IGNIS
Hardinsburg Formation

Age:

Mississippian

Type designation:

Type locality: The name "Hardinsburg" is generally credited to Brokaw (1916; 1917, p. 23; pl. 1) (Gray, 1970, 1986). The formation was named for Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky (Gray, 1970, 1986).

History of usage:

The first description of the formation was by Butts (1917, p. 96) under the name "Hardinsburg Sandstone" (Gray, 1986). The name "Hardinsburg Sandstone" was first used in Indiana by Malott and Thompson (1920, p. 522) (Gray, 1970, 1986). Later the name was modified to Hardinsburg Formation in recognition of the large quantity of shale in the unit (Gray and others, 1957, p. 6; pl. 3).

Description:

In its type locality the unit is 30 ft (10 m) thick and contains, in descending order, shaly sandstone, massive cliff-forming sandstone, and thin-bedded fine-grained well-indurated sandstone (Gray, 1986).

In Indiana the Hardinsburg Formation is characteristically gray soft carbonaceous shale and very fine grained ripple-bedded sandstone that is cliff forming in some places (Gray, 1970, 1986). Thickness of the unit, which is recognized in surface exposures from central Greene County to the Ohio River, ranges from 20 to 62 ft (6 to 19 m) (Gray and others, 1957, pl. 2; Gray, Jenkins, and Weidman, 1960, p. 39). In the subsurface it is thicker and contains more sandstone (Gray, 1986). A thick area of the Hardinsburg extends from southern Knox County southwestward and is the locus of thick belt sands (Droste and Keller, 1995, p. 12). The Hardinsburg reaches a thickness of about 165 ft (50.3 m) in several places in Gibson County (Droste and Keller, 1995, p. 8).

Boundaries:

The Hardinsburg overlies the Haney Limestone conformably in most places, but a disconformable relationship, such as that noted in Illinois by Potter (1963, p. 58, fig. 42A), has also been observed in the subsurface in Knox and Gibson Counties, Indiana (Kline, 1952). The Hardinsburg is overlain conformably by the Glen Dean Limestone or disconformably by the Mansfield Formation (Pennsylvanian) (Gray, 1970, 1986).

Correlations:

The Hardinsburg Formation is recognized throughout the Illinois Basin and is a part of the standard Chesterian section (Swann, 1963; Atherton and others, 1975, p. 157-158). On the basis of a comprehensive paleontologic study, the Visean-Namurian boundary of European usage has been placed within the Hardinsburg Formation (Horowitz and others, 1979, p. 206).

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Stephensport Group
Formation: Hardinsburg Formation
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Stephensport Group
Formation: Hardinsburg Formation

Misc/Abandoned Names:

Hightower sand, Hoover sand

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Mhd

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:

Atherton, Elwood, Collinson, Charles, and Lineback, J. A., 1975, Mississippian 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. 123-163.

Brokaw, A. D., 1916, Preliminary oil report on southern Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Extract. B35, 13 p.

Brokaw, A. D., 1917, Oil investigations in Illinois in 1916, parts of Saline, Williamson, Pope, and Johnson Counties: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 35, p. 19-37.

Butts, Charles, 1917, Mississippian formations of western Kentucky: Descriptions and correlations of the Mississippian formations of western Kentucky: Kentucky Geological Survey, ser. 4, v. 5, pt. 1, 119 p.

Droste, J. B., and Keller, S. J., 1995, Subsurface stratigraphy and distribution of oil fields of the Stephensport Group (Mississippian) in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 64, 21 p.

Gray, H. H., 1970, Hardinsburg 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. 67.

Gray, H. H., 1986, Hardinsburg 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. 56-57.

Gray, H. H., Dawson, T. A., McGregor, D. J., Perry, T. G., and Wayne, W. J., 1957, Rocks associated with the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian unconformity in southwestern Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Field Conference Guidebook 9, 42 p.

Gray, H. H., Jenkins, R. D., and Weidman, R. M., 1960, Geology of the Huron area, south-central Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 20, 78 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.

Horowitz, A. S., Mamet, B. L., Neves, R., Potter, P. E., and Rexroad, C. B., 1979, Carboniferous paleontological zonation and intercontinental correlation of the Fowler No. 1 Traders core, Scott County, Tennessee, U.S.A.: Southeastern Geology, v. 20, p. 205-228.

Kline, B. D., 1952, The Hardinsburg Formation in Knox County, Indiana: Bloomington, Indiana University, master's thesis, 22 p.

Malott, C. A., and Thompson, J. D., Jr., 1920, The stratigraphy of the Chester Series of southern Indiana [abs.]: Science, new ser., v. 51, p. 521-522.

Potter, P. E., 1963, Late Paleozoic sandstones of the Illinois Basin: Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 217, 92 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.

Swann, D. H., 1963, Classification of Genevievian and Chesterian (Late Mississippian) rocks of Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 216, 91 p.



For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: November 30, 2016

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