Type locality: The Beech Creek Limestone was named by Malott (1919, p. 11-15) for exposures along Beech Creek in Greene County, Indiana (Gray, 1970; Gray and Horowitz, 1986).
The Beech Creek Limestone is typically a gray skeletal to biomicritic limestone 8 to 33 ft (2 to 10 m) thick (Perry and Smith, 1958, pl. 1). The lower third of the formation is characteristically somewhat darker than the upper two-thirds (Gray and Horowitz, 1986). This lithologic contrast is thought to represent a transgressive-regressive depositional couple (Kissling, 1967, p. 168-169). Typical fossils include large crinoid columnals as much as 25 mm in diameter and a variety of brachiopods (Gray and Horowitz, 1986).
The Beech Creek conformably overlies the West Baden Group (Droste and Keller, 1995) and is overlain conformably by the Big Clifty Formation or disconformably by the Mansfield Formation (Pennsylvanian) (Gray and Horowitz, 1986).
Subsurface information demonstrates the physical continuity of the Beech Creek Limestone of Indiana with the lower part of the Golconda Group in southwestern Illinois (Swann and Atherton, 1948); the name "Beech Creek" has been accepted into the standard Chesterian section (Rexroad and Jarrell, 1961, p. 2,014; Swann, 1963, p. 35-36; Atherton and others, 1975, p. 155-156; Gray and Horowitz, 1986).
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.
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.
Collinson, Charles, Rexroad, C. B., and Thompson, T. L., 1971, Conodont zonation of the North American Mississippian: Geological Society of America Memoirs 127, p. 353-394.
Gray, H. H., and Horowitz, A. S., 1986, Beech Creek 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. 11.
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.
Kissling, D. L., 1967, Environmental history of lower Chesterian rocks in southwestern Indiana: Bloomington, Indiana University, Ph.D. thesis, 367 p.
Malott, C. A., 1919, The "American Bottoms" region of eastern Greene County, Indiana–a type unit in southern Indiana physiography: Indiana University Studies, v. 6, no. 40, 61 p.
Malott, C. A., 1952, Stratigraphy of the Ste. Genevieve and Chester formations of southern Indiana: Ann Arbor, Michigan, Edwards Letter Shop, 105 p.
Mamet, B. L., and Skipp, B. A., 1971, Lower Carboniferous calcareous Foraminifera–preliminary zonation and stratigraphic implications for the Mississippian of North America: Sixieme Congres International de Stratigraphie et de Geologie du Carbonifere Sheffield, 1967, Compte rendu, v. 3, p. 1,129-1,146.
Rexroad, C. B., and Jarrell, M. K., 1961, Correlation by conodonts of Golconda Group (Chesterian) in Illinois Basin: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 45, p. 2,012-2,017.
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.
Swann, D. H., and Atherton, Elwood, 1948, Subsurface correlations of lower Chester strata of the Eastern Interior Basin: Journal of Geology, v. 56, p. 269-287.
For additional information, contact:
Nancy Hasenmueller (firstname.lastname@example.org)Date last revised: November 23, 2016