Geology of the Flint Hills, Kansas: Sea-level and climate changes in the Permian
Published:April 29, 2019
Karin Goldberg*, Keith B. Miller*, 2019. "Geology of the Flint Hills, Kansas: Sea-level and climate changes in the Permian", Exploring Extreme and Unusual Geology in the Stable Midcontinent: Field Excursions for the 2019 GSA South-Central, North-Central, and Rocky Mountain Sections Joint Meeting, Marcia K. Schulmeister, James S. Aber
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The Midcontinent Permian succession in Kansas shows a long-term trend from a monsoonal to semi-arid climate (early Permian) to an increasingly arid and evaporitic climate (late Permian), superimposed by higher-frequency variations that resulted in the alternating deposition of marine carbonates, shales, and paleosols. Within the high-frequency cycles, at least three different orders of subcycles can be recognized: (1) the cyclothems, interpreted as representing glacio-eustatic sea-level fluctuations driven by Milankovitch orbital modulations; (2) the carbonate-to-clastic facies patterns, interpreted as climate change from arid to monsoonal; and (3) the calcic to vertic paleosol profiles, possibly a reflection of increasing precipitation within a monsoonal regime, controlled by weak versus strong monsoons. This field trip focuses on the Lower Permian (Wolfcampian) succession exposed in the Manhattan area, Riley County, Kansas. Nearly continuous exposures display numerous cycles of sea-level change (“cyclothems”). Stacked paleosol horizons that are part of the Wolfcampian cyclothems also record climate changes, from arid/semi-arid to sub-humid/seasonal climates.
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Exploring Extreme and Unusual Geology in the Stable Midcontinent: Field Excursions for the 2019 GSA South-Central, North-Central, and Rocky Mountain Sections Joint Meeting
The flat-lying sedimentary strata of the North American midcontinent are typically thought of as uniform and predictable. However, midcontinent geology contains a record of exciting geologic events and processes. The papers in this volume examine four geologic phenomena associated with the continental interior: Pennsylvanian and Permian cyclothems, the origin of a massive Permian salt deposit, Cretaceous kimberlite intrusions, and Quaternary glacial geology. The guides cover processes and events that are unique to the geology of Kansas and highlight important economic and rich historical influences of these geologic features.