Historical:Kinderhookian Series

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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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Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Mississippian Subsystem >>Kinderhookian Series
Allostratigraphy: Kaskaskia Sequence


Elwood Atherton, Charles Collinson, and Jerry A. Lineback

Name Origin

The Kinderhookian Series (Meek and Worthen, 1861b, p. 288; Collinson, 1961, p. 102) is named for the village of Kinderhook, northwestern Pike County.

Type Section

The type section of the Kinderhookian Series is located near the village of Kinderhook, northwestern Pike County, in exposures in the Mississippi River bluffs.

Extent and Thickness

The Kinderhookian extends throughout most of western, central, and southern Illinois (fig. M-5) but is well exposed only along the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys in western Illinois. Small exposures occur around Hicks Dome in Hardin County and at Horseshoe in Saline County (N 1/2 36, 9S-7E). Elsewhere along its boundary, it is overlapped by younger Mississippian or Pennsylvanian strata.

The Kinderhookian is as much as 167 feet thick in western Illinois, where the North Hill Group (fig. M-6) is well developed, and 100 to 120 feet thick in a belt running east from Calhoun County where the "Glen Park" is well developed. It is thin in the eastern and southern parts of the Illinois Basin.


As originally defined (fig. M-7), the Kinderhook Group included all the strata between the black shale (Grassy Creek) and the Burlington Limestone, strata previously correlated with the Devonian Chemung Group of New York. Later, the black shale was also included in the Kinderhook Group, which was assigned to the Mississippian System. After the Kinderhookian was made a series, the position of the Mississippian-Devonian boundary became controversial (Stainbrook, 1935; Weller, 1939). Studies of the conodont faunas resulted in a redefinition of the Kinderhookian Series to include only those strata overlying the Louisiana Limestone and underlying the Meppen Limestone, or the Burlington where the Meppen is absent (Collinson, 1961). As thus defined, the Kinderhookian Series includes the upper part of the New Albany Group, the widespread Chouteau Limestone, and, in a small area in western Illinois, the North Hill Group.

Stratigraphic Position

At the type locality Kinderhookian strata overlie the Devonian Saverton Shale, and the McCraney Limestone is at the top of the section. The younger Kinderhookian strata, which lie between the Burlington Limestone (above) and the McCraney (below), are exposed near by (Collinson, 1961). The Kinderhookian Series is generally conformable with the Upper Devonian Series (below) and the Valmeyeran Series (above), but in western Illinois both contacts are marked by local unconformities that resulted from minor uplifts on the flanks of the Ozarks.


The Kinderhookian Series is dominantly shale but has a thin, extensive limestone at the top and a limestone-siltstone-shale formation locally developed at the base.


COLLINSON, CHARLES, 1961, Kinderhookian Series in the Mississippi Valley, in Northeastern Missouri and west-central Illinois: Kansas Geological Society Guidebook, 26th Annual Field Conference, Missouri Geological Survey Report of Investigations 27, p. 100-109; Illinois State Geological Survey Reprint 1961-U.
MEEK, F. B., and A. H. WORTHEN, 1861b, Descriptions of new Paleozoic fossils from Illinois and Iowa: Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences Proceedings, p. 128-148.
STAINBROOK, M. A., 1935, Stratigraphy of the Devonian System of the Upper Mississippi Valley: Kansas Geological Society Guidebook, 9th Annual Field Conference, p. 248-260.
WELLER, J. M., 1939, Mississippian System: Kansas Geological Society Guidebook, 13th Annual Field Conference, southwestern Illinois and southeastern Missouri, p. 131-137.

ISGS Codes

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