Geologic units in Union county, South Dakota

Carlile Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 47 % 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 41 % 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).

Graneros Shale (Upper Cretaceous) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

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

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

Dakata and Windrow Formations (“Mid” Cretaceous; upper Albian-upper Cenomanian) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

Dakota Formation widespread in western Iowa, lower sandstone-dominated Nishnabotna Member, upper mudstone/shale-dominated Woodbury Member. Correlative Windrow Formation found as erosional outliers in northeastern and north-central Iowa. Primary lithologies: sandstone, quartzose, very fine to medium grained; mudstone/shale, light to dark gray, variably silty-sandy, noncalcareous (Woodbury Mbr.). Secondary lithologies: sandstone, medium to very coarse grained, part pebbly to gravelly, locally cemented by iron oxides (Nishnabotna Mbr., Windrow Fm.), gravel, quartz and chert clasts; siltstone; mudstone, red, pink, yellow-brown, black (carbonaceous). Minor: lignite; siderite (concretions, pedogenic sphaerosiderite pellets, cemented siltstone); massive iron ore, silty to sandy (Windrow Fm.). Maximum thickness Dakota Fm. 500 ft (150 m), commonly 100-300 ft (30-90 m); Windrow Fm. 40 ft (12 m).

Fort Benton Group (Upper Cretaceous, upper Cenomanian-Turonian) at surface, covers 0.2 % of this area

Interval includes “Graneros” Shale, Greenhorn Formation, Carlile Shale. Primary Lithologies: shale, medium to dark gray, variably silty, calcareous to very calcareous. Secondary lithologies: chalk, marl, argillaceous limestone, with skeletal (inoceramid) packstones; shale, gray, silty, noncalcareous. Minor: siltstone; calcite and siderite concretions. Maximum thickness 265 ft (80 m).

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.