Historical:Big Clifty 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
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Lithostratigraphy: Pope Megagroup >>Okaw Group >>Golconda Group >>Fraileys Shale >>Big Clifty Sandstone Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Mississippian Subsystem >>Chesterian Series >>Hombergian Stage
Allostratigraphy: Kaskaskia Sequence


Elwood Atherton, Charles Collinson, and Jerry A. Lineback

Name Origin

The Big Clifty Sandstone Member of the Fraileys Shale (Norwood, 1876, p. 405) is named for Big Clifty Creek, Grayson County, Kentucky.

Type Section

The type section of the Big Clifty Sandstone Member is along the Big Clifty Creek, 2 miles southwest of the village of Big Clifty.

Extent and Thickness

The Big Clifty enters Illinois from the east and wedges out within a few tens of miles. Many wells in Lawrence, northern and eastern Jasper, and southern Cumberland Counties encounter 15-20 feet of Big Clifty. A few sporadic occurrences have been found in Marion County and east of there.

Stratigraphic Position

It is near the middle of the Fraileys or, less commonly, near the base. In Indiana the Big Clifty occupies nearly the whole of the interval represented by the Fraileys Shale in Illinois.


NORWOOD, C. J., 1876, Report on the geology of the region adjacent to the Louisville, Paducah, and Southwestern Railroad, with a section: Kentcuky Geological Survey, v. 1, p. 355-488.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation