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Kansas City geology is favorable to secondary development of subsurface space created by mining for commercial activities. Upper Pennsylvanian shales and lime-stones, including the Bethany Falls limestone, which is the principal source of limestone products for western Missouri, comprise the bedrock. Activities like ware-housing, controlled temperature food storage, manufacturing, and office and laboratory space, have been relocated below the surface to the extent that Kansas City has become the world leader in secondary subsurface space utilization.

Problems, most importantly, floor heave from volume changes caused by oxidation of sulfides in black shales, present limitations to growth of underground usage. Many surface facilities throughout the region are similarly affected, and measures used to counter heave problems in both surface and subsurface facilities have proved only moderately successful.

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