Abstract - Fossiliferous Cenozoic Deposits of Western South Dakota and Northwestern Nebraska

Martin, James E. 1985. Fossiliferous Cenozoic Deposits of Western South Dakota and Northwestern Nebraska. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.


The year 1985 is one of celebration for the South Dakota School of Mines. One hundred years ago, the school was established, and subsequently, it has served the state and nation producing scientists and engineers. At the same time, the initial collection which formed the basis for the Museum of Geology was received from Mr. G.E. Bailey. This collection coupled with the proximity of the Black Hills and Badlands prompted additional collecting, a tradition which continues. Dr. C.C. O'Harra, president of the School of Mines, was instrumental in the establishment of the Museum of Geology and initiated many collecting trips with student participation into the Badlands. His interest culminated in his monograph, The White River Badlands (1920), and in his support of the first organized Museum expedition into the Badlands in 1924, although student groups had been collecting from the deposits since 1899. Glenn L. Jepsen, who had been a student at the School of Mines and who was later affiliated with Princeton University, led a collecting party into the Badlands which met with great success, and again in 1925, led another expedition including James D. Bump, a student majoring in metallurgy. Bump gained an undergraduate degree, bur before turning to industry, he was offered the first funded position at the Museum of Geology. From that time, the Museum has been actively pursuing mineralogical and paleontological collections, exhibits, and research.

This guidebook is an attempt to consolidate some of the postulates of the century of investigation between southwestern South Dakota and northwestern Nebraska and to introduce new concepts. By direct observation in the natural laboratory through road trips (Figure 1) and by scientific contributions such as those following the road logs, these goals may be realized. In the former regard, this guidebook resembles others such as those of Bumb (1951), Gries (1970), Harsken and Macdonald (1969), Nixon (1981), Rich (1981), and Schultz and Stout (1941, 1961). In addition to the geological and paleontological interests along the route (designated by both cumulative mileage and mileage between points of interest), historical sites and anecdotes have been included. For these additions, extensive use was made of the compilations of place names by Driving Hawk Sneve (1973) for South Dakota and by Link (1933) and Fitzpatrick (1960) for Nebraska. Also, all geological and paleontological descriptions have been indented for easy recognition. ILLUS., 28 CM; A guidebook for the 45th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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