Geologic units in Hutchinson county, South Dakota

Niobrara Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 37 % 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).

Carlile Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 36 % 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).

Pierre Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 11 % 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).

Sioux Quartzite (Lower Proterozoic) at surface, covers 7 % of this area

Pink and reddish to tan, siliceous, fine- to coarse-grained, iron-stained orthoquartzite with minor metamorphosed conglomerate and mudstone layers. Estimated thickness greater than 1,000 ft (305 m).

Greenhorn Formation (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 3 % 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).

Cretaceous, undifferentiated (Upper to Lower Cretaceous) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Black opaline spiculite, gray to black shale, yellow-brown to gray chalk, gray silty clay, and pink quartz-rich sandstone. Includes the Split Rock Creek Formation and other near-shore facies of the Dakota Formation, Graneros Shale, Greenhorn Formation, Carlile Shale, Niobrara Formation, and Pierre Shale. Thickness up to 400 ft (122 m).

Graneros Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

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

Tertiary, undifferentiated (Pliocene to Miocene) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Light greenish-brown and light yellowish-tan to orangish-brown clay, silty clay, and fine sand; light-brown to pink siltstone; green, massive, orthoquartzite conglomerate; and multicolored quartz- and feldspar-rich sand and gravel. Includes equivalents of the Ogallala Group Ash Hollow, Valentine, and Fort Randall Formations. Also includes the Thin Elk, Bon Homme, Herrick, Medicine Root, and "western derived" gravels. Thickness up to 70 ft (21 m).

Dakota Formation (Upper to Lower Cretaceous) at surface, covers 1 % 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).