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In Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, and Minnesota, Cretaceous strata are preserved in the asymmetric Western Interior foreland basin. More than 5,200 m (17,000 ft) of Cretaceous strata are present in southwestern Montana, less than 300 m (1,000 ft) in eastern South Dakota. The asymmetry resulted from varying rates of subsidence due to tectonic and sediment loading. The strata consist primarily of sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, and shale. Conglomerate is locally abundant along the western margin, whereas carbonate is present in most areas of the eastern shelf. Sediment was deposited in both marine and nonmarine environments as the shoreline fluctuated...

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