Geology and Physiography of the Badlands
The Badlands are a type of arid terrain with clay-rich soil that has been extensively eroded by wind and water. Canyons, ravines, gullies, hoodoos and other such geological forms are common in The Badlands. The Badlands usually have a spectacular color display that alternates from dark black/blue coal strata to bright clays to red scoria. Some of the most famous fossil beds are found in the Badlands, where the forces of erosion have exposed the sedimentary layers and the lack of vegetation cover makes surveying relatively easy (Wikipedia (more info) ).
The Badlands are characterized by unusual topographic features. These features are a product of the erosion of sedimentary beds. The Badlands Wall divides the southern White River from the northern uplands. This upland is formed by the Brule Formation, which is composed of sand and clay (Geology Field Camp Guide ( This site may be offline. ) ). The formation includes several minor west and northwest faults (Ellwood, 1996 ).
Geology of BadlandsResources about the Geology of the Badlands
- Geologic Provinces of the United States: Interior Plain Province. This USGS site provides an overview of the geologic history of the interior plains province. External links lead to information about national parks that exhibit interior plains geology and similar overviews of other physiographic provinces. An image gallery and additional maps and illustrations are also provided. (more info)
- Geology of Badlands National Park. This page is a brief introduction to the geology of Badlands National Park. (more info)
- Geology of Badlands National Park: A Preliminary Report. This 65-page report provides an extensive report on the geology of the Badlands. (more info)
- The Geologic Story of the Great Plains. This site provides a non-technical description of the origin and evolution of the landscape of the Great Plains physiographic province. Information about the history and descriptions of the various landforms of the Great Plains is included. (more info)