Geologic units in Clay county, South Dakota

Carlile Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 35 % of this area

Dark-gray to black, silty to sandy shale with several zones of septarian, fossiliferous, carbonate concretions. Contains up to three sandstone units in the upper portion of the formation and sandy calcareous marl at the base. Thickness up to 330 ft (100 m).

Dakota Formation (Upper to Lower Cretaceous) at surface, covers 22 % of this area

Light- to reddish-brown, medium- to coarse-grained quartz and minor feldspar sandstone grading upward to a fine- to medium-grained, quartz and minor feldspar sandstone. Contains a middle, gray silty clay unit, and interbeds of gray to dark-gray shale in the upper portion. Thickness up to 450 ft (137 m).

Niobrara Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 19 % 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 up to 150 ft (46 m).

Greenhorn Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 12 % of this area

Gray shale, mudstone, marl, calcarenite, and shaly limestone grading upward into light-gray to tan, alternating marl and thin-bedded, fossiliferous limestone. Thickness up to 40 ft (12 m).

Graneros Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 11 % of this area

Dark-gray, noncalcareous, pyritic, poorly fossiliferous shale, with numerous sandstone layers at the base. Thickness up to 110 ft (36 m).

Carlile Shale (Late Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.4 % of this area

Shale, limestone, and sandstone. At top, locally 5 feet of gray to pale-yellowish brown siltstone or very fine grained sandstone. Upper 200 feet of shale is drak gray to medium gray; locally contains ironstone concretions, and interbedded with thin siltstone. Lower 80 feet of shale is medium gray, calcareous, and contains many very thin bedded, fossiliferous, shaly limestone and calcareous shale layers. Approx. max thickness 300 ft.

Dakota Group (Early Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Upper part is white, light-gray, brownish-gray, yellow, redish-brown, and red sandstone and shale. Sandstone is very fine to coarse grained, friable, micaeous, crossbedded, and lenticular; locally contains gravel near base. contains numerous zones of ironstone and siltstone concretions of variable thickness. Middle part is light-gray, yellow, red brown and dark-gray, sandy carbonaceous shale; commonly contains a zone of concretions near top. Lower part is sandstone similar to that in upper except there are zones of siderite concretions and, locally a basal zone of chert pebbles. Approx. max thickness 600 ft.

Greenhorn Limestone and Graneros Shale (Late Cretaceous) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Greenhorn Limestone- medium- to light-gray limestone interbedded with argillaceous limestone, marl and calcareous shale; contains Inoceramus fossils. Upper and lower contacts gradational. Approx. max thickness 30 ft. Graneros Shale- medium- to dark-gray, partly calcareous shale. Interbeds of siltstone, sandstone, and carbonaceous shale, and thin bentonite layers in upper part. Approx. max thickness 60 ft.