Type area: First designated the "Detroit River Series" (Lane and others, 1909, p. 555), the rocks exposed along the Detroit River in southeastern Michigan are now referred to as the "Detroit River Group" and constituent formations in that state.
History of usage:
Extended: In Indiana the name "Detroit River Formation" was first adopted by Schneider and Keller (1970), following the outlines of Pinsak and Shaver (1964), and has since been used for all Middle Devonian rocks that lie between Silurian rocks (below) and the Traverse Formation (above) and that are north of the Kankakee and Cincinnati Arches (Droste and Shaver, 1986).
The Detroit River Formation of northern Indiana exhibits three basic lithologies or mixtures of lithologies that respectively characterize three named members and that are partial facies of one another. The generally lower interval of Detroit River rocks begins at its base with sandy dolomicrite that grades up into a series of cyclically deposited light-colored fine-grained dolostone and evaporite rocks (Droste and Shaver, 1986). These are, in ascending order in a typical cycle, light-gray massive dolomite mudstone, pale-blue anhydrite and white crystalline gypsum, pale-yellowish-brown massive dolomite mudstone, and dark-yellowish-brown laminated dolomite mudstone. This range in lithology characterizes the Grover Ditch Member (Droste and Shaver, 1986).
The Detroit River Formation unconformably overlies Silurian rocks of the Salina Group as low as the Mississinewa Shale Member (Wabash Formation) in regionally truncative fashion. It is overlain unconformably by the Traverse Formation in an overlapped manner (Droste and Shaver, 1986).
Because much of the Detroit River Formation of northern Indiana was deposited in penesaline to hypersaline conditions, normal-marine fossils of the kind used for interregional correlation in the age sense are scarce. Statements on correlation, therefore, rely mostly on physical tracing and position in the stratigraphic sequence. Nevertheless, a few conodont determinations, the Tioga Bentonite Bed, and some intertonguing of Detroit River rocks with normal-marine rocks in western Ohio and in southern Indiana (speculative; before erosion) provide keys that allow close correlations (Droste and Shaver, 1986).
Industrial Minerals: Crushed stone products from the Detroit River Formation (Devonian) include the following: aglime, crushed stone, and high-calcium limestone from quarries in Allen County (Shaffer, 2016).
Regional Indiana usage:
Kankakee Arch (COSUNA 14)
Geologic Map Unit Designation:
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.)
COSUNA areas and numbers that approximate regional bedrock outcrop patterns and major structural features in Indiana.
Major tectonic features that affect bedrock geology in Indiana.
Droste, J. B., and Shaver, R. H., 1973, Middle Devonian depositional symmetry from Michigan Basin to Illinois Basin [abs.]: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 5, p. 311–312.
Droste, J. B., and Shaver, R. H., 1975, The Jeffersonville Limestone (Middle Devonian) of Indiana—stratigraphy, sedimentation, and relation to Silurian reef-bearing rocks: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 59, p. 393–412.
Droste, J. B., and Shaver, R. H., 1986, Detroit River Formation, 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. 35–37.
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.
Janssens, Adriaan, 1970, Middle Devonian formations in the subsurface of northwestern Indiana: Ohio Geological Survey Report of Investigations 78, 22 p.
Lane, A. C., and others, 1909, Nomenclature and subdivisions of the upper Siluric strata of Michigan, Ohio, and western New York: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 19, p. 553–556.
Schneider, A. F., and Keller, S. J., 1970, Geologic map of the 1° x 2° Chicago quadrangle, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan, showing bedrock and unconsolidated deposits: Indiana Geological Survey Regional Geologic Map No. 4, Part A [bedrock units], scale 1:250,000.
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.
Shaver, R. H., Doheny, E. J., Droste, J. B., Lazor, J. D., Orr, R. W., Pollock, C. A., and Rexroad, C. B., 1971, Silurian and Middle Devonian stratigraphy of the Michigan Basin–a view from the southwest flank, in Forsyth, J. L., Geology of the Lake Erie islands and adjacent shores: Michigan Basin Geological Society Guidebook, p. 37–59.
Sparling, D. R., 1983, Conodont biostratigraphy and biofacies of lower Middle Devonian limestones, north-central Ohio: Journal of Paleontology, v. 57, p. 825–864.
For additional information, contact:
Nancy Hasenmueller (email@example.com)Date last revised: August 9, 2021