Manhattan

Manhattan, Kansas, is a college town (Kansas State University) nestled at the confluence of the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers. It is the ideal hub for exploring the surrounding Flint Hills tallgrass prairie ecoregion. It is also a good place to look for fossils from the Carboniferous and Permian periods. The Flint Hills are themselves composed of alternating layers of limestone and shale (flint), possibly recording climatic changes as rivers altered their ebb and flow and, consequentially, where and how sediment was deposited along Pangea's west coast. While limestone forms from the organic remains of invertebrates and their calcarious bodies, shale forms from softer muds and silt. Pangea's shallow continental shelf, before plunging into the Panthalassic Ocean, was the geographical equivalent to North America's west. The Flint Hills (including Manhattan) was a part of this warm, shallow seacoast during the Carboniferous and Permian. Although dozens of shale and limestone layers can be found to compose the Flint Hill's Council Grove and Chase Groups, only about a half dozen of these formations are exposed in and around Manhattan:

Council Grove Grp. - Red Eagle Limestone Fm. - Glenrock Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Red Eagle Fm. - Bennett Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Red Eagle Limestone Fm. - Bennett Shale Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Red Eagle Limestone Fm. - Howe Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Grenola Limestone Fm. - Sallyards Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Grenola Limestone Fm. - Burr Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Beattie Limestone Fm. - Cottonwood Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Beattie Fm. - Florena Mbr.

Neva Fm.

Red Eagle Fm. - Bennett Mbr.

Grenola Limestone Fm. - Neva ls Mbr.

Grenola Limestone Fm. - Burr ls Mbr.

Beattie Fm. - Florena Mbr.

Eskridge Shale Fm.

Eskridge Fm.

Council Grove Grp. - Grenola Limestone Fm. - Burr Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Grenola Limestone Fm. - Neva Limestone Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Grenola Fm. - Neva Mbr.

Council Grove Grp. - Eskridge Shale Fm.

Foraker Limestone Formation

Boardman, DR, II, MK Nestell. 2000. Outcrop-based sequence stratigraphy of the Council Grove Group of the Midcontinent. In KS Johnson (ed.) Platform carbonates in the southern Midcontinent, 1996 symposium: Oklahoma Geological Survey Circular 101: 275-306. LINK

Miller, KB. 2011. Geology of the Kansas Flint Hills: Ancient Ice Ages, Sea Levels, and Climate Change. Fieldtrip Guidebook. 2001 Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation: Manhattan, Kansas, USA. LINK

Prosser, CS. 1902. Revised classification of the upper Paleozoic formations of Kansas. The Journal of Geology 10(7): 703-737. LINK

PBDB Navigator. Paleobiology Database. https://paleobiodb.org/navigator/