Mecca Quarry Shale Member

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Lithostratigraphy: Kewanee Group >>Carbondale Formation >>Mecca Quarry Shale Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence

Primary source

Willman, H. B., Elwood Atherton, T. C. Buschbach, Charles Collinson, John C. Frye, M. E. Hopkins, Jerry A. Lineback, and Jack A. Simon, 1975, Handbook of Illinois Stratigraphy: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 95, 261 p.

Contributing author(s)

M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon


Original description

The Mecca Quarry Shale Member of the Carbondale Formation (Zangerl and Richardson, 1963, p. 25).


Named for Mecca, Parke County, Indiana.

Other names


Type section

Type location

The type section is in a small quarry that was excavated for study of the shale (SW NE 29, 15N-8W).

Type author(s)

Type status

Reference section

Reference location

Reference author(s)

Reference status

Stratigraphic relationships

It lies immediately above the Colchester (No. 2) Coal in much of southern and eastern Illinois and above the Francis Creek Shale in much of western and northern Illinois. Where the Francis Creek is more than about 30 feet thick, the Mecca Quarry is absent. The Mecca Quarry is generally overlain by the Oak Grove Limestone.

Extent and thickness

Locally it is as much as 4 feet thick but more normally is 1-2 feet thick. The unit is very extensive in Illinois and adjacent states.


The Mecca Quarry Shale is a hard, black fissile shale. Large limestone concretions and small phosphatic lenses and nodules are common locally (fig. P-3C).




Well log characteristics


It contains a varied marine fauna dominated by nektonic and planktonic forms.

Age and correlation

Environments of deposition

Economic importance



ZANGERL, RAINER, and E. S. RICHARDSON, JR., 1963, Paleoecological history of two Pennsylvanian black shales: Fieldiana--Geological Memoir 4, 352 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation