Cover

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Accolades, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xiv

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Preface

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pp. xv-xvi

This book offers my personal view of the geology of the Great Plains. It is intended for ecotourists, anyone with a broad interest in geology and some general education in science, professional geologists and geographers wanting to become more familiar with the region, and students, farmers, ranchers, and K-12 educators ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

I am indebted to Richard C. (Rick) Edwards, director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska, for providing me with office space, hardware, and supplies during my research and writing. Financial support for travel and associated activities came from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Emeriti Association ...

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Introduction

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pp. xix-xx

Like art and beauty, what constitutes the Great Plains lies in the eye of the beholder. For people who have never traveled in the American heartland, the name may conjure up images of cowboys, Indians, buffalo, prairie dogs, grasshopper swarms, cattle drives, heat, wind, dust, blizzards, tornadoes, floods, and very flat land. ...

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1. What Is the Great Plains?

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pp. 1-12

With the exception of the western edge, bordered mostly by the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains is a region (also called a physiographic province) with few obvious boundaries. In the years since John Wesley Powell first mapped, described, and named it, few authors have agreed where the Great Plains begins or ends. ...

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2. Geologic History of the Great Plains

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pp. 13-32

A brief geological history of the province can help you appreciate the many features that you can see while traveling on the Great Plains. But first you must understand some basic geologic concepts. ...

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3. Visiting the Great Plains

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pp. 33-38

Each state and province in the Great Plains has many wonderful places that are worth visiting, studying, and enjoying. Some of these have been identified for several of the states in the map The Top 50 Ecotourism Sites in the Great Plains. A few are included in this chapter, but most described here are not on that map. ...

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Sites in Canada

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pp. 39-54

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Alberta, west of Fort Macleod, toward the southeastern end of a geomorphic feature called the Porcupine Hills. It is underlain by parts of the Porcupine Hills Formation, a Paleocene continental deposit of nearly horizontally layered sandstones, siltstones, and mudstones. ...

Sites in the United States

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p. 55

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Montana

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pp. 56-65

I’ve seen many large springs, but Giant Springs is exceptional even though it flows into a reservoir behind a dam on the Missouri River at Great Falls, Montana. The discharge is approximately 338 million gallons per day. The runoff from the springs into the south side of the river must have been impressive when Meriwether Lewis and William Clark ...

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North Dakota

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pp. 66-70

The park in western North Dakota consists of two principal units, north and south (fig. 17a, sites 11a and 11b), the entrances to which are separated from one another by about 70 miles. The major geologic features in both units are badlands topography of exposed and deeply eroded bedrock, along with landslides and stream erosion landforms. ...

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South Dakota

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pp. 71-88

I first saw these buttes on a field trip to the South Dakota plains about 110 miles north of Spearfish, at the northern end of the Black Hills dome, and have returned from time to time to muse about their origin. The buttes are mostly on federal lands in the Custer National Forest. ...

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Wyoming

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pp. 89-93

Close Encounters of the Third Kind, here we come!
The monument is about 27 miles northwest of Sundance, Wyoming. Devils Tower is located on the northwestern flank of the Black Hills. As you approach, the land is fairly flat and mostly forested or being used as cattle pasture. ...

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Nebraska

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pp. 94-126

Over the years since I first visited this park, part of the Oglala National Grasslands, managed by the USDA Forest Service, the gravel access road has been much improved, but parts can still be difficult to drive on when the road is very wet. The park entrance is about 15.6 miles northwest of Crawford, Nebraska. ...

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Kansas

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pp. 127-130

My visit to this site and the following one, Castle Rock, Kansas (site 38), in September 1975 was serendipitous. At the time I was teaching geology at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. One of my colleagues, Dan Deines, told me that a friend who farmed near Wakeeney, Kansas, had literally run across what he thought were big fossil elephant bones ...

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Colorado

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pp. 131-143

Castle Rock, in the Colorado Piedmont Section, is hard to miss seeing as you drive into the city of the same name from either the north or the south on I-25. The rock, now a city park called Rock Park, is a flat-topped butte east of the highway. To view the rock closely, take exit 182, park at the northwest trailhead in the park, and hike the trail to the top. ...

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New Mexico

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pp. 144-157

Raton Pass is a low spot in the Raton Mesa, along I-25 in New Mexico. The mesa is another erosional remnant, and even though it displays great topographic relief, it is still a part of the Great Plains. ...

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Texas

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pp. 158-174

Driving northeast toward Carlsbad Caverns on U.S. Highways 82/180 in Texas, you will pass El Capitan, the magnificent escarpment underlain by the Permian Capitan Limestone that forms the scarp, part of the reef complex that includes rocks dissolved in part to form Carlsbad Caverns (site 49). ...

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Afterword

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pp. 175-176

Seminole Canyon and its pictographs! What a place to end a tour of geological sites of the Great Plains of North America. I have enjoyed visiting all of these places over the years. I especially enjoyed visiting the many new ones in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas ...

Appendix 1. Geologic Subdivisions of the Great Plains

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pp. 177-182

Appendix 2. Chronology of the Development of Some Geological Concepts

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pp. 183-184

Appendix 3. Cautions for Travelers on the Great Plains

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pp. 185-186

Glossary

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pp. 187-194

Bibliography

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pp. 195-200

Index

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pp. 201-210

Series Info

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