Badlands National Park

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
First-time Visitors: Please visit Site Map and Disclaimer. Use "Back" to return here.


Major areas of badland topography are in brown.

Badlands Stratigraphy

Period Epoch Group Formation Member
Tertiary Miocene-Pliocene   Medicine Root Gravels  
Oligocene Arikaree Sharps  
Rockyford Ash  
White River Brule Poleslide
Scenic
Eocene Chadron Peanut Peak
Interior Paleosol  
Chamberlain Pass  
Yellow Mounds Paleosol  
Paleocene?   Fox Hills Unnamed Marine
K-T?     Disturbed Zone
Cretaceous Maastrichtian   Enning
  Timber Lake
  Trail City
  Pierre Shale Elk Butte
  Mobridge
  Virgin Creek
Campanian   Verendrye
  DeGrey

Badlands Formations

Badlands National Park The Sharps formation makes up the highest pinnacles, underlain by the thin ledge-forming Rockyford Ash. The Brule Formation, often banded pink and white, makes up most of the Badlands cliffs.
Badlands National Park From top to bottom: gray Chadron Formation, red Interior Paleosol, yellow Yellow Mounds Paleosol, and yellow-gray Fox Hills Formation.

South Dakota Scenes

Badlands National Park 
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park

Badlands By Helicopter

Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park

Badlands on the Ground

Badlands National Park 
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National ParkBadlands National Park
Badlands National Park From top to bottom: gray Chadron Formation, red Interior Paleosol, yellow Yellow Mounds Paleosol, and yellow-gray Fox Hills Formation.

Western Badlands

Pierre Shale west of the Badlands, showing a small slump.
Valley of Sage Creek. Gray Pierre Shale underlies the valley bottom while buff Fox Hills Formation occurs in the foreground. The Badlands here are a couple of kilometers southeast of the road and the intervening area is designated wilderness.
Views from the Sage Creek Rim Road
 
Overlooking Yellow Mounds. Most of the Badlands stratigraphy is visible here. Cretaceous Fox Hills Formation underlies the yellow and red paleosols, Chadron Formation forms the low hills above. Brule Formation makes up the cliffs and Rockyford Ash and Sharps Formation occur at the very top.
 
That rib sticking out of the slope at right center is actually a sandstone dike, possible evidence of paleoseismicity during the mid-Tertiary.
 
 

South of the Badlands

Looking north across the White River valley with the Badlands scarp forming a light band on the horizon.
 
Looking south from the same location.

Below: paleo-badland topography stabilized by grass and trees.

This hill north of Wounded Knee is capped by Ogalalla Formation, the formation that forms the High Plains aquifer further south.
 
This landscape near Wounded Knee suggests the fate of some badlands topography. Given a chance, vegetation takes root and stabilizes the slopes.

Southern Unit of Badlands National Park

Aerial Views


Return to Virtual Field Trips Index
Return to Professor Dutch's Home Page

Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 01 July 2012

Not an official UW Green Bay site