The Wellington–McPherson Lowlands are like no other part of Kansas. Occupying the south-central part of the state, this region really is flat—except for the sand dunes.
This level plain is mostly a jumble of silt, sand, and gravel. Underneath, however, shale can be found, sometimes containing gypsum.
The Wellington–McPherson Lowlands contain the Hutchinson salt bed, one of the largest salt deposits in the world.
The soil in the Wellington–McPherson Lowlands consists mainly of sand, silt, and gravel. In spite of the sand dunes, erosion isn’t as much of a problem in this region as one might expect. Most of the dunes are currently inactive, meaning that vegetation is now firmly holding the sand in place.
Tallgrass prairie covers much of this region. Trees grow mainly along the streams.
As would be expected for a marshy, low-lying region, the Wellington–McPherson Lowlands host a significant number of shorebirds.
An abundance of high-quality water is available in the Wellington–McPherson Lowlands. The most important aquifer is the Equus beds, formed by a deposit of silt, sand, and gravel. Furthermore, rivers provide the necessary moisture to support floodplain forests. Springs are scattered throughout the region.
The Wellington–McPherson Lowlands receive about 32 inches of precipitation annually. Temperatures vary greatly over the year, January lows dipping down to about 20°F and July highs climbing up to 92°F.
Since the Wellington–McPherson Lowlands are one of the few places in Kansas that really are flat, most of the region is devoted to growing cash crops. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that winter wheat and grain sorghum predominate here, but if you’re new to the area you may do a double take if you drive by a cotton field. While cotton is far from being king here or anywhere else in Kansas, small fields are planted periodically. Believe it or not, both the temperature and the precipitation averages in the Wichita area are acceptable for cotton culture.
Also of Interest
This is one of the more populated regions of Kansas. Communities include Wichita, Newton, and McPherson.
View South to Lindsborg
Nice view typical of this flat farming area.