Badlands national park is located in high Great Plains of southwestern South Dakota east of the Black Hills. The parks highest elevation is 3282 ft on Sheep Mountain; the lowest elevation is 2460 ft along Sage Creek. The park is nearly 244,000 acres and covered with sharply eroded buttes, surrounded by a mixture of grass prairie. Some of the major geologic attractions are the stunning landscape and the wildlife it quarters. The geologic origin of the park reveals that it was deposited in layers. The layers are composed of sediments such as sand, silt, and clay that have been cemented to form sedimentary rocks. The sedimentary rocks in this area were deposited during the late Cretaceous Period which was 67 to 75 million years ago. Deposition and erosion are geologic process that created the formation of The Badlands. Some of the formations that took place at the Badlands National Park are:
• The Sharp formation is light in color and deposited by wind and water in the dry and cool climate that existed 28-30 million years ago during the Oligocene Epochs period.
• The Brule formation is tannish brown in color and consists of bands of sandstone deposited by channels of ancient rivers that flowed in the Black Hills. This formation took place 30-34 million years ago also during the Oligocene Epochs period.
• The Chadron formation is grayish in color and consists of fossils from early mammals like the three-toed horse and the large titanothere deposited by rivers across the flood plain. This formation took place 34-37 million years ago during the Eocene period.
• The upper layers are Yellow mounds weathered by yellow soil and black ocean mud that have contained fossil sand, or paleosol.
• The Pierre Shale is black in color and deposited by sediment filtered through seawater and black mud on the sea floor that hardened into Shale. This formation took place 69-75 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Some of the
Cited: (2013, February 23). Retrieved from Badlands National Park - Welcome to Badlands National Park: http://www.badlands.national-park.com/info.htm#geo Badlands National Park Map Locator. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2013, from www.nationalparked.com Geologic Formations. (2013, February 11). Retrieved February 23, 2013, from http://www.nps.gov/badl/naturescience/geologicformations.htm Stoffer, P. W. (2003). USGS . Retrieved February 23, 2013, from Geology of Badlands National Park: A Preliminary Report: http://geopubs.wr.usgs.gov/open-file/of03-35/of03-35.pdf Uhler, J. W. (1997). Badlands National Park Information. Retrieved February 23, 2013, from http://www.badlands.national-park.com/info.htm