Regions Of Kansas
BY: Isaiah Ellis
The rocks in the Smoky Hills, like those in the Osage Cuestas, were formed from sediment deposited on or near a sea floor. While the Osage Cuestas were formed earlier during the Pennsylvanian and Permian periods, the Smoky Hills were formed from later deposits in the Cretaceous Period.The Smoky Hills change from east to west. The eastern hills are capped with sandstone. This means the top layer of rock is sandstone with other layers, or beds, of rock underneath. The sandstone was formed from sediment carried by rivers into the shallow seas from the east. Mushroom Rocks, in Ellsworth County in central Kansas, are concretions of Dakota Formation sandstone, originally deposited during the Cretaceous Period, about 100 million years ago.
Many people still form their opinion on the Kansas by watching the movie “Wizard of Oz” which was not made in Kansas but made in Hollywood which they made Kansas look dry, hot, dusty, and flat which that is not true. The Ozark Plateau is a hilly and densely forested region. The limestone and flint in this region were formed during the Mississippian Period, 350 million years ago. They are the oldest surface rocks in the state.
Today the sea level is lower than during the Pennsylvanian and Permian periods and land in the area has been uplifted, or raised, by changes in the Earth. Lower sea levels and higher land caused the seas to retreat. The rocks formed from sediment deposited by the seas were then buried several thousand feet. Uplift and erosion have now exposed these rocks and formed hills, called cuestas.Cuestas have a steep slope on one side (an escarpment, the arrow in the photo below points to an escarpment) and gentler slopes on the other sides. Cuesta is the Spanish word for cliff.The Osage Cuestas are composed of several alternating layers of sandstone, limestone, and shale. Not all of the hills in the Osage Cuesta region are cuestas with escarpments. Rolling hills and flat areas also can be found. Like all regions in the state, the cuesta region has variety.This area was once covered with shallow seas. During the Pennsylvanian and Permian periods, about 230 to 310 million