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What is the Great Plains?

The Great Plains—its parts

Early history
   Warping and stream deposition
   Sculpturing the land

Landforms of today—The surface features of the Great Plains
   Black Hills
   Central Texas Uplift
   Raton Section
   High Plains
   Missouri Plateau
      Preglacial Drainage
      Glaciated Missouri Plateau
      Unglaciated Missouri Plateau
   The Colorado Piedmont
   Pecos Valley
   Edwards Plateau
   Plains Border Section



Some source references

Theodore Roosevelt NHA logo
Theodore Roosevelt
Nature and History Association
P.O. Box 167
Medora, ND 58645

cover of 1990 edition

Contents of this online document are from the reprinted (with minor revisions) edition, published by Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association, 1990, with permission from the United States Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey Office. Originally printed in 1980 as Geological Survey Bulletin 1493.

Cover design by Barnstorm Design Creative,
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904.

Printed in the USA by Richtman's Printing,
Bismarck, North Dakota 58502.

Cover design copyright © by Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association.

ISBN 0-9601652-8-2
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Trimble, Donald E.
The geologic story of the Great Plains.
(U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1493)
Bibliography: p. 50
Includes index.
Supt. of Docs. no.: I 19.3: 1493
1. Geology—Great Plains. I. Title.
II. Series: United States Geological Survey Bulletin 1493.
QE75.B9 no. 1493 [QE71] 557.3s [557.8] 80-607022

Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association was organized in 1951 to aid and promote the historical, scientific, and educational activities of the National Park Service. As a non profit organization authorized by Congress, it makes interpretive material available to park visitors by sale or free distribution. All net proceeds support the interpretive and research programs of the National Park Service in North Dakota.



1. Index map
2-3. Maps showing:
2. Physical divisions of the United States and maximum extent of the continental ice sheets
3. The Great Plains province and its sections
4. Photograph of Mescalero escarpment and southern High Plains
5. Geologic time chart
6-8. Maps showing:
6. Paleogeography of U.S. in Late Cretaceous
7. Structural setting of the Great Plains
8. Progressive southward expansion of areas of deposition
9. Photograph of Big Horn strip mine at Acme, Wyo.
10. Black Hills diagram
11-16. Photographs showing:
11. Weathering of granite at Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills
12. Capulin Volcano National Monument, N. Mex.
13. Mesa de Maya, Colo.
14. Spanish Peaks, Colo.
15. "The Gangplank," Wyo.
16. Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebr.
17. Aerial photograph of the Nebraska Sand Hills
18. Map of the Nebraska Sand Hills
19-30. Photographs showing:
19. Loess plain in Nebraska
20. Ground moraine on the Coteau du Missouri in North Dakota
21. Slump blocks in North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, N. Dak.
22. Highwood Mountains, Mont.
23. Devils Tower National Monument, Wyo.
24. Glaciated valley in Crazy Mountains, Mont.
25. Powder River Basin in vicinity of Tongue River
26. Badlands National Park, S. Dak.
27. Badlands of Little Missouri River in South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, N. Dak.
28. Hogback ridges along the Front Range, Colo.
29. Pawnee Buttes, Colo.
30. Edwards Plateau, Tex.
31. Denver, Colo.


1. Generalized chart of rocks of the Great Plains

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Last Updated: 28-Dec-2006