Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Black Hills is a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is somewhat of a geologic anomaly. The region is considered sacred by the Native Americans of the plains.
Following the defeat of the Sioux and their allies in 1876, the United States "purchased" the region (no actual purchase was ever completed and this area is under dispute to this day). In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Black Hills were illegally taken and that renumeration of initial offering price plus interest — over $100 million — be paid. But the Lakota wanted the return of their land — not money — and refused the settlement. The Lakota Nation still demands its land back to this day.
In the gold rush of 1877-1878 thousands of miners went there, and in 1880 there had already sprung into existence three towns: Deadwood, Central City, and Lead. Around these also lay groups of smaller towns and villages. From 1880 the gold mines yielded about $4,000,000 annually, and the silver mines about $3,000,000 annually.
The region is also rich in copper, lead, iron, and mica. The soil is fertile and the hills have abundant facilities for the grazing of cattle. Thrifty farmers have settled there, and many of them have good farms and fine improvements.
The geology of the Black Hills is complex. A Tertiary mountain building episode is responsible for the uplift and current topography of the Black Hills region. This uplift was marked by volcanic activity in the northern Black Hills. The southern Black Hills are characterized by Precambrian granite, pegmatite, and metamorphic rocks that comprise the core of the entire Black Hills uplift. This core is rimmed by Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks.
The region is home to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Harney Peak (the highest point in South Dakota), and Crazy Horse Memorial (the largest sculpture in the world).
Source: The Americana
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details