Painted Hills, in the northwest United States, is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in Wheeler County, Oregon. It totals 3,132 acres (12.67 km2) and is located 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Mitchell, Oregon. The Painted Hills are listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon. 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. The red coloring is laterite soil that formed by floodplain deposits when the area was warm and humid.
An abundance of fossil remains of early horses, camels, and rhinoceroses in the Painted Hills unit makes the area particularly important to vertebrate paleontologists.
- "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- "Painted Hills Unit". John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 2006-12-01.
- "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon". U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 2006-09-22. Retrieved 2006-12-01.
- "John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon". U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2006-12-01.
- Alt, David; Donald W. Hundman (1995). Northwest Exposures: A Geologic History of the Northwest. Mountain Press. pp. 227–231. ISBN 0-87842-323-0.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Painted Hills.|
- "John Day Fossil Beds". National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- "Image Gallery". Marius Schilder. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- Travel Oregon – Painted Hills
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