IGNIS
Brazil Formation

Age:

Pennsylvanian

Type designation:

Type locality: The Brazil Formation as originally named by Fuller and Ashley (1902, p. 2) for Brazil, Clay County, Indiana, included the rocks in the interval between the top of the Mansfield Sandstone and the bottom of the Petersburg Coal (Springfield Coal Member of present usage) (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

History of usage:

Revised contacts: Cumings (1922, p. 525) amended the Brazil Formation to include only the rocks in the interval between the base of the Lower Block Coal Member and the unconformity above what was then called Coal II (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Revised assignment: The Brazil Formation was assigned to Raccoon Creek Group by Wier and Gray (1961).

Revised contacts: Hutchison (1976, p. 22-23) further amended the Brazil to include only those rocks between the top of the Minshall Coal Member and the base of the Lower Block Coal Member (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Description:

In the Brazil area, the Brazil Formation consists of shale, sandstone, underclay, and coal and ranges from 40 to 90 ft (12 to 27 m) in thickness (Hutchison, 1960, p. 13; Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The formation consists of, in ascending order, the Lower Block, Upper Block, and Minshall Coal Members and other rocks unnamed to member (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). In places, a thin coal bed referred to as "the rider of the Upper Block Coal Member" is present in the interval between the Upper Block and the Minshall Coal Members (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Irregularity, both in thickness and in persistence of recognizable beds, is characteristic of the Brazil Formation in much of its area of outcrop from Warren County on the north (Hutchison, 1961) to Spencer County (Hutchison, 1959) on the Ohio River (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Numerous drill holes penetrate the Brazil in the subsurface in Indiana, but detailed information on the character of the coals and other marker beds is wanting in extreme western and southwestern Indiana because of lack of coring or detailed mapping (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Boundaries:

North of southern Parke County, the Lower Block coal is absent or untraceable, so that it is nearly impossible to separate the Brazil Formation from the underlying Mansfield Formation; in southern Indiana, in Daviess County (Hutchison, 1971), Dubois County (Hutchison, 1964), and Spencer County (Hutchison, 1959), coal beds believed to be equivalent to the Block coals are present over most of the area but are difficult to distinguish from upper Mansfield coals (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Correlations:

The rocks assigned to the Brazil Formation in Indiana are equivalent to part of the Tradewater Formation of Illinois and western Kentucky (The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin, 2001, pl. 1).

The Brazil Formation was assigned by Wanless (1962) to the upper part of what was then called the Pottsvillian Series in the Appalachian area, but later it was assigned to the Atokan Series in the North American Pennsylvanian standard by Shaver and Smith (1974, p. 17-20), and Shaver (1984, coordinator) (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Much of the basis for the Atokan assignment is the occurrence of a species of the fusulinid genus Fusulinella (identified by M. L. Thompson) in an unnamed limestone between the Lower and Upper Block coals in Clay County, Indiana (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Its stratigraphic position is below the lowest occurrence in Indiana of the lower type Desmoinesian indicator Fusulinella iowaensis and above the known occurrences of the Morrowan indicators that are discussed in the articles on the Lead Creek Limestone Member and its Ferdinand and Fulda Beds (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Raccoon Creek Group
Formation: Brazil Formation
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Raccoon Creek Group
Formation: Brazil Formation

Misc/Abandoned Names:

None

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Pbz

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:

Cumings, E. R., 1922, Nomenclature and description of the geological formations of Indiana, in Logan, W. N., Cumings, E. R., Malott, C. A., Visher, S. S., Tucker, W. M., Reeves, J. R., and Legge, H. W., Handbook of Indiana geology: Indiana Department of Conservation Publications 21, pt. 4, p. 403-570.

Fuller, M. L., and Ashley, G. H., 1902, Description of the Ditney quadrangle: U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Atlas, Folio 84, 8 p.

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.

Hutchison, H. C., 1959, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Spencer County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 8.

Hutchison, H. C., 1960, Geology and coal deposits of the Brazil quadrangles, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 16, 38 p.

Hutchison, H. C., 1961, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Fountain and Warren Counties and the northernmost part of Vermillion County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 9.

Hutchison, H. C., 1964, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Dubois County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 10.

Hutchison, H. C., 1970, Brazil Formation, in Shaver, R. H., Burger, A. M., Gates, G. R., Gray, H. H., Hutchison, H. C., Keller, S. J., Patton, J. B., Rexroad, C. B., Smith, N. M., Wayne, W. J., and Wier, C. E., Compendium of rock-unit stratigraphy in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 43, p. 24-25.

Hutchison, H. C., 1971, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Daviess County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 15.

Hutchison, H. C., 1976, Geology of the Catlin-Mansfield area, Parke and Putnam Counties, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 54, 57 p.

Hutchison, H. C., and Hasenmueller, W. A., 1986, Brazil 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. 21.

Shaver, R. H., 1984, Atokan Series concepts with special reference to the Illinois Basin and Iowa, in Sutherland, P. K., and Manger, W. L., eds., The Atokan Series (Pennsylvanian) and its boundaries–a symposium: Oklahoma Geological Survey Bulletin 136, p. 101-113.

Shaver, R. H., and Smith, S. G., 1974, Some Pennsylvanian kirkbyacean ostracods of Indiana and midcontinent series terminology: Indiana Geological Survey Report of Progress 31, 59 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.

The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin, 2001, Toward a more uniform stratigraphic nomenclature for rock units (formations and groups) of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin: Indiana Geological Survey, Illinois Basin Consortium Illinois Basin Studies 5, 26 p.

Wanless, H. R., 1962, Pennsylvanian rocks of Eastern Interior Basin, in Branson, C. C., ed., Pennsylvanian System in the United States: Tulsa, Oklahoma, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, p. 4-59.

Wier, C. E., and Gray, H. H., 1961, Geologic map of the Indianapolis 1° x 2° quadrangle, Indiana and Illinois, showing bedrock and unconsolidated deposits: Indiana Geological Survey Regional Geologic Map, Indianapolis Sheet.



For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: July 28, 2017

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