Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water.[1] They are characterized by steep slopes, minimal vegetation, lack of a substantial regolith, and high drainage density.[2] They can resemble malpaís, a terrain of volcanic rock. Canyons, ravines, gullies, buttes, mesas, hoodoos and other such geologic forms are common in badlands. They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands often have a spectacular color display that alternates from dark black/blue coal stria to bright clays to red scoria.

Chinle Badlands
The Chinle Badlands at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah


Badlands are partially characterized by their thin to nonexistent regolith layers. The regolith profiles of badlands in arid climates are likely to resemble one another.[2] In these regions, the upper layer (~1–5 cm or 0.4–2.0 in) is typically composed of silt, shale, and sand (a byproduct of the weathered shale). This layer can form either a compact crust or a looser, more irregular aggregation of "popcorn" fragments. Located beneath the top layer is a sublayer (~5–10 cm or 2.0–3.9 in), below which can be found a transitional shard layer (~10–40 cm or 3.9–15.7 in), formed largely of loose disaggregated shale chips, which in turn eventually gives way to a layer of unweathered shale. Badlands such as those found in the Mancos Shale, the Brule Formation, the Chadron Formation, and the Dinosaur Provincial Park can be generally said to fit this profile.

In less arid regions, the regolith profile can vary considerably. Some badlands have no regolith layer whatsoever, capping instead in bare rock such as sandstone. Others have a regolith with a clay veneer, and still others have a biological crust of algae or lichens.[2]

In addition to lacking significant regolith, they also lack much vegetation. The lack of vegetation could very well be a result of the lack of a substantial regolith.[3]


The formation of badlands is a result of two processes: deposition and erosion. The process of deposition describes the accumulation, over time, of layers of mineral material. Different environments such as seas, rivers, or tropical zones, deposit different sorts of clays, silts, and sand. For instance, the badlands formations in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States underwent a 47-million year period of deposition which spanned three major geologic periods (the Cretaceous Period, the Late Eocene, and the Oligocene Epochs), resulting in clear, distinct layers of sediment[4] which serve as a dramatic display of the law of superposition. Once the deposited sediments have solidified, the sedimentary material becomes subject to erosion. It is sometimes erroneously taught that badlands erode at a steady rate of about one inch or 25 millimetres per year.[5] In actuality, the precise processes by which the erosion responses take place vary depending on the precise interbedding of the sedimentary material.[6] In 2010, researchers at Badlands National Park initiated a three-year project to learn more about the actual erosion rate of the specific badlands found in that park.[5]


Some of the best-known badland formations can be found in Canada and the United States. In the U.S., Makoshika State Park in Montana and Badlands National Park in South Dakota together form a series of extensive badland formations. Also located in this region is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a United States National Park composed of three geographically separated areas of badlands in western North Dakota named after former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona which is part of Navajo County encompasses numerous bad lands that also abuts the Navajo Indian Reservation and is directly North of Joseph City, Arizona. Many dinosaurs are believed to be buried in the immediate area and exploration has been ongoing since the early 20th century.

Among the Henry Mountains area in Utah, about 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level, Cretaceous and Jurassic aged shales are exposed. Another popular area of badland formations is Toadstool Geologic Park in the Oglala National Grassland located in northwestern Nebraska. Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah are also badlands settings, along with several other areas in southern Utah, such as the Chinle Badlands in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. A small badland called Hell's Half-Acre is present in Natrona County, Wyoming. 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. Pinnacles National Park in California also has areas of badlands, as does the Mojave Desert in eastern California.

El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico is named after the Spanish word malpaís, meaning bad lands.

The Big Muddy Badlands in Saskatchewan, gained notoriety as a hideout for outlaws. There is a large badland area in Alberta, particularly in the valley of the Red Deer River, where Dinosaur Provincial Park is located, as well as in Drumheller, where The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is located.

The "Calanchi" of Aliano, in the Italian region of Basilicata

A well-known badlands formation in New Zealand – the Putangirua Pinnacles, formed by the erosion of the conglomerate of an old alluvial fan – is located at the head of a small valley near the southern tip of the North Island.

Other badlands can be found in Italy, known as "Calanchi". Some examples include Aliano, Basilicata, and Crete Senesi, Tuscany.

The Bardenas Reales near Tudela, Navarre, and the Tabernas Desert in Tabernas, Almería, and possible Los Monegros in Aragon, all of them in Spain, are examples in Europe.

The Valle de la Luna ("Valley of the Moon") is one of many examples of badland formations in midwestern Argentina. This geologic formation is the only place in the world where nearly all of the Triassic is represented in an undisturbed sequence of rock deposits.

Although most badland scenery is natural, there are some examples produced by mining, such as the Roman gold mine of Las Médulas in northern Spain. An example of badlands produced by poor farming practices is the Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon, Ontario.

Image gallery


Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta


Badlands of Hell's Half-Acre, Natrona County, Wyoming

Panorámica de Las Médulas

Panoramic view of Las Médulas, Spain

Badlands at the Blue Gate, Utah

Badlands incised into shale at the foot of the North Caineville Plateau, Utah, within the pass carved by the Fremont River known as the Blue Gate.

Montana Badlands

Badlands in eastern Montana (Hell Creek Formation)

See also


  1. ^ "Badlands" in Chambers's Encyclopædia. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 2, p. 47.
  2. ^ a b c A.J. Parsons and A.D. Abrahams, Editors (2009) Geomorphology of Desert Environments (2nd ed.) Springer Science & Business Media ISBN 978-1402057182
  3. ^ Bryan, R. and A. Yair, 1982a. Perspectives on studies of badland geomorphology. In Badland geomorphology and piping. R. Bryan and A. Yair (eds), 1-3. Norwich: Geo Books.
  4. ^ "Badlands National Park South Dakota". November 7, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Badlands Erosion Rates".
  6. ^ Thomas, D. (2011). Arid zone geomorphology: Process, form and change in drylands. (3rd ed.). Wiley.

External links

Badlands (Bruce Springsteen song)

"Badlands" is the leadoff track on Bruce Springsteen's fourth studio album Darkness on the Edge of Town, and its second single.

Badlands (Halsey album)

Badlands (stylized in all caps) is the debut studio album by American singer and songwriter Halsey. It was released on August 28, 2015, by Astralwerks. Musically, Badlands is primarily rooted in electropop, alternative pop, and synth-pop, and features industrial music undertones. Halsey wrote every song on the album when she was 19, while production was handled by a number of producers. Norwegian producer Lido was one of the main producers on Badlands. The album was described by Halsey as lacking a "proper radio hit".

The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 115,000 copies, 97,000 of that estimate being pure album sales. The album was eventually certified Platinum by the RIAA. Badlands found success in many countries outside of the United States; it reached the top ten of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Scotland, United Kingdom, Belgium, and Portugal. It was also certified Gold in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The album was further promoted by Halsey's debut headlining world tour, The Badlands Tour.

The album was preceded by the release of two singles: "Ghost", which was also a rereleased single, and "New Americana", which peaked at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Halsey's first appearance on the chart. The third single from the album, "Colors", was released on February 9, 2016, and became the albums most streamed track on Spotify; it also became the albums best selling track worldwide. A new version of the song "Castle" was released as the album's fourth single to promote the feature film The Huntsman: Winter's War. The latter three singles were certified Platinum, while the former was certified Gold. Outside of the singles, one more Platinum track ("Gasoline") and three more Gold tracks ("Hold Me Down", "Hurricane", and "Control") came from Badlands. "Gasoline" additionally became one of the album's most popular tracks despite only appearing on the Deluxe version of Badlands; it reached over 100 million streams on Spotify. "Roman Holiday" was featured in the second season of the TV series Younger and "I Walk the Line" was featured in the teaser trailer for the film Power Rangers.

Badlands (film)

Badlands is a 1973 American period crime drama film written, produced and directed by Terrence Malick in his filmmaking debut, starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek, and featuring Warren Oates and Ramon Bieri. The story, though fictional, is loosely based on the real-life murder spree of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, in 1958, though that basis was not acknowledged when the film was released. Like many of Malick's films, Badlands is notable for its lyrical photography, and its music, which includes pieces by Carl Orff. The film is the on-screen debut of Sheen's sons Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, as uncredited extras.

Badlands is often cited by film critics as one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. In 1993, four years after the United States National Film Registry was established, it was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park (Lakota: Makȟóšiča) is an American national park located in southwestern South Dakota. The park protects 242,756 acres (379.3 sq mi; 982.4 km2) of sharply eroded buttes and pinnacles, along with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The National Park Service manages the park, with the South Unit being co-managed with the Oglala Lakota tribe.The Badlands Wilderness protects 64,144 acres (100.2 sq mi; 259.6 km2) of the park as a designated wilderness area, and is one site where the black-footed ferret, one of the most endangered mammals in the world, was reintroduced to the wild. The South Unit, or Stronghold District, includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances, a former United States Air Force bomb and gunnery range, and Red Shirt Table, the park's highest point at 3,340 feet (1,020 m).Authorized as Badlands National Monument on March 4, 1929, it was not established until January 25, 1939. Badlands was redesignated a national park on November 10, 1978. Under the Mission 66 plan, the Ben Reifel Visitor Center was constructed for the monument in 1957–58. The park also administers the nearby Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Movies such as Dances with Wolves (1990) and Thunderheart (1992) were partially filmed in Badlands National Park.

Cheltenham Badlands

Cheltenham Badlands is a small example of badlands formation in Caledon, Ontario.

The site is located on the south east side of Olde Base Line Road, between Creditview and Chinguacousy Roads, west of Highway 10 in Caledon, and features exposed and eroded Queenston Shale. The formation is located along the Niagara Escarpment.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about two-and-a-half hours drive east of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; or 48 kilometres (30 mi), about a half-hour drive northeast of Brooks.

The park is situated in the valley of the Red Deer River, which is noted for its striking badland topography. The park is well known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world. Fifty-eight dinosaur species have been discovered at the park and more than 500 specimens have been removed and exhibited in museums around the globe. The renowned fossil assemblage of nearly 500 species of life, from microscopic fern spores to large carnivorous dinosaurs, justified its becoming a World Heritage Site in 1979.

Eric Singer

Eric Singer (born Eric Doyle Mensinger; May 12, 1958) is an American hard rock and heavy metal drummer, best known as a member of Kiss, portraying The Catman originally played by Peter Criss. He has also performed with artists such as Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Lita Ford, Badlands, and Gary Moore as well as his own band ESP. In his career, Singer has appeared on over 75 albums and 11 EPs.

Halsey (singer)

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane (; born September 29, 1994), known professionally as Halsey (), is an American singer and songwriter. Her initial recognition came from her self-released music posted on social media platforms, and in 2014, she was signed by Astralwerks after her song "Ghost" went viral on SoundCloud.

Halsey released her debut EP, Room 93, in 2014. To promote the EP and her upcoming album, she toured with larger acts. In 2015, her debut studio album, Badlands, was released. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Ghost" was rereleased as the lead single from Badlands, and three new singles were released after, all of which were certified Platinum and achieved minor commercial success. To promote the album, Halsey embarked on her debut headlining world tour.

In 2016, Halsey was featured as a vocalist on The Chainsmokers' single "Closer", which topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for 12 consecutive weeks, thus gaining her greater prominence. Her second studio album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, was released in 2017 and debuted at number one in the US and Canada. The album consisted of more "radio friendly" music than her previous releases; four of its singles charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Now or Never" peaking at number 17 and "Bad at Love" peaking at number five. In 2018, Halsey sang with Khalid for Benny Blanco's debut single "Eastside", which peaked at number nine in the US and topped the charts of five other countries. Later that year, she released a single titled "Without Me", which peaked at number one in the US, and also charted in the top five of sixteen other countries.

Halsey is noted for her distinctive singing voice. Her music focuses on her personal experiences and telling a story. Her awards and nominations include four Billboard Music Awards, four iHeartRadio Music Awards, one GLAAD Media Award, one Global Award, a Guinness World Record, and a Grammy Award nomination. Outside of her career, she has been involved in suicide prevention awareness and sexual assault victim advocacy.

Into the Badlands (TV series)

Into the Badlands is an American television series that premiered on November 15, 2015, on AMC. The series follows a warrior and a young boy who journey through a dangerous feudal land together seeking enlightenment. On February 9, 2019, AMC canceled the show after three seasons. The series finale aired on May 6, 2019.

John Sloman

John Anthony David Sloman was born in Cardiff, South Wales, 26 April 1957 as the eldest of six children. He is best known as the lead vocalist for Welsh band Lone Star during 1977/'78 and classic rockers Uriah Heep from 1979 to 1981.

List of Star Trek regions of space

Several films and episodes of the science fiction franchise Star Trek are set in distinct regions of space. Some of these fictional locations exhibit anomalous physical properties; others are defined as sensitive buffer zones under various fictional political accords.

This list describes some of the more significant settings for Star Trek films or story arcs over multiple television episodes.

Melnik, Bulgaria

Melnik (Bulgarian: Мелник, Greek: Μελένικο, Meleniko) is a town in Blagoevgrad Province, Southwestern Bulgaria, in the Southwestern Pirin Mountains, about 440 m above sea level. The town is an architectural reserve and 96 of its buildings are cultural monuments. With a population of 385, it is the smallest town in Bulgaria, retaining its town status today for historical reasons. It is situated on the foothills of the Pirin mountain range and is overlooked by the Melnik Earth Pyramids.

Oregon Badlands Wilderness

The Oregon Badlands Wilderness is a 29,301-acre (11,858 ha) wilderness area located east of Bend in Deschutes and Crook counties in the U.S. state of Oregon. The wilderness is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System and was created by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on 30 March 2009.The area is known for igneous castle-like rock formations, harsh terrain, ancient Juniper trees, sagebrush, and extensive arid land. Desert wildflowers, dry river canyons, and Native American pictographs can be found.

The blind iditarod racer Rachel Scdoris trained in the area, and the wilderness is home to the western terminus of the Oregon Desert Trail.

Philadelphia Badlands

The Philadelphia Badlands is a section of North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, that is known for an abundance of open-air recreational drug markets and drug-related violence. It has amorphous and somewhat disputed boundaries, but is generally agreed to include the 25th police district.Usually, it is widely understood to be an area between Kensington Avenue to the east and Broad Street to the west, and between Hunting Park Avenue to the north and York Street to the south, mostly coinciding with the neighborhoods of Fairhill, Glenwood, Hunting Park, Harrowgate, Stanton, North Central, West Kensington, Hartranft, and Kensington.

The term "The Badlands" was popularized in part by the novel Third and Indiana by then Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Steve Lopez. The neighborhood also was featured in several episodes of ABC's Nightline. The intersection of 3rd Street and Indiana Avenue was listed number two in a 2007 list of the city's top ten drug corners according to an article by Philadelphia Weekly reporter Steve Volk.The term Badlands was first used by Lt. John Gallo, who headed the East Division Narcotics Task Force. Its use spread, with many people attempting to take credit for the moniker. It was Gallo's work along with ASAC Billy Retton that worked about a dozen long-term investigations in the 25th and 26th Police Districts that preceded "Operation Sunrise". Open-air drug sales changed completely after this. Ted Koppel, Geraldo Rivera, 20/20 and 48 Hours all rode with Gallo at one time or another, and it was during this time that Gallo was able to make the name stick.

At one time a center of heavy industry, much of the Badlands' urban landscape is now characterized by vacant warehouses and tightly-packed strips of brick row houses constructed for the working class of the neighborhood. Like most industrial cities, Philadelphia suffered economic decline following the movement of industry to developing countries and has suffered as a result.

The Philadelphia Badlands contain a diverse mix of ethnicities. Puerto Ricans are the largest group, but the area also contains large populations of Black Americans, Irish Americans, and Dominicans. The area encompasses El Centro de Oro, the heart of Philadelphia's Puerto Rican community. Although much of the area's crime stems from local neighborhood-based street gangs and the drug trade, larger, more organized gangs also operate in the area, including the Black Mafia, Latin Kings, and various motorcycle gangs.Aside from less-organized gang activity, the Badlands is also known as the founding location and current turf of the Irish-American organized crime group known as the K&A Gang (also known as the Northeast Philly Irish Mob). Circa 2012 Irish Americans constitute more than 12% of the population of the Badlands.The area's reputation has been countered by community activists and nonprofit organizations such as Centro Nueva Creación, which in 2010 conducted a summer children's program, "The Goodlands Photographers", aimed at helping young people photograph and display positive images of their neighborhood.

Ray Gillen

Raymond Arthur Gillen (May 12, 1959 – December 1, 1993) was an American rock singer-songwriter. He is a best known for his work with Badlands, in addition to his stint with Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena's Dream Runner album.

Terrence Malick

Terrence Frederick Malick (; born November 30, 1943) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Malick began his career as part of the New Hollywood film-making wave with the films Badlands (1973), about a murderous couple on the run in the American badlands, and Days of Heaven (1978), which detailed the love-triangle between two labourers and a wealthy farmer, before a lengthy hiatus. He returned to directing with films such as The Thin Red Line (1998), The New World (2005), and The Tree of Life (2011), being awarded the Golden Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival and the Palme d'Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival, respectively.

Malick's films have been noted for exploring themes such as individual transcendence, nature, and conflicts between reason and instinct. They are typically marked by broad philosophical and spiritual overtones, as well as the use of meditative voice-overs from individual characters. The stylistic elements of the director's work have inspired divided opinions among film scholars and audiences; some praised his films for their cinematography and aesthetics, while others found them lacking in plot and character development. His first five films have nonetheless ranked highly in retrospective decade-end and all-time polls.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is an American national park comprising three geographically separated areas of badlands in western North Dakota. The park was named for U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The park covers 70,446 acres (110.072 sq mi; 28,508 ha; 285.08 km2) of land in three sections: the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit.

The park's larger South Unit lies alongside Interstate 94 near Medora, North Dakota. The smaller North Unit is situated about 80 mi (130 km) north of the South Unit, on U.S. Route 85, just south of Watford City, North Dakota. Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch is located between the North and South units, approximately 20 mi (32 km) west of US 85 and Fairfield, North Dakota. The Little Missouri River flows through all three units of the park. The Maah Daah Hey Trail connects all three units.

The park received 749,389 recreational visitors in 2018. It is the only American national park named directly after a single person.

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