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Geologic units in Butte county, South Dakota

Pierre Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 23 % of this area

Blue-gray to dark-gray, fissile to blocky shale with persistent beds of bentonite, black organic shale, or light-brown chalky shale. Contains minor sandstone, conglomerate, and abundant carbonate and ferruginous concretions. Thickness 1,000-2,700 ft (305-823 m).

Hell Creek Formation (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 14 % of this area

Tan to brown, light- to dark-gray, "somber beds" of shale. Interbedded with brown to red carbonaceous shale, gray and brown bentonitic silty shale, and gray, brown and yellow siltstone, sandstone, and claystone-pebble conglomerate. Thickness 260-600 ft (79-183 m).

Carlile Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 13 % of this area

Dark-gray to black, silty to sandy shale with several zones of septarian, fossiliferous, carbonate concertions. Contains up to three sandstone beds near the middle of the formation and sandy calcareous marl at the base. Thickness 345-620 ft (105-189 m).

Lithology: shale; sandstone; limestone

Terrace Deposits (Phanerozoic | Cenozoic | Quaternary) at surface, covers 12 % of this area

Clay to boulder-size clasts deposited as pediments, paleochannels, and terrace fills of former flood plains. Thickness up to 75 ft (23m).

Lithology: clay or mud; silt; sand; gravel

Fox Hills Sandstone (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 10 % of this area

Bluish-green to green, white to dark-gray, yellow to tan, carbonaceous and iron-stained, cross-bedded, very fine- to coarse-grained, glaconitic sandstone and siltstone. Interbedded with gray and green to brown shale and silty shale. Thickness 25-400 ft (8-122 m).

Lithology: sandstone; siltstone; shale

Belle Fourche Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 7 % of this area

Dark-gray to black bentonitic shale containing minor limestone lenses, bentonite layers, fossiliferous calcarenite, and large, ferruginous, carbonate concretions. Thickness 150-350 ft (46-107 m).

Mowry Shale, Newcastle Sandstone, and Skull Creek Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Early ) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

Mowry Shale- Black to gray, siliceous, fissile shale and siltstone containing bentonite layers, and sparse sandstone dikes and sills. Thickness 125-250 ft (38-76 m). Newcastle Sandstone- Gray, light-brown to yellow, discontinuously distributed siltstone, claystone, sandy shale, and fine-grained sandstone. Thickness up to 290 ft (88 m). Skull Creek Shale- Dark-gray to blueish-gray shale containing ferruginous, and carbonate concretions. Thickness 150-275 ft (46-84 m).

Greenhorn Formation (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

Gray shale, mudstone, marl, calcarenite, and shaley limestone grading upward into light-gray to tan, alternating marl and thin-bedded, fossiliferous limestone. Thickness 225-315 ft (69-96 m).

Lithology: shale; mudstone; limestone

Niobrara Formation (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers 4 % of this area

White to dark gray argillaceous chalk, marl, and shale. Weathers yellow to orange. Contains thin, laterally continuous bentonite beds, chalky carbonaceous shale, minor sand, and small concretions. Thickness 160-225 ft (49-69 m).

Alluvium (Phanerozoic | Cenozoic | Quaternary) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

Clay to boulder-size clasts with locally abundant organic material. Thickness up to 75 ft (23m).

Lithology: clay or mud; silt; sand; gravel

Inyan Kara Group (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Early ) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

Includes: Fall River Formation- Variegated brown, red, gray to purple, calcareous, well-sorted, fine-grained sandstone, siltstone, and shale containing mica flakes. Thickness 100-200 ft (30-61 m). Lakota Formation- Yellow, brown, red-brown, gray to black silty shale, pebble conglomerate, and massive to thin-bedded, cross-bedded sandstone. Locally interbedded with fresh-water limestone and bituminous coal beds. Thickness 35-500 ft (11-152 m).

Morrison Formation, Unkpapa Sandstone, Sundance Formation, and Gypsum Spring Formation (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Jurassic-Middle Jurassic-Late) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Morrison Formation (Late Jurassic)- Light-gray to green and variegatedred, brown, yellow, or lavender, silceous claystone, shale, and siltstone containing interbedded sandstone and fresh-water limestone lenses. Thickness up to 150 ft (46 m). Unkpapa Sandstone (Late Jurassic)- White, massive to thin-bedded, fine-grained, argillaceous sandstone. May be variegated to banded red, yellow, brown, or lavender. Thickness up to 267 ft (81 m). Sundance Formation (Late to Middle Jurassic)- Greenish-gray, yellow, tan, red to orange, and white, variegated, interbedded, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone, siltstone, clay, and limestone. Thickness 250-350 ft (76-107 m). Gypsum Springs Formation (Middle Jusassic)- Massive white gypsum and minor maroon siltstone and shale. Thickness up to 40 ft (12 m).

Spearfish Formation (Phanerozoic | Paleozoic Mesozoic | Permian Triassic) at surface, covers 0.4 % of this area

Red sandy shale, siltstone, sandstone, and minor limestone. Interbedded with abundant gypsum. Thickness 328-559 ft (100-170 m).

Eolian Deposits (Phanerozoic | Cenozoic | Quaternary) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

(loess and sand dune) Silt to medium-grained sand. Deposited as sand sheets and barchan, linear, and dome-like dunes and as veneer on uplands. Thickness up to 300 ft (91m).

Lithology: silt; sand

Greenhorn Formation and Belle Fourche and Mowry Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Early) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

GREENHORN FORMATION AND BELLE FOURCHE AND MOWRY (Kmr) SHALE. GREENHORN FORMATION--Light-colored limestone, marl, and limy sandstone interbedded with gray concretionary shale. BELLE FOURCHE SHALE--Black soft bentonitic concretionary shale. MOWRY SHALE (AGE 94 TO 98 Ma)--Silvery-gray hard siliceous shale containing abundant fish scales and bentonite beds.

Niobrara Formation and Carlile Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

NIOBRARA FORMATION (Kn) AND CARLILE SHALE (Kcl). NIOBRARA FORMATION (AGE ABOUT 83 Ma)--Light-colored limestone and gray to yellow speckled limy shale. CARLILE SHALE--Dark-gray sandy shale; Sage Breaks Member at top; Turner Sandy Member in middle.

Newcastle Sandstone and Skull Creek Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Early) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

NEWCASTLE SANDSTONE AND SKULL CREEK SHALE. NEWCASTLE SANDSTONE--Gray sandstone and sandy shale containing some bentonite and coal. SKULL CREEK SHALE--Black soft fissile shale.

Lithology: sandstone; shale; bentonite; coal

Sundance and Gypsum Spring Formations (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Jurassic-Middle Jurassic-Late) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

SUNDANCE (Js) AND GYPSUM SPRING FORMATIONS. SUNDANCE FORMATION--Greenish-gray glauconitic sandstone and shale, underlain by red and gray nonglauconitic sandstone and shale. GYPSUM SPRING FORMATION--Interbedded red shale, dolomite, and gypsum. In north Wyoming wedges out south in T. 39 N.

Alluvium and Colluvium (Phanerozoic | Cenozoic | Quaternary | Pleistocene Holocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

ALLUVIUM AND COLLUVIUM--Clay, silt, sand, and gravel in flood plains, fans, terraces, and slopes.

Lithology: alluvium; colluvium

Cloverly and Morrison Formations (N,S) or Cloverly Formation, Inyan Kara Group, and Morrison Formation (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Jurassic-Late Cretaceous-Early) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

CLOVERLY FORMATION and MORRISON FORMATION. CLOVERLY FORMATION--Rusty sandstone at top, underlain by brightly variegated bentonitic claystone; chert-pebble conglomerate locally at base. MORRISON FORMATION--Dully variegated claystone, nodular limestone, and gray silty sandstone. In southern Yellowstone and Jackson Hole areas the presence of Morrison is questionable; CLOVERLY FORMATION (Hartville uplift) or INYAN KARA GROUP (Black Hills) and MORRISON FORMATION. CLOVERLY FORMATION--Rusty to light-gray sandstone containing lenticular chert-pebble conglomerate interbedded with variegated bentonitic claystone. INYAN KARA GROUP--Rusty to light-gray sandstone containing lenticular chert-pebble conglomerate interbedded with variegated bentonitic claystone. Includes Fall River and Lakota Formations. MORRISON FORMATION, in northeast Wyoming, dully variegated siliceous claystone, nodular white limestone, and gray silty sandstone.

White River Group (Phanerozoic | Cenozoic | Tertiary | Eocene Oligocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Includes: Brule Formation (Oligocene)- White, pink, light-green, and light-brown, massive to thin-bedded, bentonitic claystone, tuffaceous siltstone, and well-bedded, calcareous, tuffaceous quartz sandstone. Thickness up to 150 ft (46 m). Chadron Formation (Eocene)- Upper beds are gray, light-brown to maroon bentonite, claystone, siltstone tuffaceous fine-grained sandstone, and local, silicified carbonate lenses. Basal portion consists of poorly cemented, white, coarse-grained arkose and conglomerate. Thickness up to 160 ft (49 m). Chamberlain Pass Formation (Eocene)- Pale olive to pale red, mottled mudstone containing white, cross-bedded channel sandstone with basal conglomerate. Thickness up to 32 ft (10 m). Slim Buttes Formation (Eocene)- White, grayish- to yellowish-orange,pale-red to pink siltstone, clayey siltstone, bentonitic claystone,medium- to fine-grained sandstone, and conglomerate. Thickness up to 48 ft (15 m).

Pierre Shale (Phanerozoic | Mesozoic | Cretaceous-Late) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

PIERRE SHALE (AGE 72 TO 78 Ma)--Dark-gray concretionary marine shale; contains several bentonite beds.

Landslide deposits (Phanerozoic | Cenozoic | Quaternary | Pleistocene Holocene) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

LANDSLIDE DEPOSITS--Locally includes intermixed landslide and glacial deposits, talus, and rock-glacier deposits.