IGNIS
Vienna Limestone, Vienna Limestone Member

Age:

Mississippian

Type designation:

Type locality: The Vienna Limestone was named by Stuart Weller (1920, p. 396-398) for limestone and shale exposed near Vienna, Johnson County, Illinois (Gray, 1970, 1986).

History of usage:

In Illinois: As originally described, the lower part of the formation was cherty limestone, and the upper part was black fissile shale (Gray, 1970, 1986). In discussing the Vienna as a unit in the standard Chesterian section, however, Swann (1963, p. 38, 84-85) restricted the name to the limestone unit, which is commonly 5 to 10 ft (1.5 to 3 m) thick (Gray, 1970, 1986).

In Indiana: When names were first assigned to upper Chesterian rocks in the state (Malott and Thompson, 1920), all Mississippian rocks above the Tar Springs Sandstone were assigned to the Buffalo Wallow Formation (Gray, 1970, 1986). This was said to include at its base the Siberia Limestone, then thought to be equivalent to the Vienna (Cumings, 1922, p. 518; Gray, 1986). A few years later, Malott (1925) assigned the Siberia to a higher position but failed to identify the Vienna (Gray, 1986). His manuscript map of Perry County (Malott, 1923) suggests that some outcrops of the Vienna were misidentified as Glen Dean outcrops (Gray, 1986).

The first Indiana reference to the term “Vienna Limestone” was in a guidebook by Malott and Esarey (1940) (Gray, 1970, 1986). As later described by Malott, Esarey, and Bieberman (1948, p. 25), the Vienna was principally olive-green shale and was 40 to 60 ft (12 to 18 m) thick (Gray, 1986). So defined, the formation had obscure boundaries and was at variance with the prevailing concept, in which the Vienna is a dominantly limestone unit that is commonly only 3 to 10 ft (1 to 3 m) thick (Swann, 1963, p. 38, 84-85; Atherton and others, 1975, p. 159; Gray, 1986). For these reasons, Gray (1978), in a restudy of outcropping upper Chesterian rocks in Indiana, redefined the Vienna as a thin member at the base of the newly named Branchville Formation (Gray, 1986). The Vienna Limestone is retained at formation rank in subsurface usage (Gray, 1986; Droste and Keller, 1995). Gray (1986) assigned the Vienna to the Buffalo Wallow Group.

Description:

On the outcrop in southern Indiana, the Vienna Limestone Member is commonly a single bed of light-colored fossiliferous limestone 1 to 5 ft (0.3 to 1.5 m) thick (Gray, 1978, p. 8-10). It can be traced through Perry County and western Crawford County but has not been recognized farther north, although the equivalent horizon extends to southwestern Orange County where it is disconformably transected by the base of the Mansfield Formation (Morrowan). In the subsurface the Vienna Limestone is recognized from Pike and Dubois Counties southwestward, although there too its horizon extends somewhat farther north (Swann, 1963, p. 38). Boundaries of the Vienna are conformable, and apparently restrictions on its extent were depositionally controlled.

Correlations:

Despite lapses in its occurrence, the Vienna is one of the more confidently traceable units in the upper Chesterian section (Gray, 1986). Continuity with the type section in southern Illinois is well established (Gray, 1986). On the basis of the conodonts it contains, the Vienna was assigned by Collinson, Rexroad, and Thompson (1971) to the Kladognathus primus Assemblage Zone of standard North American usage, but in a later study Rexroad (1981) found those fossils more indicative of restricted and specialized environment than helpful in precise age determination (Gray, 1986). The Vienna Limestone Member correlates with rocks within North American foraminiferal Zone 17 of Mamet and Skipp (1971) and within the lower part of the Namurian Series (Zone E1) of European usage (Gray, 1986).

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Buffalo Wallow Group
Formation: Branchville Formation
Member: Vienna Limestone Member
Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Buffalo Wallow Group
Formation: Vienna Limestone
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Buffalo Wallow Group
Formation: Branchville Formation
Member: Vienna Limestone Member

Misc/Abandoned Names:

None

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Mv

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.

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.

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.

Droste, J. B., and Keller, S. J., 1995, Subsurface stratigraphy and distribution of oil fields of the Buffalo Wallow Group (Mississippian) in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 63, 24 p.

Gray, H. H., 1970, Vienna 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. 183-184.

Gray, H. H., 1978, Buffalo Wallow Group upper Chesterian (Mississippian) of southern Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 25, 28 p.

Gray, H. H., 1986, Vienna Limestone Member, 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. 162.

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.

Malott, C. A., 1923, Geologic map of Perry County, Indiana, showing . . . readily traceable and recognizable members of the Chester Series . . .: [privately issued, blueprint copy].

Malott, C. A., 1925, The upper Chester of Indiana: Indiana Academy of Science Proceedings, v. 34, p. 103-132.

Malott, C. A., and Esarey, R. E., 1940, Outcrop of the Chester Series of southern Indiana: Indiana-Kentucky Geological Society, May 18, 1940, 9 p. [mimeo.].

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.

Malott, C. A., Esarey, R. E., and Bieberman, D. F., 1948, Upper and Middle Mississippian formations of southern Indiana: Indiana Division of Geology Field Conference Guidebook 2, 27 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., 1981, Conodonts from the Vienna Limestone Member of the Branchville Formation (Chesterian) in southern Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 34, 16 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.

Weller, Stuart, 1920, The Chester Series in Illinois: Journal of Geology, v. 28, p. 281-303 and 395-416.



For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: June 14, 2017

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