Caseyville Formation

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Lithostratigraphy: Raccoon Creek Group >>Caseyville Formation
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Morrowan Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence

Primary source

Nelson, W.J., 2018, Pennsylvanian Subsystem in Illinois. Edited and figures drafted by Jennifer M. Obrad. Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin (in press).

Contributing author(s)

W.J. Nelson


Original description

Referring to outcrops of quartz-pebble conglomerate and pebbly sandstone near Caseyville, Owen (1856, p. 48, 49, 56) introduced the name in the form “Caseyville conglomerate.”


Caseyville is an unincorporated community on the Ohio River in Union County, Kentucky. According to The Political Graveyard website (, Caseyville was founded prior to 1821 and later named for Samuel L. Casey, U.S. Representative from the 1st District of Kentucky. Casey was born here in 1821; he died in 1902 and is buried in the Caseyville cemetery.

Other names

Some early authors used “Millstone Grit,” a name borrowed from early usage for rocks of similar age and lithology in northern England. Others used generic terms such as “conglomerate.” Early authors, such as Shaw and Savage (1912) and Lamar (1925), applied the Pennsylvania name “Pottsville Formation” to the Caseyville and much of the Tradewater Formation in southern Illinois. The name “Mansfield Sandstone” (Hopkins 1896) became established in Indiana before widespread acceptance of Caseyville elsewhere and evolved into the current Mansfield Formation, which includes strata younger than the Caseyville.


Glenn (1912) was the first to use the name “Caseyville” in a formational sense. Lee (1916) described the type section, along with that of the overlying Tradewater Formation. The first geologist to map the Caseyville in Illinois was Butts (1925); however, Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) publications continued to use “Pottsville formation” for the lower part of the Pennsylvanian into the late 1930s. As cyclothemic classification took hold, the ISGS adopted the Caseyville as a group (e.g., Weller 1940). With their thorough overhaul of Pennsylvanian classification, Kosanke et al. (1960) essentially established the present usage. The name Caseyville Formation is currently used in Illinois and Kentucky, but not in Indiana (Greb et al. 1992, 2002; Tri-State Committee 2001).

Type section

Type location

The type section was “measured from outcrops on the Illinois shore of the Ohio River between the mouth of the Saline River and Gentry’s Landing below Battery Rock” in Hardin County, Illinois (Lee 1916, p. 15; Figure 2-1).

Type author(s)

Lee (1916, p. 15–16) created the original description (Figure 2-2). Kosanke et al. (1960) and Nelson (1989) reproduced the section. Geologic maps by Baxter et al. (1963), Kehn (1974), Denny et al. (2012), and Seid et al. (2013) cover the area.

Type status

Like other natural exposures of the Caseyville, the type section comprises prominent cliffs and ledges of sandstone, separated by poorly exposed or covered intervals of shaly strata.

Reference section

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Reference author(s)

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Stratigraphic relationships

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Well log characteristics


Age and correlation

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ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation
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