Painted Hills

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For Painted Hills, Riverside County, see Desert Hot Springs .

Coordinates: 44°39′41″N 120°16′23″W / 44.6615223°N 120.2730726°W / 44.6615223; -120.2730726

Painted Hills is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in Wheeler County, Oregon.[1] It totals 3,132 acres (1,267 ha) and is located 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Mitchell, Oregon.[2] Painted Hills is named after the colorful layers of its hills corresponding to various geological eras, formed when the area was an ancient river floodplain.

The black soil is lignite that was vegetative matter that grew along the floodplain. The grey coloring is mudstone, siltstone, and shale.[3] The red coloring is laterite soil that formed by floodplain deposits when the area was warm and humid.[4]

An abundance of fossil remains of early horses, camels, and rhinoceroses in the Painted Hills unit makes the area particularly important to vertebrate paleontologists.[5]

Painted Hills, Oregon
Bands of laterite give these Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument near Mitchell, Oregon their colorful appearance.Video by Mary Harrsch

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  2. ^ {{cite web http://mitchelloregon.us/ The Painted Hills are listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon http://traveloregon.com/see-do/attractions/outdoors-nature/painted-hills/ | title = Painted Hills Unit | work = John Day Fossil Beds National Monument | publisher = U.S. National Park Service | accessdate = 2006-12-01}}
  3. ^ "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon". U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 2006-09-22. Retrieved 2006-12-01. 
  4. ^ "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon". U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-12-01. 
  5. ^ Alt, David; Donald W. Hundman (1995). Northwest Exposures: A Geologic History of the Northwest. Mountain Press. pp. 227–231. ISBN 0-87842-323-0. 

External links[edit]