Badlands National Park

a national park in SW South Dakota: rock formations and animal fossils. 380 sq. mi. (985 sq. km). Formerly (1929-77), Badlands National Monument.

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 rugged, eroded area of buttes, saw-toothed divides, and gullies in southwestern South Dakota, U.S. It was established as a national monument in 1939 and designated a national park in 1978. It lies in a semiarid high-plains region mostly between the Cheyenne (Cheyenne River) and White (White River) rivers, 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Rapid City, and occupies an area of 379 square miles (982 square km).

      The park consists of three units: the North Unit, which is the location of the park headquarters and the Badlands Loop Road and is nearly surrounded by Buffalo Gap National Grassland; and the Stronghold and Palmer Creek units to the south, which are within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux. The Stronghold Unit is where Sioux warriors performed the Ghost Dance rituals in the 1890s.

      Extending generally from west to east through the North Unit is a ridge, or “wall,” 80 miles (130 km) long that forms the backbone of the park. The prairie grasslands to the north of the wall, drained by tributaries of the Cheyenne River, are 200 feet (60 metres) higher in elevation than the bottomlands and prairie grasslands to the south of the wall, which are drained by tributaries of the White River. Erosion by both water and wind of the sedimentary rock deposits along the face of the wall at a rate of about 1 inch (25 mm) a year has created the characteristic scenic Badlands landscape of bare peaks, pinnacles, ridges, spires, and valleys. These formations are noted for their delicately banded colours, including white (volcanic ash), orange and rusts (iron oxide), grays and tans (mixtures of silt, clay, and ash), and purple (oxidized manganese).

      The Badlands themselves are almost devoid of vegetation, but the park's grasslands encompass the largest protected mixed-grass prairie in the United States and are inhabited by bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, coyotes, jackrabbits, the endangered black-footed ferret, and numerous species of birds. Prairie dog towns are a special feature of the park. The few trees include Rocky Mountain juniper and Great Plains cottonwood. The park also contains numerous fossil beds, including the world's richest beds from the Oligocene Epoch (33.7 to 23.8 million years ago). These beds have yielded the fossil remains of such animals as the three-toed horse, camel, sabre-toothed cat, and an ancestor of the rhinoceros, all of which lived in the region when the climate was comparatively warm and moist.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Badlands National Park — Infobox protected area | name = Badlands National Park iucn category = II caption = locator x = 113 locator y = 50 location = Jackson, Pennington, and Shannon counties, South Dakota, USA nearest city = Rapid City lat degrees = 43 lat minutes = 45 …   Wikipedia

  • Badlands National Park — Parc national des Badlands Parc national des Badlands Badlands National Park Catégorie II de la CMAP (Parc national) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Badlands National Park — Sp Bèdlendų nacionãlinis párkas Ap Badlands National Park L JAV (P. Dakota) …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Badlands National Park — Badlands Nationalpark Badlands im Winter …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Badlands National Park — noun a national park in South Dakota having multicolored peaks and spires resulting from erosion; fossil sites • Instance Hypernyms: ↑national park • Part Holonyms: ↑South Dakota, ↑Coyote State, ↑Mount Rushmore State, ↑SD * * * a national park in …   Useful english dictionary

  • Badlands National Park — Bad′lands Na′tional Park′ n. geg a national park in SW South Dakota: rock formations and animal fossils. 380 sq. mi. (985 sq. km). Formerly (1929–77), Bad′lands Na′tional Mon′ument …   From formal English to slang

  • Badlands National Park — geographical name reservation SW South Dakota E of Black Hills comprising an area of badlands topography …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • National Park Service — Arrowhead Agency overview Formed August 25, 1916 Jurisdiction …   Wikipedia

  • National Park Passport Stamps — Example of a National Park Passport Stamp for the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area At nearly all of the 397 American National Park units (and many of the National Park Service s affiliated areas), one or more National Park Passport… …   Wikipedia

  • national park — noun a tract of land declared by the national government to be public property (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑park, ↑parkland • Instance Hyponyms: ↑Acadia National Park, ↑Arches National Park, ↑Badlands National Park, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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