The Kansas Journey. Chapter 1: Home on the Range. History and Geography. History tells us about the people who came before us while geography introduces the natural features of Earth. Geography studies location, place, regions, movement, and the interaction between humans and the environment.
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Chapter 1: Home on the Range
A Kansas prairie.
Kansas was covered by a shallow ocean of salt water, the Permian Sea.
The creatures that lived in the sea died and organic material decayed and compressed to form limestone. Deposits of natural resources like coal, oil, and natural gas formed.The Permian Sea
This is a picture of the Permian sea floor.
The Flint Hills are formed with limestone and shale deposits.
Visitors of the National Preserve can see land much like early American Indians and explorers did.
400 different plants, 150 species of birds, 39 reptiles and amphibians, and 31 species of mammals live in the preserve.Tallgrass prairie National Preserve
Cheyenne Bottoms is one of the few natural lakes in KS. But, it no longer is completely natural.
Water levels of Cheyenne Bottoms have to be altered. Half of the bird species of the US can be found here on their seasonal migrations. These birds include endangered whooping crane, peregrine falcon, and bald eagles.Water
Characterized by tall or short grasses.
Big and Little Bluestems are most common.
The grasses protect the soil from erosion.
Kansas is home to 1,600 varieties of blooming plants.
Fires are part of the life cycle of the prairie.
Today they are set by man.
700 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals can be found in Kansas.
3,500 different Insects can be found in Kansas.
Only 1% are harmful to plants.
Many insects help pollinate flowers.
The most destructive insect is the grasshopper.
In the 1870’s grasshoppers destroyed most of the Kansas crops.
Wind chill is a dominant feature of Kansas climate. How the temperature feels is affected by the speed of the wind and the moisture in it.
Precipitation is measuring the amount of moisture that reaches the ground from rain, snow, sleet, hail, and mist. The average is around 40 inches in eastern KS, and less than 18 inches in western KS.Climate
Kansas is divided into 11 physiographic regions.
High Plains – Flatlands formed by sediments
Red Hills – Hills red with iron oxide.
Glaciated Region – Glaciers that once covered part of the US.
Ozark Plateau – Oldest surface rock in the state.
Arkansas River Lowlands – Formed of rocks from the Rocky Mountains.
Wellington-McPherson Lowlands – Grass covered sand dunes. Underground water and salt.
Cherokee Lowlands – Fertile soil.Regions of Kansas
Smoky Hills – Sandstone, limestone, and chalk.
Flint Hills Uplands – Erosion of limestone and shale formed rolling hills.
Osage Cuestas – East facing cliffs with gentle slopes to the west.Regions of Kansas
Today we change the environment to meet our needs by removing oil, gas, coal, zinc and other resources with the help of technology.Interaction of Humans and the Environment