Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 32 Number 3: 59-69 - July 1970

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Badland Caves of Wyoming
Eric N. Clausen


Badland caves in four representative areas of Wyoming are described in detail. In each area visited, subsurface drainage was found to be significant. Subsurface pipes opened into large chambers, some as large as 80 ft by 30 ft by 20 ft. Caves were found behind talus slopes, dripstone adobe walls, and under what appeared to be normal hillslopes. The various types of caves apparently have different origins, though most seems to be developed along bedrock-debris contacts. The roofs of most of the caves seemed to be supported by the adobe crust which forms on the surface of most bedland clays. Claystone under the crust disaggregates and is washed away by subsurface darinage, leaving the chambers.

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