Historical:Lowell Coal 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 >>Lowell Coal Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence


M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon

Name Origin

The Lowell Coal Member of the Carbondale Formation (Willman and Payne, 1942, p. 102-105) is named for Lowell, La Salle County, where the coal is 10 inches thick in the type section.

Type Section

The type section of the Lowell Coal is an exposure on the Vermilion River (SE SW 8, 32N-2E).


It is equivalent to the Shawneetown Coal in southwestern, southern, and eastern Illinois.

Extent and Thickness

The Lowell Coal is present in northern Illinois and in the southern part of western Illinois.


It is a bright-banded, rather shaly coal underlain by a silty to sandy underclay and overlain by several feet of gray shale that contains two limestone beds, which are equivalent to upper units of the Oak Grove Limestone. The underclay overlies a siltstone containing plant root impressions, which in turn is underlain by gray shale containing additional limestone units equivalent to the Oak Grove Limestone.


WILLMAN, H. B., and J. N. PAYNE, 1942, Geology and mineral resources of the Marseilles, Ottawa, and Streator Quadrangles: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 66, 388 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation