In the August issue of EARTH Magazine, explore some of geology's most historic images, and hear from experts about what made these depictions so valuable to the field and why they continue to be useful educational resources.
Geology is a part of our everyday lives, usually in ways we don't think about. Not anticipating the effect our activities may have on our natural surroundings and the effect geology may have on us can be expensive, both economically and environmentally. In Kansas, geologically related disasters cost businesses and individuals millions of dollars each year and endanger lives. Highways sink, buckle, or are displaced; houses slide down hillsides; buildings crack or are infiltrated by groundwater. Understanding the near-surface geology and incorporating geologic evaluations into planning processes can prevent many structural and environmental problems and keep people safe.
Geologic maps, the principal source of information about the geology and natural resources at or near the surface, are essential for evaluating natural resources, making economic decisions, and guiding public policy. The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) makes basic geologic information about the state available to the public through its county geologic mapping program. This circular explains what geologic maps are, how they are made, what they are used for, why they are valuable, and where to obtain them for Kansas.