s scenic, historic, and national byways, point out prominent landmarks such as Mushroom Rock, Pawnee Rock, Coronado Heights, and Mount Mitchell, along with more hidden geologic delights, such as kimberlite pipes, Rock City, and the source for Kansas amber. Informative sections detail the history of fossil collection in Kansas and the state’s native-stone architecture, and colorful photographs, including many taken from aerial kites, illuminate the geologic history for all to see.
318 pages, 6 x 9, paperback ISBN 978-0-87842-715-4