Historical:Danville Coal 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
Store ISGS Store

Lithostratigraphy: Kewanee Group >>Carbondale Formation >>Danville Coal Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence


M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon

Name Origin

The Danville (No. 7) Coal Member of the Carbondale Formation (Bradley, 1870, p. 250-252), the uppermost member of the formation, is named for Danville, Vermilion County.

Type Section

Danville is near the type section (E 1/2 7, 19N-11W) (Wanless, 1956, p. 11), where it is an important commercial coal that has been mined since the latter part of the 1800s.

Other Names

It previously was called the Sparland (No. 7) coal in western Illinois and the "First Vein" (No. 7) coal in northern Illinois.


The Danville Coal correlates with the Danville Coal Member (VII) of Indiana and is present as a thin coal in western Kentucky.

Extent and Thickness

In the type locality it is 6 feet thick and occurs 20 feet above the Herrin (No. 6) Coal. The Danville Coal is extensive and has been mined in Livingston, McLean, La Salle, and Marshall Counties in addition to Vermilion County. In most of the remainder of the state it is a thin coal, generally from a few inches to less than 3 feet thick.

Stratigraphic Position

The position of the coal is easily recognized in the subsurface in both lithologic and geophysical logs. The No. 7 Coal is generally overlain by the Farmington Shale Member of the Modesto Formation, but in places the immediate roof is 1-2 feet of black fissile shale. It is underlain by a relatively thick underclay, which has been mined in La Salle and Marshall Counties as ceramic clay.


BRADLEY, F. H., 1870, Geology of Vermilion County: Geological Survey of Illinois, v. 4, p. 241-265.
WANLESS, H. R., 1956, Classification of the Pennsylvanian rocks of Illinois as of 1956: Illinois State Geological Survey Circular 217, 14 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation