Big Creek Shale Member

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Lithostratigraphy: Kewanee Group >>Carbondale Formation >>Big Creek Shale Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence

Primary source

Willman, H. B., Elwood Atherton, T. C. Buschbach, Charles Collinson, John C. Frye, M. E. Hopkins, Jerry A. Lineback, and Jack A. Simon, 1975, Handbook of Illinois Stratigraphy: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 95, 261 p.

Contributing author(s)

M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon


Original description

The Big Creek Shale Member of the Carbondale Formation (Savage, 1927, p. 309, 313, 315).


Named for Big Creek in Fulton County.

Other names


Type section

Type location

The type section occurs along Big Creek (7N-4E) (Wanless, 1957, p. 108).

Type author(s)

Type status

Reference section

Reference location

Reference author(s)

Reference status

Stratigraphic relationships

Extent and thickness

The Big Creek Shale Member is 10-30 feet thick. A shale is present at this position throughout much of the state, but the name has been used only in western Illinois.


The shale is gray, soft, and sandy, and grades into the underlying Vermilionville Sandstone.




Well log characteristics


Age and correlation

Environments of deposition

Economic importance



SAVAGE, T. E., 1927, Significant breaks and overlaps in the Pennsylvanian rocks of Illinois: American Journal of Science, v. 14, p. 307-316.
WANLESS, H. R., 1957, Geology and mineral resources of the Beardstown, Glasford, Havana, and Vermont Quadrangles: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 82, 233 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation