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A grouping of four bentonite beds, herein named the Government Draw Bentonite Beds, is identified as a stratigraphic marker within the Virgin Creek Member of the Pierre Shale. The beds are found west of Pierre, South Dakota, over an area of at least 130 mi2 (210 km2) where no other markers within the Virgin Creek Member have been identified. In this area, the Government Draw is a potential tool needed to determine the stratigraphic and structural relationships within the upper part of the Pierre Shale, heretofore little known. A better understanding of structural elements found in the Pierre Shale is needed to unravel the Late Cretaceous and younger geologic history of the area. -Authors
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Government Draw Bentonite Beds: a newly identified stratigraphic marker in the Virgin Creek Member of the Pierre Shale, central South Dakota ( USA).