Historical:Big Creek Shale 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: Kewanee Group >>Carbondale Formation >>Big Creek Shale Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence


M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon

Name Origin

The Big Creek Shale Member of the Carbondale Formation (Savage, 1927, p. 309, 313, 315) is named for Big Creek in Fulton County.

Type Section

The type section occurs along Big Creek (7N-4E) (Wanless, 1957, p. 108).

Extent and Thickness

The Big Creek Shale Member is 10-30 feet thick. A shale is present at this position throughout much of the state, but the name has been used only in western Illinois.


The shale is gray, soft, and sandy, and grades into the underlying Vermilionville Sandstone.


SAVAGE, T. E., 1927, Significant breaks and overlaps in the Pennsylvanian rocks of Illinois: American Journal of Science, v. 14, p. 307-316.
WANLESS, H. R., 1957, Geology and mineral resources of the Beardstown, Glasford, Havana, and Vermont Quadrangles: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 82, 233 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation