Historical:Palestine Sandstone

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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
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Lithostratigraphy: Pope Megagroup >>Palestine Sandstone
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Mississippian Subsystem >>Chesterian Series >>Elviran Stage
Allostratigraphy: Kaskaskia Sequence


Elwood Atherton, Charles Collinson, and Jerry A. Lineback

Name Origin

The Palestine Sandstone (S. Weller, 1913, p. 120) is named for Palestine Township, Randolph County.

Type Section

The type section of the Palestine Sandstone occurs in Palestine Township, along tributaries of Tyndall Creek (29, 30, 6S-6W).

Extent and Thickness

The Palestine tends to thicken southward (fig. M-47) but not as markedly as other Chesterian formations. It is commonly 50-60 feet thick, but it ranges from 25 to over 100 feet. It is thickest where massive (channel-phase) sandstone bodies are present.


The Palestine Sandstone is a clastic unit that includes sandstone, shale, and siltstone. Much of the sandstone is gray, very fine grained, and more or less shaly. The thicker sandstone bodies are lighter colored and coarser grained, and grade to white, medium-grained sandstone. The shale is dark gray and generally silty or sandy. The siltstone is mainly dark gray with a little dark green. Much of the Palestine Sandstone is slightly carbonaceous. An underclay and coal bed mark the top of the Palestine at several localities in western Illinois (Swann, 1963). The Palestine does not have persistent traceable beds, such as characterize the younger Chesterian formations. The sandstone bodies lens rapidly in and out, but in most places the sandstone is in the upper and/or lower parts of the formation, rarely in the middle. Well developed channel sands in the lower part of the formation generally cut into the Menard Limestone. The sandstone bodies in the Palestine have the pattern of a deltaic distributary system (Potter, 1963).


Fossil tree trunks of Lepidodendron are perhaps more common in the Palestine than in any of the other Chesterian sandstones.


POTTER, P. E., 1963, Late Paleozoic sandstones of the Illinois Basin: Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 217, 92 p.
SWANN, D. H., 1963, Classification of Genevievian and Chesterian (Late Mississippian) rocks of Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 216, 91 p.
WELLER, STUART, 1913, Stratigraphy of the Chester Group in southwestern Illinois: Illinois Academy of Science Transactions, v. 6, p. 118-129.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation