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Badlands National Park is located in Scenic South Dakota The park spans more than 242000 acres The Badlands got their name because it is located in the White River Badlands and was called Mako Sica by the Sioux Indians The term Badlands refers to the area that is difficult to travel through because of the rugged terrain and lack of water Some important things about the Badlands would be its geology paleontology weather and some of the activities you can do in the Badlands The Badlands were formed by the geologic features of deposition and erosion Depositions of sediments began 69 million years ago when an ancient sea starched across what is now the Great Plains After the sea retreated rivers and flood plains continued to deposit sediments Deposition ended 28 million years ago Erosion did not start till half a million years ago Erosion continues to carve the Badlands buttes Every time it rains more sediment is washed from the buttes The Badlands were deposited in layers The layers were formed of soft sedimentary rocks composed of sand silt and clay Geologists have given names to some of the layers of rock The oldest formation of rocks is the shale formation These layers were deposited between 69 and 75 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period 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 The next layer above that is called the yellow mounds The yellow soil is basically the shale formation but the parts that were exposed turned yellow The Chadron Formation was deposited between 34 to 37 million years ago Alligator fossils indicate that a lush subtropical forest covered the land However mammal fossils dominate This formation can be recognized because it erodes into low minimally vegetated grey
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