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Badlands National Park South Dakota

Visiting Badlands National Park is like taking a Science class This area of the vast American grassland was once an ancient seabed, and over time, has eroded away into intricate rocky formations of multicolored buttes, canyons and delicate spires.
Even a glancing look at the eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires in the 244,000-acre park shows horizontal bands throughout the formation, each band with its own science story much like a time machine.The Badlands feature an alien landscape of ravines, ridges and colored rock layers. Badlands National Park in South Dakota is a must-see for National Park, fossil, and geology enthusiasts.

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Badlands National Park South Dakota

  1. 1. Badlands National Park
  2. 2. Let the sculptors come to the Badlands. Let the painters come. But first of all, the true architects should come. He who could interpret this vast gift of nature in terms of human habitation so that Americans on their own continent might glimpse a new and higher civilization certainly, and touch it and feel it as they lived in it and deserved to call it their own. Yes, I say the aspects of the Dakota Badlands have more spiritual quality to impart to the mind of America than anything else in it made by man’s God. — Frank Lloyd Wright, 1935
  3. 3. The Lakota Indian Nation gave this land its name, “mako sica,” meaning “land bad.” Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes (a butte is an isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small flat top), pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. It is desolation at its truest, where you can look for miles and see no sign of civilization. This land of sharp ridges, steep walled canyons, gullies, pyramids and knobs has been so ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water that it has become picturesque. The Badlands are a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. Erosion of the Badlands reveals sedimentary layers of different colors: purple and yellow (shale), tan and gray (sand and gravel), red and orange (iron oxides) and white (volcanic ash).
  4. 4. A stratigraphic column representing the different rock layers of the Badlands This geological treasure trove was once a seabed that was compressedinto 2,000-foot-thickrock known as Pierre Shale. Forests flourished andwithered away. Volcanoes laid down a thick layer of ash and rivers repeatedly flooded the region, depositingsediment. Wind and rushing water eroded the soil, gouging out gulleysand carving cliffs and spires. The now dry, fragile soil continuesto erode, revealing long buried fossils that tell of a Golden Age of Mammals some 30 million years ago.
  5. 5. The lighter-colored Sharps Formation was deposited from 28 to 30 million years ago by wind and water as the climate continued to dry and cool. Volcanic eruptions to the west continued to supply ash during this time. Today, the Brule and Sharps form the more rugged peaks and canyons of the Badlands.
  6. 6. A thick layer of volcanic ash known as the Rockyford Ash was deposited 30 million years ago, forming the bottom layer of the Sharps Formation.
  7. 7. The tannish brown Brule Formation was deposited between 30 and 34 million years ago. As the climate began to dry and cool, the forest gave way to open savannah. Bands of sandstone interspersed among the layers were deposited in channels and mark the course of ancient rivers that flowed from the Black Hills. Red layers within the Brule Formation are fossil soils called paleosols.
  8. 8. • The greyish Chadron Formation was deposited between 34 and 37 million years ago by rivers across a flood plain. Each time the rivers flooded, they deposited a new layer on the plain. Alligator fossils indicate that a lush, subtropical forest covered the land. Most fossils found in this formation are from early mammals like the three-toed horse and the large titanothere. •
  9. 9. The sea drained away with the uplift of the Black Hills and Rocky Mountains, exposing the black ocean mud to air. Upper layers were weathered into a yellow soil, called Yellow Mounds. The mounds are an example of a fossil soil, or paleosol.
  10. 10. The black Pierre Shale was deposited between 69 and 75 million years ago when a shallow, inland sea stretched across what is now the Great Plains. Sediment filtered through the seawater, forming a black mud on the sea floor that has since hardened into shale. Fossil clams, ammonites, and sea reptiles confirm the sea environment.
  11. 11. Storm clouds gather over the Wall, a 100-mile stretch of tieredcliffs in Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
  12. 12. Badlands National Parc s’est formé pendant 75 millions d’années avec des dépôts sédimentaires qui révèlent l’histoire de la région; cet endroit fut successivement une mer intérieure, une plaine, un lac, de la savane… Depuis 500 000 ans la plaine se creuse sous l’action de la pluie et l’érosion créé ce paysage extraordinaire.
  13. 13. Sunrise
  14. 14. The park's 244,000acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today.
  15. 15. Lilibeth Audio: Hal Weaver, Flooding of Kiasutha Texts: Web Copyrights belong to their respective owners