Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1991


Published in Great Plains Research 1:1 (February 1991), pp. 6–25. Copyright © 1991 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Evidence of wind erosion, accumulation of airborne sediments, and drought is preserved on the Southern High Plains. Eolian deposition in the Holocene concentrated between 6000 and 4500 years ago. The Blackwater Draw Formation indicates episodic wind erosion and deposition in the past 1.6 million years. The Ogallala Formation suggests a vast, sandy eolian plain accumulated episodically between 4 and 11 million years. Warmer and drier conditions predicted for the region in a globally-warmer climate will thus be superimposed upon prevailing characteristics of wind and relative aridity that have dominated recent geologic time.