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A badlands (also badland) is a type of arid terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water. It can resemble malpaís, a terrain of volcanic rock. Canyons, ravines, gullies, hoodoo and other such geological forms are common in badlands. They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands often have a spectacular colour display that alternates from dark black/blue coal stria to bright clays to red scoria.

Features

The term "badlands" represents a consensus in North America: the Lakota called the topography "Makhóšiča", literally bad land, while French trappers called it "les mauvaises terres à traverser" – "the bad lands to cross". The Spanish called it tierra baldía ("waste land") and cárcava. The term badlands is also apt: badlands contain steep slopes, loose dry soil, slick clay, and deep sand, all of which impede travel and other uses. Badlands form in arid regions with infrequent but intense rain-showers, sparse vegetation, and soft sediments: a recipe for massive erosion.

Some of the most famous fossil beds are found in badlands, where erosion rapidly exposes the sedimentary layers and the scant cover of vegetation makes surveying and fossil hunting relatively easy.

Coal seams are also exposed in some badlands, so historically, coal mining districts have developed in badlands areas. An example of this is the Drumhellermarker district of the Red Deer Rivermarker in Alberta, where the Atlas Coal Minemarker is the last of 149 mines that operated in those badlands.

Locations

Some of the best-known badland formations can be found in the United Statesmarker and Canadamarker. In the U.S., Makoshika State Parkmarker in Montanamarker, Theodore Roosevelt National Parkmarker in North Dakotamarker and Badlands National Parkmarker in South Dakotamarker together form a series of extensive badlands formations. Another popular area of badland formations is Toadstool Geologic Parkmarker in the Oglala National Grasslandmarker of northwestern Nebraskamarker. The Big Muddy Badlands in Saskatchewanmarker, Canadamarker gained notoriety as a hideout for outlaws. There is a sizable badland area in Albertamarker, Canadamarker, particularly in the valley of the Red Deer Rivermarker where Dinosaur Provincial Parkmarker is located. The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontologymarker in Drumheller, Albertamarker and Dinosaur National Monumentmarker in Utahmarker are also badlands settings, and exhibit fossils found in the area. A small badlands called Hell's Half-Acre is present in Natrona County, Wyomingmarker. It is famous as one of the locations for the filming of Starship Troopers (1997). Additional badlands also exist in various places throughout southwest Wyoming, such as near Pinedale and in the Bridger Valley near the towns of Lyman and Mountain View, near the high Uintah Mountains.

Arguably the most well known badlands formation in New Zealandmarker, the Putangirua Pinnacles – formed by the erosion of the conglomerate of an old alluvial fan – are located at the head of a small valley near the southern tip of the North islandmarker. A famous European badland is the Bardenas Realesmarker near Tudela, Spainmarker.

Although most badland scenery is natural, there are some spectacular examples produced by mining, such as the Roman gold mine of Las Médulasmarker in northern Spainmarker.

Electric vehicles

Badlands fleet is operating two Toyota Prius gasoline-electric hybrid cars.

References

  1. http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/conference/ei10/intemissions/shepherd.pdf


http://www.nps.gov/badl/

See also




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