Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Datasets
Data on aeolian sand dune activity in the White River Badlands, South Dakota, northern Great Plains, USA
White River Badlands, northern Great Plains, central Great Plains, Nebraska Sand Hills, Medieval Climate Anomaly drought, Little Ice Age drought
This data paper reports on optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) data from samples collected in the White River Badlands, South Dakota, northern Great Plains. Sand samples were collected from the crests of parabolic dune heads and arms, as well as blowout exposures, on three tables located on private land in the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. Using hand augers, samples were collected at depths of 1 and 2m below ground surface to minimize potential effects of bioturbation. An improvised split-spoon sampler was used at selected sites to ensure collection from laminated sediments. At auger and exposure localities, sediment was collected by inserting tubes into a full bucket auger or exposure face. Tubes were tightly packed and taped at both ends to prevent shifting of sediment during shipping. Samples collected from the truck-mounted corer were packed in black plastic liners to ensure samples were not exposed to sunlight. OSL analyses were conducted at the University of Nebraska’s Luminescence and Geochronology Laboratory. Interpretation of OSL data was aided by analyses of aerial photographs from the National Agricultural Imagery Program and from the Aerial Photos Single Frame collection hosted on servers of the United States Geological Survey.
Chronology of Dune Development in the White River Badlands, northern Great Plains
Paul Baldauf, Patrick Burkhart, Paul Hanson, Maraina Miles, and Ashley Larsen. 2018. Data on aeolian sand dune activity in the White River Badlands, South Dakota, northern Great Plains, USA .Chronology of Dune Development in the White River Badlands, northern Great Plains . https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facdatasets/6.
Fig1.EPS (1977 kB)
Figure 1. Dune fields and major streams of the northern and central Great Plains modified from (Halfen & Johnson, 2013).
Fig2.EPS (22495 kB)
Figure 2. White River Badlands aeolian deposits. Diamonds mark the approximate sample localities in this study. Circles mark the approximate sample localities from Burkhart et al. (2008).
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Figure 3. Aeolian clifftop deposits and aeolian sand on western edge of Bouquet Table. Grass covered aeolian deposits overlie fluvial deposits and White River Group strata. Thickness of aeolian deposits is approximately 10m and total relief is approximately 20 m.
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Figure 4. Exposure of aeolian sand at the northern end of 185th Avenue Table. Thickness of the aeolian sand is approximately 10 m. OSL results from this outcrop, reported in a Burkhart et al., 2008 and Rawling, Fredlund, & Mahan, 2003, gave an age of 14,500 years ago.
Fig5.EPS (13794 kB)
Figure 5. Cuny Table (shown here), Conata Ranch, and Bouquet Table dune fields consist of high and low-relief dune forms, dominantly parabolic dunes opening to the northwest, blowouts, and sand sheets. The dashed line marks the boundary between low-relief dunes to the north and high-relief dunes to the south. North of the dashed line, dune relief is approximately 5 m with slopes of 5 to 7%. South of the line, there are more blowouts, relief is 10 to 12 m, and slopes are 30 to 45%.
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Figure 6. Stratigraphic profiles of Bouquet Table cores with OSL ages in years ago. Elevation of the table surface at each station is given.
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Figure 7. Stratigraphic profiles of Cuny Table stations with OSL ages. Elevation of the table surface at each station is given.
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Figure 8. Stratigraphic profiles of Conata Ranch auger stations with OSL ages. Elevation of the table surface at each station is given.
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Figure 9. Conata sample stations. The dashed line marks the boundary between low-relief dunes to the north and high-relief dunes to the south.
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Figure 10. Bouquet Table sample stations. The dashed line marks the boundary between low-relief dunes to the north and high-relief dunes to the south.
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Figure 11. Probability plot showing Late Pleistocene through middle Holocene OSL ages from this and previous works (light gray lines) of Rawling et al. (2003) and Burkhart et al. (2008). Vertical gray bars are megadrought events from the Nebraska Sand Hills and adjacent loess deposits from Miao et al. (2007). Vertical scale for the probability plot is an arbitrary scale.
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Figure 12. Probability plot of ages from this work showing middle Holocene through late Holocene OSL ages in years before present. Vertical gray bars are megadrought events from the Nebraska Sand Hills and adjacent loess deposits from Miao et al. (2007). Vertical scale for the probability plot is an arbitrary scale.
Fig13.eps (2238 kB)
Figure 13. Plot of the late Holocene OSL ages from this study relative to the approximate ages of Medieval Climate Anomaly (Solomon & (eds.). 2007) and the Little Ice Age (Mann et al., 2009). Dark gray bars are Bouquet Tables OSL ages with error, medium gray bars are Conata Ranch OSL ages with error, and light gray bars are Cuny Table OSL ages with error.
Thanks to Badlands National Park Paleontologist Rachel Benton for support and advice on working in an around the Badlands National Park. Special thanks to property owners in the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands and the Pine Ridge Reservation for access to private property, including Doug Albertson, Vin Ryan, Carla Meyer, and Dusty of Conata Ranch; and Arlin Whirlwindhorse, Alan Cuny, and Coy Fisher on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This research was supported in part by a Nova Southeastern University Faculty Grant PFRDG 335392 and institutional grants from Slippery Rock University.