Historical:Tonti Sandstone 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: Ottawa Limestone Megagroup >>Ancell Group >>St. Peter Sandstone >>Tonti Sandstone Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Ordovician System >>Champlainian Series >>Blackriveran Stage
Allostratigraphy: Tippecanoe Sequence


H. B. Willman and T. C. Buschbach

Name Origin

The Tonti Sandstone Member of the St. Peter Sandstone (Templeton and Willman, 1963, p. 45), the middle member, is named for Tonti Canyon in Starved Rock State Park.

Type Section

The top of the Tonti Sandstone Member is exposed in the canyon, but the type section is at Starved Rock, La Salle County (SW NW NW 22, 33N-2E), where the contact with the overlying Starved Rock Sandstone Member and the upper 40 feet of the Tonti Member are exposed. The Tonti is entirely exposed in the bluffs at Split Rock, 4 miles northwest of Starved Rock.

Extent and Thickness

The Tonti Member generally forms the greater part of the St. Peter Sandstone, and in many areas all the St. Peter is Tonti. Although commonly from 100-200 feet thick, it is locally over 500 feet thick.


The Tonti Member is chiefly fine-grained, well sorted, friable, highly porous sandstone, but locally in western Illinois it is even finer grained, silty, less porous, and partly cemented by secondary silica. It is noncalcareous, except in southern Illinois where it contains some dolomitic beds.


TEMPLETON, J. S., and H. B. WILLMAN, 1963, Champlainian Series (Middle Ordovician) in Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 89, 260 p.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation