Geologic units in Deuel county, South Dakota

Pierre Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 64 % of this area

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

Carlile Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 25 % 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).

Niobrara Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 11 % 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).