Historical:Canton 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 >>Canton Shale Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence


M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon

Name Origin

The Canton Shale Member of the Carbondale Formation (Savage, 1921a, p. 240-241) is named for Canton, Fulton County.

Type Section

The type section consists of outcrops along Big Creek (cen. 9, 6N-4E).


In southern Illinois the shale above the St. David Limestone and the shale either immediately or a few feet above the Briar Hill Coal may be in part equivalent to the Canton.


The Canton is a gray, rather uniform shale that tends to be decidedly silty in its upper part. In western and northern Illinois, where it is primarily recognized and is as much as 50 feet thick, the lower few feet is dark gray and contains a varied marine fauna and several layers of fossiliferous, calcareous coneretions. In northern Illinois a 4-6 inch bed of canneloid coal occurs locally about 10 feet above the base of the Canton. In central and western Illinois, from south of Springfield to the vicinity of Du Quoin in Perry County, the interval between the Herrin (No. 6) and Springfield-Harrisburg (No. 5) Coals thins, and the Canton Shale is only a foot or so thick or is absent.


SAVAGE, T. E., 1921a, Geology and mineral resources of the Avon and Canton Quadrangles: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 38, p. 209-271.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation