ES 351 Webpage

Geospatial Analysis Group Project
Area of Review (AOR), Conway, Kansas

Zach Faber and John Waechter

The webpage project was created for the Geospatial Analysis course at Emporia State University.

Table of Contents


This project consists of looking at an area of review (AOR) around Conway, Kansas that deals with a natural gas storage facility. The attached picture shows a one mile radius around the disposal well there at Conway. The wells are found within Hutchison salt formation.

Conway AOR (pdf file).


It is unknown to many people that the storage of liquid petroleum gas (including gasoline, natural gas, diesel fuel, butane, propane, and other petroleum products) occurs underground. In Kansas, the Hutchinson salt formation occurs at a shallow depth and is extremely thick. This salt layer provides the perfect conditions for storing petroleum products due to its low reactivity and capabilities of preserving materials. But how is this salt formation used to store petroleum? The first step toward underground storage of petroleum products is to drill a well through the salt formation. Next, water is injected into the well in order to “wash out” the salt formation and form a cavern. This new gap created in the salt formation is new referred to as a storage cavern. Liquid petroleum products can now be injected into the well and stored without degrading (

However, the procedure for creating this cavern produces a large amount of saline water called brine. Brine cannot be disposed openly on the ground. This calls for yet another type of well called a non-hazardous liquid waste disposal well. This extremely deep well penetrates a geological formation so deep and confined from usable sources of water, that it has practically no effect on the surface. With the caverns formed and the brine properly disposed, the liquid petroleum gas storage facility can operate in accordance with state regulations (

However, in the development of a liquid petroleum gas storage facility, it is important to judge the impact that this storage facility will have on nearby homes, businesses, and properties. It is common practice in a number of states to perform an area of review (AOR) up to a predetermined radius around the proposed location for a cavern or disposal well to be constructed at a storage facility. Luckily, the state of Kansas has kept extremely up-to-date and accurate databases for the use of a GIS specialist in creating an area of review. The area of review is usually mapped out by some sort of GIS application. They use the applications in order to map the area from above and to also map the soil and the underlying bedrock within the area. This helps in determining whether it would be plausible or not to put storage wells within that area (

Using GIS to Create an AOR

The major concern with the presence of a cavern or disposal well is how it will affect the surrounding community. The AOR must address a number of issues in the area of the well. For instance, a GIS specialist must be able to note where all utilities are in reference to the proposed well's location. This can give information on how the well may affect water supply, electrical lines, and telephone lines. All wells have the possibility of subsiding or collapsing which may cause major damage to nearby utilities. In addition, the water aquifers in the area must be located to determine if groundwater will be affected by the well.

In order to accomplish this, a tool which is capable of gathering a number of different types of information must be utilized: GIS. Using a GIS allows the person creating the map to create different layers for each object that needs to be located. So, a layer can be made which consists of wells within the AOR, surrounding water aquifers, surrounding utilities, roads and highways, and so on. Much of this information can be gathered from online databases developed by the Kansas Data and Support Center (DASC) and the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS). Each file in the database can be downloaded and then opened with a GIS program. When layered onto a topographic or orthographic map of the area being studied, the data from each file will appear in its proper location if the lattitude and longitude are correct. With the vast amounts of information made available by DASC and the KGS, it is easy to develop AORs in Kansas.

The link for the KGS website is Here, well records can be found and downloaded to be added to a GIS program. The link to the DASC website is A large number of maps can be found on this website in addition to files containing roads, aquifers, utilities, and other important landmarks necessary to properly develop an AOR.


"Fuels." AboutNCRA. 9 Aug. 2007. 30 Nov. 2007

Harrison, Bill, ed. Kansas Geological Survey. 28 Nov. 2007. Kansas Gelogical Survey. 1 Dec. 2007

"Kansas Geospatial Community Commons." DASC. 2007. DASC. 30 Nov. 2007

The Resources. 30 May 2005. 3 Dec. 2007

Stewart, Robert R., ed. "Groundwater Contamination." Our Ocean Planer: Oceanography in the 21st Century. 25 Sept. 2007. Texas a&M University. 1 Dec. 2007

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Related Links

Emporia State University Earth Science at ESU
Mineralogy Webpage Assignment Past Student Projects