Type locality: The Trenton Limestone was apparently named by Vanuxem (1838, p. 257) for rocks that were exposed at Trenton Falls in Oneida County, New York, and that were about 100 ft (30 m) thick (Gray, 1970; Keith, 1986).
History of usage:
In New York: There is some confusion about what rocks were included in the Trenton by Vanuxem in his 1838 and 1842 reports, but they probably consisted of interbedded dark limestone and shale and a light-gray massive crinoidal limestone (Keith, 1986). In the type area the Trenton is now given group status and is subdivided into several formations (Ross and others, 1982; Keith, 1986).
The Trenton consists of limestone that becomes increasingly dolomitic in northern Indiana, and in places it is completely dolomitized. The Trenton is tan to light tannish gray to medium tannish gray (Keith, 1986). The color variation in the limestone is due to the variation in the content of skeletal grains versus micrite; the darker color correlates with the higher micrite content (Keith, 1986). In the dolostone, the size of the crystals appears to be the controlling factor; the more coarsely crystalline phases are lighter colored (Keith, 1986).
The contact of the Trenton Limestone with the underlying Plattin Formation of the Black River Group (Droste, Abdulkareem, and Patton, 1982) appears conformable where it is seen in cores, although a distinct lithologic change occurs between the units (Keith, 1986). The Trenton generally underlies the shales of the Maquoketa Group (Gutstadt, 1958, 1958; Gray, 1972), but the relationship with the overlying Maquoketa is not wholly clear (Keith, 1986). The contact in all places where it has been observed appears to represent a discontinuity (hardground) due to a period of probably prolonged submarine exposure (Keith, 1986). A major unconformity and subaerial erosion as suggested by Rooney (1966) do not apply (Keith, 1986). Regionally, the contact between these two units becomes younger and rises stratigraphically to the west because the locus of Maquoketa shale deposition was extended progressively westward from the Appalachian Basin during Late Ordovician time (Keith, 1986). This westward extension therefore accounted for the eventual burying of the Trenton and equivalent carbonate rocks (Keith, 1986).
The Trenton Limestone of Indiana has been variably correlated approximately to exactly with rocks of the same name in Michigan and Ohio; with a section made up of the Lexington Limestone, the Point Pleasant Formation, and the lower part of the Kope Formation in southwestern Ohio; with the Kimmswick and Lexington Limestones and the lower part of the Maquoketa Shale of central and western Kentucky; with the Galena Group of Illinois and with the Lexington Limestone and the lower part of the Kope Formation of southeastern Indiana (Keith, 1986). Probably no part of the Trenton of Indiana, however, is as young as the Dubuque Formation in the upper part of the Galena Group of Illinois (Keith, 1986). See Twenhofel and others, 1954; Gutstadt, 1958; Willman and Buschbach, 1975; Willman and Kolata, 1978; Droste and Shaver, 1983; Gutschick, 1983; and Shaver, 1984 (Keith, 1986).
Petroleum production: The following petroleum fields have produced oil from the Trenton Limestone/Lexington Limestone (Ordovician) in Indiana: Ashley, Baldwin, Barlettsville, Broad Ripple, Broad Ripple South, Decatur, Edgerton, Edgerton North, Fort Wayne, Kingsland, Lakeside, Monroeville, Monroeville South, Monroeville West, New Haven, Peru, Peru East, Richvalley, Royal Center, Trenton, Unionville, Urbana, Urbana North, Walton, Woodburn, and Woodburn North (Cazee, 2004).
Regional Indiana usage:
Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
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.
Gray, H. H., 1970, Trenton Limestone, 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. 179–180.
Gutschick, R. C., 1983, Geology of the Kentland Dome structurally complex anomaly–northwestern Indiana (Field Trip 5), in Shaver, R. H., and Sunderman, J. A., eds., Field trips in midwestern geology: Bloomington, Indiana, Geological Society of America, Indiana Geological Survey, and Indiana University Department of Geology, v. 1., p. 105–138.
Gutstadt, A. M., 1958, Upper Ordovician stratigraphy of the eastern interior region: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 42, p. 513–547.
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.
Keith, B. D., 1986, Trenton Limestone, 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. 157–158.
Phinney, A. J., 1891, The natural gas field of Indiana: U.S. Geological Survey Annual Report 11, pt. 1, p. 579–742.
Rooney, L. F., 1966, Evidence of unconformity at top of Trenton Limestone in Indiana and adjacent states: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 50, p. 533–546.
Ross, R. J., Jr., Adler, F. J., Amsden, T. W., Bergstrom, Douglas, Bergstrom, S. M., Carter, Claire, Churkin, Michael, Cressman, E. A., Derby, J. R., Dutro, J. T., Jr., Ethington, R. L., Finney, S. C., Fisher, D. W., Fisher, J. H., Harris, A. G., Hintze, L. F., Ketner, K. B., Kolata, D. L., Landing, Ed, Neuman, R. B., Sweet, W. C., Pojeta, John, Jr., Potter, A. W., Rader, E. K., Repetski, J. E., Shaver, R. H., Thompson, T. L., and Webers, G. F., 1982, The Ordovician System in the United States–Correlation chart and explanatory notes: International Union Geological Sciences Publication 12, 73 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.
Sweet, W. C., 1979, Conodonts and conodont biostratigraphy of post-Tyrone Ordovician rocks of the Cincinnatian region, in Pojeta, John, Jr., ed., Contributions to the Ordovician paleontology of Kentucky and nearby states: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1066-G, 26 p.
Twenhofel, W. H., Bridge, Josiah, Cloud, P. E., Jr., Cooper, B. N., Cooper, G. A., Cumings, E. R., Cullison, J. S., Dunbar, C. O., Kay, Marshall, Liberty, B. A., McFarlan, A. C., Rodgers, John, Whittington, H. B., Wilson, A. E., and Wilson, C. W., Jr., 1954, Correlation of the Ordovician formations of North America: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 65, p. 247–298.
Vanuxem, Lardner, 1838, Second annual report of the geological survey of the third district of the State of New York: New York Geological Survey Annual Report 2, p. 253–286.
Vanuxem, Lardner, 1842, Geology of New York–Pt. 3, Comprising the survey of the third geological district: Albany, W. & A. White & J. Visscher, 306 p.
Waterman, A. S., 1975, Conodont biostratigraphy, paleontology, and paleoecology of the Trenton and Lexington Limestones in southeastern Indiana: Bloomington, Indiana University, master's thesis, 60 p.
Willman, H. B., and Buschbach, T. C., 1975, Ordovician System, in Willman, H. B., Atherton, Elwood, Buschbach, T. C., Collinson, Charles, Frye, J. C., Hopkins, M. E., Lineback, J. A., and Simon, J. A., Handbook of Illinois stratigraphy: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 95, p. 47–87.
Willman, H. B., and Kolata, D. R., 1978, The Platteville and Galena Groups in northern Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Circular 502, 75 p.
For additional information, contact:
Nancy Hasenmueller (email@example.com)Date last revised: August 9, 2021