• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Abstract - Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of the Klukas Localities, Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Martin, James E. 1989. Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of the Klukas Localities, Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota. 18+ p.


Geological and paleontological investigations of various sites within Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota (Figure 1), began in 1984, but it was not until the following year that attention was focused on Tertiary deposits in the northeastern corner of the Park (figure 2). In the fall of 1985, Mr. Rich Klukas, Research Biologist at Wind Cave National Park, found part of a merycoidodont weathering from pink siltstone referable to the White River Group. Mr. Klukas contacted me, and during the spring and summer of 1986, a number of collecting trips to the area produced a small collection of Oligocene fossils. The occurrence was announced by me at the 1986 annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Klukas and the Park Service were interested in an assessment of the area, and on March 11, 1987, I was asked to conduct a survey of the geology and paleontology of this area, now considered the Klukas localities. I was hired to map those portions within Wind Cave National Park of secs. 11, 12, T. 5S., R. 6E., Custer County, South Dakota, although I found time to map a sec. 10 (See Figure 3). In addition, I was to assess the paleontological significance of secs. 11, 12, including location of sites, measurement of stratigraphic sections (Figure 4-9), and compilation of a faunal list representing the fossils encountered (appendix 1). Questions arose as to the differences in faunal content between the Klukas localities and the Big Badlands (White River Badland) to the east, possible environmental differences, the age of the Klukas localities, and the timing of events between deposition and the Black Hills Uplift.

Did You Know?

Field Milkvetch

The Field Milkvetch has a colorful flower which is often overlooked because it tends to grow hidden in the grass. Color can vary to reddish-purple. More...