Lowell Coal Member (abandoned)

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lithostratigraphy: Carbondale Formation >>Lowell Coal Member
Chronostratigraphy: Paleozoic Erathem >>Pennsylvanian Subsystem >>Desmoinesian Series
Allostratigraphy: Absaroka Sequence

Primary source

Nelson, W.J., P.H. Heckel and J.M. Obrad, 2022, Pennsylvanian Subsystem in Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey, Bulletin (in press).

Contributing author(s)

W.J. Nelson


Original description

Willman and Payne (1942, p. 102–105) named the Lowell cyclothem and Lowell coal based on exposures in LaSalle County, Illinois. Kosanke et al. (1960) formalized the name as the Lowell Coal Member of the Carbondale Formation for use in northern and western Illinois.


Lowell is an unincorporated community about 7 mi (11 km) southeast of the city of LaSalle.

Other names

Before Willman and Payne (1942), the Lowell cyclothem and Lowell coal had gone unrecognized.

Type section

Type location

Bank on the south side of the Vermilion River in SE¼ SW¼ sec. 8, T 32 N, R 2 E, LaSalle County, Illinois.

Type author(s)

Willman and Payne (1942, geologic section 33, p. 299–300).

Type status

Smith et al. (1970, p. 24–25) included this exposure in a field trip. The section extends from the Colchester Coal at the base through the Vermilionville Sandstone at the top. The present condition has not been verified.

Reference section


Stratigraphic relationships

Noting that two coal beds occur between the Colchester and Summum (now Houchin Creek) coals, Kosanke et al. (1960) were uncertain of the relationship between the Lowell Coal in northern Illinois and the Shawneetown Coal in southern Illinois. Jacobson et al. (1985) established that the Shawneetown is the same two-benched coal unit as the earlier-named Survant Coal of Indiana and abandoned the former name in favor of the latter. These authors did not address the relationship of the Lowell Coal to the Survant. The name Lowell Coal, however, has fallen into disuse, and little doubt exists that the type Lowell is correlative with either the lower (Wheeler) or upper (Bevier) “bench” of the Survant Coal Member. In the present report, the name “Lowell Coal Member” is therefore officially abandoned.


  • Jacobson, R.J., C.B. Trask, C.H. Ault, D.D. Carr, H.H. Gray, W.A. Hasenmueller, D. Williams, and A.D. Williamson, 1985, Unifying nomenclature of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin: Transactions of the Illinois Academy of Science, v. 78, no. 1–2, p. 1–11.
  • Kosanke, R.M., J.A. Simon, H.R. Wanless, and H.B. Willman, 1960, Classification of the Pennsylvanian strata of Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey, Report of Investigations 214, 84 p. and 1 pl.
  • Smith, W.H., R.B. Nance, M.E. Hopkins, R.G. Johnson, and C.W. Shabica, eds., 1970, Depositional environments in parts of the Carbondale Formation—western and northern Illinois: Francis Creek Shale and associated strata and Mazon Creek biota: Illinois State Geological Survey, Guidebook Series No. 8, 125 p.
  • 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., 29 pls.

ISGS Codes

Stratigraphic Code Geo Unit Designation