Theodore Roosevelt National Park is situated mostly within the confines of the Little Missouri River valley in the remote southwestern corner of North Dakota (figure 1). This part of the Great Plains hosts a landscape that has changed little since 1883 when 24- year- old Theodore Roosevelt came west to hunt buffalo. . . read more
The geologic features displayed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park are primarily Paleocene and younger in age (≤65 million years old). However, the geologic story of the area begins much earlier. The older rocks buried deep beneath the park contain significant natural resources. . . read more
Geologic Features & Processes
Myriad natural features contribute to the development of badlands topography at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (figure 13). Among these factors are intense seasonal storms; relatively soft, easily erodible rocks; and the absence of dense stabilizing vegetation. Badlands formation is probably the most distinctive geologic process occurring in the park . . . read more
Geologic Resource Evaluation Report – A detailed geologic report is available that provides an introduction to the geologic history of the park and its geologic formations, identifies geologic features and processes that are important to park ecosystems, describes key resource management challenges and possible solutions, and lists geologic research and monitoring needs.
Historical Uranium Mining
Western North Dakota contains several areas of known radioactive mineral deposits. Investigations conducted from the late 1940s to the late 1970s discovered several large areas of increased radioactivity in Bowman, Slope, Stark, Billings, and Golden Valley counties. Uranium and other radioactive elements were often found associated with beds of lignite. . . read more
Oil and Gas
Approximately 1,600 oil and gas wells surround the park and about 600 wells are planned over the next 10 years (U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management 1995). Park resource managers need to be aware of oil and gas operations within a regional context. In many cases, developing cooperative monitoring efforts with other agencies is an effective strategy. . . read more
The General park map handed out at the visitor center is available on the park's map webpage.For information about topographic maps, geologic maps, and geologic data sets, please see the geologic maps page.
A photo album for this park can be found here.For information on other photo collections featuring National Park geology, please see the Image Sources page.
Currently, we do not have a listing for a park-specific geoscience book. The park's geology may be described in regional or state geology texts.
Parks and Plates: The Geology of Our National Parks, Monuments & Seashores.
Lillie, Robert J., 2005.
W.W. Norton and Company.
9" x 10.75", paperback, 550 pages, full color throughout
The spectacular geology in our national parks provides the answers to many questions about the Earth. The answers can be appreciated through plate tectonics, an exciting way to understand the ongoing natural processes that sculpt our landscape. Parks and Plates is a visual and scientific voyage of discovery!
Ordering from your National Park Cooperative Associations' bookstores helps to support programs in the parks. Please visit the bookstore locator for park books and much more.
Information about the park's research program is available on the park's research webpage.
For information about permits that are required for conducting geologic research activities in National Parks, see the Permits Information page.
The NPS maintains a searchable data base of research needs that have been identified by parks.
A bibliography of geologic references is being prepared for each park through the Geologic Resources Evaluation Program (GRE). Please see the GRE website for more information and contacts.
NPS Geology and Soils PartnersAssociation of American State Geologists
Geological Society of America
Natural Resource Conservation Service - Soils
U.S. Geological Survey
Currently, we do not have a listing for any park-specific geology education programs or activities.
General information about the park's education and intrepretive programs is available on the park's education webpage.For resources and information on teaching geology using National Park examples, see the Students & Teachers pages.