Earthquakes, sinkholes, landslides, and environmental issues

Kansas Geological Survey scientists have an important role in investigating and distributing accurate information about geologic processes and human activities that alter the environment. Research results are accessible to policy makers and the public through KGS websites and publications, including public information circulars and geologic maps.


When an increasing frequency of earthquakes rattled south-central Kansas, starting in 2013, the KGS deployed technology to gather geologic information and pinpoint the cause, shared information with neighboring states, and helped state officials develop a response plan. Since then, the KGS has set up a permanent network of seismic stations to monitor earthquake activity throughout the state.


Sinkholes have been reported in at least a quarter of the 105 Kansas counties. KGS investigators determine the cause of sinkholes and identify additional areas that might be susceptible to collapse.


Though not a common problem in Kansas, the downhill slide of masses of soil and rock are potentially serious.

Environmental issues

KGS expertise provides a foundation for industry and state officials as they make decisions and formulate policy related to environmental issues and respond to potential problems.




Clockwise, from top left: Strip mine in Crawford County; large sinkhole in Wallace County; seismic survey equipment; acid mine drainage from an abandoned mine in Cherokee County; landslide and road damage in Riley County.