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


M. E. Hopkins and J. A. Simon

Name Origin

The Mecca Quarry Shale Member of the Carbondale Formation (Zangerl and Richardson, 1963, p. 25) is named for Mecca, Parke County, Indiana.

Type Section

The type section is in a small quarry that was excavated for study of the shale (SW NE 29, 15N-8W).

Extent and Thickness

Locally it is as much as 4 feet thick but more normally is 1-2 feet thick. The unit is very extensive in Illinois and adjacent states.

Stratigraphic Position

It lies immediately above the Colchester (No. 2) Coal in much of southern and eastern Illinois and above the Francis Creek Shale in much of western and northern Illinois. Where the Francis Creek is more than about 30 feet thick, the Mecca Quarry is absent. The Mecca Quarry is generally overlain by the Oak Grove Limestone.


The Mecca Quarry Shale is a hard, black fissile shale. Large limestone concretions and small phosphatic lenses and nodules are common locally (fig. P-3C).


It contains a varied marine fauna dominated by nektonic and planktonic forms.


ZANGERL, RAINER, and E. S. RICHARDSON, JR., 1963, Paleoecological history of two Pennsylvanian black shales: Fieldiana--Geological Memoir 4, 352 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation