Historical:Vienna Limestone

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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: Pope Megagroup >>Vienna Limestone
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Mississippian Subsystem >>Chesterian Series >>Elviran Stage
Allostratigraphy: Kaskaskia Sequence


Elwood Atherton, Charles Collinson, and Jerry A. Lineback

Name Origin

The Vienna Limestone (S. Weller, 1920, p. 396-398) is named for Vienna, Johnson County.

Type Section

The type section of the Vienna Limestone is in an old quarry west of the town of Vienna (NE SW NW 5, 13S-3E), where the formation is 14 feet thick.

Extent and Thickness

It is a thin limestone, rarely more than about 8 feet thick and commonly only 3 or 4 feet (fig. M-44). However, in extreme southern Illinois the limestone thickens rapidly to 30 feet (fig. M-1A). Until recently, the calcareous shale locally present above and below the limestone bed was assigned to the Vienna (Swann, 1963).


The limestone is mainly dark brownish gray, but some is brown or dark gray. It is generally very fossiliferous, with crinoid fragments predominating. It contains dark chocolate-brown chert nodules in the outcrop, but chert is rare in subsurface. Locally some beds are sandy. In places thin beds and partings of shale are interbedded with the limestone.


The fauna includes the bryozoan Prismopora serrulata, which is also abundant in the Glen Dean, and the pelecypod Sulcatopinna missouriensis, which is abundant in the Menard.


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, 1920, Chester Series in Illinois: Journal of Geology, v. 28, p. 281-303, 395-416.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation