Excellent roadcut exposures are available at the intersection  of Anderson Ave. and Scenic Drive.  This locality displays the stratigraphic interval from the top of the Neva Limestone Mbr. of the Grenola Limestone through the Bader Limestone.  Of special interest is the Eskridge Shale and the Beattie Limestone.  Detailed descriptions of this stratigraphic section can be found in Miller and West (1993).

    The Eskridge is a variegated mudstone with extensive paleosol formation, interrupted by two intervals of shallow marine calcareous facies.  Joeckel (1991) described the same pattern of paleosol development and marine flooding in  southern Nebraska.  The lower paleosol interval of the Eskridge is characterized by the spectacular development of stacked horizons of elongated carbonate nodules (Fig. 23).  These are locally tightly packed and take on the appearance of a prismatic ped structure.  The carbonate precipitation was likely controlled primarily by roots (ie. the nodules represent rhizocretions), but the influence of burrowing cannot be discounted (Fig. 24).  Lungfish and other vertebrate burrows have been recognized at other localities within the lower Eskridge.  The thin limestone beds that overly this paleosol interval are characterized by a molluskan fauna dominated by pectinid and myalinid bivalves.

Figure 23. Lower Eskridge Shale displaying paleosol horizons with prominent elongated carbonate nodules overlain by thin shallow marine molluscan limestones.

Figure 24. Close-up closely packed elongated carbonate concretions associated with paleosol horizons of the Eskridge Shale. These were likely influenced by roots or possibly burrows.

    Above the Eskridge is the prominent Beattie Limestone.  The transgressive surface at the base of the Beattie is marked by a well-developed intraclastic bed with phosphate nodules, bone fragments, and skeletal debris.  The Beattie Limestone has been intensively studied across the Kansas outcrop belt (Imbrie, 1955; Laporte, 1962; Imbrie et al., 1964).  The Cottonwood Limestone member has a lower bioclastic facies with abundant algal-coated grains and an upper fusulinid facies.  Overlying the Cottonwood is the Florena Shale Mbr. with abundant Derbyia and Neochonetes brachiopods.


    The Scenic Drive roadcuts provide a continuous exposure from the Bader Limestone of the Council Grove Group through the Wreford Limestone of the Chase Group.  This locality provides an excellent opportunity to see five uninterrupted cyclothems and their internal meter-scale cycles.  The intraclastic beds marking the cyclothem-bounding transgressive surfaces are easily recognized.  A detailed description of this complete stratigraphic section is provided in Miller and West (1993).  The brief discussion below will focus on the interval from the Crouse Limestone through the Wreford Limestone.

    The Crouse Limestone has been interpreted as recording a shallowing-upward transition from a shallow subtidal to a supratidal environment (West & Twiss, 1988).  The lower Crouse is a wackestone to packstone characterized by pyramidellid gastropods and bivalves.  By contrast, the upper Crouse is a thin-bedded, horizontally laminated, dolomitic micrite with small evaporite molds and pavements of ostracodes.

Figure 25. Lower paleosol horizons of the Blue Rapids Shale. In this photo can be seen the reddish B horizon with carbonate caliche nodules and rhizocretions, and the C horizon below. The paleosol is sharply truncated at the top by laminated calcareous shales deposted by a marine flooding event.

    Above the Crouse is the Blue Rapids Shale with three stacked paleosol profiles each truncated by a flooding surface (Fig. 25).  These paleosols show again the common pattern of calcic paleosols overlain by vertic profiles.  Separated from the Blue Rapids by the thin Funston Limestone is the Speiser Shale.  The Speiser at this locality consists of a series of stacked and truncated paleosol profiles giving the outcrop a striking "barber pole" appearance (Fig. 26).  These red and green stacked horizons are followed by a greenish-gray vertic profile with well-developed pseudoanticles and large root molds.  Interestingly, when the Speiser is traced to the east toward the axis of the Nemaha Anticline it thins and the lower stacked paleosols are replaced by a single well-developed profile.  This suggests that the Nemaha was a stable topographic feature at the time with periodic sediment influx burying soils in slightly lower areas.  Lateral changes in the Speiser and Blue Rapids Shales are illustrated in Miller and West (1998).  Importantly, in both cases the meter-scale cycles can still be traced over at least tens of kilometers.

Figure 26. The upper image shows the Speiser Shale with the lower “barber pole” interval of thin truncated paleosols overlain by a vertic paleosol. The undulatory pseudoanticlines of the vertic paleosol are well displayed in the lower image. The vertic paleosol is overlain by the cherty Three Mile Limestone member at the base of the Wreford Limestone.

    The facies of the Wreford Limestone have been studied in detail by Hattin (1957) along the full extent of the Kansas outcrop belt.  The Wreford has regionally prominent cherty limestone members at its top and bottom.   These limestones contain diverse marine faunas including productid brachiopods, bryozoans and crinoids.  The origin of the chert remains unresolved, although some appears to have replaced burrow structures and some has replace evaporite nodules.  The latter are represented by isolated nodules of radial length-slow chalcedony (Folk & Pittman, 1971).  Between the two cherty limestones is the Havensville Shale Mbr., an interval of gray to yellowish-gray mudstone (Fig. 27).  This unit is noteworthy for two reasons.  Firstly, very well-developed boxwork structures are  present near the middle of the unit (Fig. 28).  These structures are rather common within the Lower Permian section and usually appear to record periods of subaerial exposure under rather evaporitic conditions.   Secondly, overlying the boxworks is an interval with abundant large cauliflower-shaped geodes.  These appear to be the result of the replacement of anhydrite nodules (Chowns & Elkins, 1974).

Figure 27. The Havensville Shale Member and overlying Shroyer Limestone Member of the Wreford Limestone.

Figure 28. The middle of the Havensville Shale Member displaying well-developed boxwork structures. These calcite-filled fractures are likely related to arid evaporitic conditions.


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