Historical:Babylon Sandstone Member

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Handbook of Illinois Stratigraphy
Series Bulletin 95
Author H. B. Willman, Elwood Atherton, T. C. Buschbach, Charles Collinson, John C. Frye, M. E. Hopkins, Jerry A. Lineback, Jack A. Simon
Date 1975
Link Web page
PDF PDF file
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Lithostratigraphy: McCormick Group >>Abbott Formation >>Babylon Sandstone Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Atokan Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence


M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon

Name Origin

The Babylon Sandstone Member of the Abbott Formation (Wanless, 1931a, p. 189-190, 192-193), the lowest named member in western Illinois, is named for Babylon, Fulton County.

Type Section

The type locality is half a mile north of Babylon in the west bank of the Spoon River (NE NE 14, 7N-1E) (Wanless, 1957, p. 65, 205).


The Babylon is correlated with the Grindstaff Sandstone of southern Illinois.

Extent and Thickness

The Babylon Sandstone is widely present in western Illinois and at its maximum is about 25 feet thick. The Babylon in western Illinois becomes thinner and sporadic in occurrence to the south.

Stratigraphic Position

In many places it is the lowest unit of the Pennsylvanian System and unconformably overlies Mississippian limestones.


The sandstone is made up of relatively pure, subangular, medium to coarse quartz grains, most of which have been secondarily enlarged by quartz overgrowths that sparkle in sunlight (Wanless, 1957).


WANLESS, H. R., 1931a, Pennsylvanian cycles in western Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 60, p.
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