Kansas Geological Survey

Kansas Geological Survey – Researching Energy, Water, Geo

The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) is a research and service organization at the University of Kansas that studies and provides information on the geologic resources of Kansas. KGS has been serving the state since 1865.

The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) is an indispensable scientific organization that studies and provides data on the geology and natural resources of Kansas.

For over 150 years, the KGS has been exploring the state through extensive fieldwork, research projects, data gathering, and dissemination of findings.

Read on to learn about the KGS’s critical focus areas, techniques, participation in the National Groundwater Monitoring Network, and wealth of resources they provide on Kansas geology and beyond.

Explore the State

The KGS explores the geology of Kansas through extensive field studies and research projects. Scientists at KGS gather data and make new discoveries about Kansas’ natural resources, subsurface geology, groundwater, energy sources, minerals, and more.


A major focus area for KGS is research on energy resources in Kansas, including oil, natural gas, coal, and emerging sources like geothermal. KGS provides mapping and assessments of energy potential across the state. This aids energy companies in responsible development.


KGS conducts studies on Kansas’ groundwater and surface water resources. They monitor supply levels and water quality issues. KGS data helps inform sustainable water resource management.

Publications, Education and Information Dissemination

KGS disseminates its findings through public education, publications, presentations, and online data. Resources include maps, reports, books, workshops, websites, and custom research. These outputs benefit government, academia, industry, and the general public.


Experts at KGS study the composition, structure, minerals, and fossil content of rock units across Kansas. They produce detailed geologic maps and reports on Kansas’ unique geology. This benefits understanding natural resources, hazards, and land use.


KGS uses advanced geophysical techniques like seismic surveys, gravity studies, and magnetic field mapping to probe Kansas’ subsurface. This reveals deeper geology and aids oil/gas, groundwater, and mineral exploration.

Techniques of Data Collection

KGS uses field surveys, borehole logging, geophysics, remote sensing, lab tests, and data analysis to study Kansas’ geology and resources. Advanced techniques allow comprehensive data collection.

Site Classification

KGS classifies and documents key field sites with distinct geology. These include outcrops, cores, subsurface logs, and sampled locales. Site data aids geologic mapping and expands knowledge.

NGWMN Projects

KGS contributes to the USGS National Groundwater Monitoring Network (NGWMN) by collecting groundwater level and quality data for central U.S. aquifers. This is part of a national program.

Data Management

KGS maintains extensive databases, samples, and records from decades of geologic research in Kansas. Proper data management and digitization preserves institutional knowledge.

NGWMN Contact

To learn more about KGS participation in the NGWMN, contact the Kansas Geological Survey or the NGWMN program.

Site Selection

KGS scientists carefully select field sites for studying particular rock units, structures, or resources. Criteria includes exposure, accessibility, variability, and suitability to address research questions.

Agency Use of Monitoring Data

KGS groundwater monitoring data aids state and federal agencies in resource evaluation, contamination mitigation, supply sustainability, and hazard management.

Web Sites of Interest

Relevant web resources include the KGS website (www.kgs.ku.edu), Kansas Data Access & Support Center, U.S. Geological Survey, and state/national groundwater associations.

NGWMN Presentations

KGS researchers present NGWMN findings at national and regional conferences. Presentations communicate results, methodology, analysis techniques, and data applications.


For over a century, the Kansas Geological Survey has been a driving force in documenting Kansas’ diverse and resource-rich geology. Through field studies, lab tests, geophysics, data analysis, and educational outreach, the KGS produces critical data that informs responsible resource development, hazard management, land/water use policies, and our ever-evolving understanding of Kansas’ subsurface and terrain. The KGS exemplifies how targeted geological research can support a state’s growth and sustainability when findings are shared as maps, reports, presentations, and interactive web resources accessible to all.


What types of resources does the Kansas Geological Survey study?

The KGS researches energy sources, groundwater, minerals, geologic structures, fossils, and more across Kansas.

Who uses data and findings from the KGS?

Government agencies, researchers, industries, educators, students, and the general public benefit from KGS resources.

What techniques does the KGS use in its research?

Field surveys, borehole logging, geophysics, lab tests, remote sensing, and advanced data analysis.

How does the KGS share its research and data?

Through publications, presentations, educational resources, workshops, and interactive online data portals.

What is the NGWMN that KGS contributes to?

It stands for the National Groundwater Monitoring Network, a USGS program monitoring U.S. groundwater.

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