IGNIS
Mecca Quarry Shale Member

Age:

Pennsylvanian

Type designation:

Type section: The type section of the Mecca Quarry Shale Member is exposed in the sides of gullies in the SW¼NE¼ sec. 29, T. 15 N., R. 8 W., about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) southeast of Mecca, Parke County, Indiana (Zangerl and Richardson, 1963).

Reference core: A reference core drilled in Indiana Geological Survey drill hole 306 (Indiana Geological Survey Petroleum Database Management System No. 115871) contains the Mecca Quarry Shale Member from 136.8 to 140.6 ft (41.7 to 42.9 m) (Hasenmueller and Ault, 1991). The drill hole is located in the SE¼NE¼NW¼ sec. 2, T. 2 S., R. 7 W., near the type section of the Survant Coal Member of the Linton Formation in Pike County, Indiana (Hasenmueller and Ault, 1991, fig. 1).

History of usage:

Named: The Mecca Quarry Shale Member was the name applied by Zangerl and Richardson (1963, p. 26) to the gray and black carbonaceous shale above the Colchester Coal Member and beneath the Velpen Limestone Member in Parke County, Indiana.

Revised: Wier in an unpublished manuscript shortened the name to Mecca Shale Member; his usage was given formal recognition by Ault in 1986 (p. 90) (Hasenmueller and Ault, 1991).

Reinstated: In 1991, Hasenmueller and Ault (p. 4) reinstated the name “Mecca Quarry Shale Member” because the name has priority and has widespread use in the Illinois Basin.

Description:

The Mecca Quarry is gray-mottled to black, evenly bedded sheety shale 1 to 7 ft (0.3 to 2.1 m) thick overlying the Colchester Coal Member (Ault, 1986). The blackest beds can be cleaved into sheets of several square feet without breakage. The Mecca Quarry contains large flattened calcareous concretions as much as 3 ft (0.9 m) in diameter in outcrops in Clay and Vigo Counties. Abundant brachiopods, cephalopods, and gastropods have been found in the Mecca Quarry shale but are not found everywhere (Ault, 1986). The pelecypod genus Dunbarella can be found in most outcrops (Ault, 1986). Fish remains are common at some localities.

Rexroad, Wade, Merrill, Brown, and Padgett (2001) suggest that the Mecca Quarry shale was deposited in water no more than 1 meter in depth, with local deeper depressions, under a nearshore flotant with shallow open marine conditions nearby. They note that their interpretation conforms with nearshore processes and the geography of a deltaic sedimentation model influenced by local tectonism and climate in both the source and depositional areas.

Correlations:

The Mecca Quarry Shale Member is recognized in Illinois and is also probably present in northwestern Kentucky where the underlying Colchester coal has been identified in the subsurface (Jacobson and others, 1985). The conodont faunas of the Mecca Quarry Shale Member and the Velpen Limestone Member of the Linton Formation in the Illinois Basin have been described by Rexroad, Wade, Merrill, Brown, and Padgett, (2001)

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Carbondale Group
Formation: Linton Formation
Member: Mecca Quarry Shale Member
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Carbondale Group
Formation: Linton Formation
Member: Mecca Quarry Shale Member

Misc/Abandoned Names:

Mecca Shale Member

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Plmq

Note: Hansen (1991, p. 52) in Suggestions to authors of the reports of the United States Geological Survey noted that letter symbols for map units are considered to be unique to each geologic map and that adjacent maps do not necessarily need to use the same symbols for the same map unit. Therefore, map unit abbreviations in the Indiana Geologic Names Information System should be regarded simply as recommendations.

COSUNA areas and regional terminology

Names for geologic units vary across Indiana. The Midwestern Basin and Arches Region COSUNA chart (Shaver, 1984) was developed to strategically document such variations in terminology. The geologic map (below left) is derived from this chart and provides an index to the five defined COSUNA regions in Indiana. The regions are generally based on regional bedrock outcrop patterns and major structural features in Indiana. (Click the maps below to view more detailed maps of COSUNA regions and major structural features in Indiana.)

Map showing the COSUNA areas (heavy black line) that approximate regional bedrock outcrop patterns and major structural features in Indiana, and the COSUNA numbers (large bold font) for these areas. The COSUNA boundaries are limited to state and county boundaries that facilitate coding.

COSUNA areas and numbers that approximate regional bedrock outcrop patterns and major structural features in Indiana.

Map showing major tectonic features that affect bedrock geology in Indiana.

Major tectonic features that affect bedrock geology in Indiana.

References:

Ault, C. H., 1986, Mecca Shale Member, in Shaver, R. H., Ault, C. H., Burger, A. M., Carr, D. D., Droste, J. B., Eggert, D. L., Gray, H. H., Harper, Denver, Hasenmueller, N. R., Hasenmueller, W. A., Horowitz, A. S., Hutchison, H. C., Keith, B. D., Keller, S. J., Patton, J. B., Rexroad, C. B., and Wier, C. E., Compendium of Paleozoic rock-unit stratigraphy in Indiana–a revision: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 59, p. 90.

Hansen, W. R., 1991, Suggestions to authors of the reports of the United States Geological Survey (7th ed.): Washington, D.C., U.S. Geological Survey, 289 p.

Hasenmueller, W. A., and Ault, C. H., 1991, Reference core and correlation of key beds in the Petersburg and Linton Formations (Pennsylvanian) in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 57, 8 p.

Jacobson, R. J., Trask, C. B., Ault, C. H., Carr, D. D., Gray, H. H., Hasenmueller, W. A., Williams, D., and Williamson, A. D., 1985, Unifying nomenclature in the Pennsylvanian System of the Illinois Basin: Illinois State Academy of Science Transactions, v. 78, p. 1-11.

Rexroad, C. B., Wade, J. A., Merrill, G. K., Brown, L. M., and Padgett, P., 2001, Conodont biostratigraphy and depositional environments of the Mecca Quarry Shale Member and the Velpen Limestone Member of the Linton Formation (Pennsylvanian, Desmoinesian) in the eastern part of the Illinois Basin, U.S.A.: Indiana Geological Survey Special Report 63, 19 p.

Shaver, R. H., coordinator, 1984, Midwestern basin and arches region–correlation of stratigraphic units in North America (COSUNA): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Correlation Chart Series.

Zangerl, Rainer, and Richardson, E. S., Jr., 1963, The paleoecological history of two Pennsylvanian black shales: Fieldiana, Geology Memoirs, v. 4, 352 p.



For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: April 13, 2017

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