IGNIS
Shelburn Formation

Age:

Pennsylvanian

Type designation:

Type locality: The name “Shelburn Formation” was used by Cumings (1922, p. 525, 529) for the rocks included in the "interval between the disconformity above Coal VII and the base of the Merom Sandstone" (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986). The name was taken from Shelburn, Sullivan County, Indiana, although no type section was designated by Cumings (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986).

History of usage:

Miscorrelation by Shrock and Malott (1929) of the West Franklin Limestone Member, which is at the top of the Shelburn Formation of present definition, resulted in misuse of the name “Shelburn”(Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986). The name was used by Logan (1932) in southern Indiana as a group name for rocks extending to the top of his Ditney Formation, but in Sullivan County the name was used for rocks extending to the top of the Livingston Limestone Member (Bond Formation) (Malott, 1948, p. 125-141; Wier and Esarey, 1951, pl. 4; Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986). The Shelburn Formation was defined by Wier and Gray (1961) to include rocks from the top of the Danville Coal Member of the Dugger Formation to the top of the West Franklin Limestone Member (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986). The term “Shelburn” as thus defined includes only the lower part of the rocks that Cumings originally called the Shelburn Formation in Sullivan County but is the same as the Shelburn Formation that he recognized in Gibson and Vanderburgh Counties to the south (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986).

Description:

The Shelburn Formation includes, in ascending order, the Busseron Sandstone, Pirtle Coal, and West Franklin Limestone Members, unnamed beds of shale, siltstone, and sandstone, and thin discontinuous beds of coal, clay, and limestone (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986). The formation ranges from 50 to 250 ft (15 to 76 m) in thickness and is mainly composed of shale and siltstone and sandstone (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986).

Distribution:: The Shelburn Formation crops out from along the Ohio River in Vanderburgh and Posey Counties northward to Vigo and Vermillion Counties (Burger and Wier, 1970; Burger, Wier, and Ault, 1986).

Boundaries:

As defined by The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin (2001), the base of the Shelburn Formation is a staggered boundary in the Illinois Basin. In Indiana, the base of the formation is the top of the Danville Coal Member; in Illinois and Kentucky it is the base of the Providence (Brereton) Limestone Member.

The upper boundary of the Shelburn is the top of the West Franklin Limestone Member (The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin, 2001).

Correlations:

The Shelburn Formation is recognized as the lowermost formation of the McLeansboro Group in the Illinois Basin (The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin, 2001).

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: McLeansboro Group
Formation: Shelburn Formation
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: McLeansboro Group
Formation: Shelburn Formation

Misc/Abandoned Names:

None

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Psh

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:

Burger, A. M., and Wier, C. E., 1970, Shelburn 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. 164-165.

Burger, A. M., Wier, C. E., and Ault, C. H., 1986, Shelburn 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. 142-143.

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.

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.

Logan, W. N., 1932, The subsurface strata of Indiana: Indiana Department of Conservation Publications 108, 790 p.

Malott, C. A., 1948, The geology of the Dicksburg Hills, Knox County, Indiana: Indiana Academy of Science Proceedings, v. 57, p. 125-141.

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.

Shrock, R. R., and Malott, C. A., 1929, Structural features of West Franklin Formation of southwestern Indiana: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 13, p. 1,301-1,315.

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.

Wier, C. E., and Esarey, R. E., 1951, Pennsylvanian geology and mineral resources of west central Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Field Conference Guidebook 5, 34 p.

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: December 1, 2017

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