Type designation:

Type locality: The Dutch Creek Sandstone was named by Savage (1920, p. 175) for exposures along Dutch Creek in central Union County, southern Illinois (Droste and Shaver, 1986). No type section was designated (Collinson and Atherton, 1975).

Reference section: Meents and Swann (1965) designated a reference section, an exposure along a secondary road 1.1 miles (1.8 km) northwest of its junction with Illinois Highway 127 (W½ NW sec. 27, T. 11 S., R. 2 W.), about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Dutch Creek.

History of usage:

Overview and assignment: Meents and Swann (1965) summarized the Dutch Creek occurrence and characteristics in southern Illinois and included the unit as a basal member of the Grand Tower Limestone (Droste and Shaver, 1986).

Extended: Becker (1974, p. 38) and later Droste and Shaver (1975, p. 402-403) adopted the name Dutch Creek Sandstone Member for the basal unit of the Jeffersonville Limestone in the subsurface of southwestern Indiana (Droste and Shaver, 1986).

Overview and dating: Devera and Fraunfelter (1988) noted that the Dutch Creek is time transgressive.


The Dutch Creek Sandstone Member is commonly a light- to dark-brown hard dolomitic limestone that has thin sandy streaks and discrete sand grains surrounded by a carbonate matrix and that grades downward into a foot or so of light-gray coarse-grained, tightly cemented sandstone at its base (Droste and Shaver, 1986). The sand grains are well rounded and frosted (Droste and Shaver, 1986).

It averages less than 10 ft (3 m) in thickness, and its distribution in that area is spotty (Droste and Shaver, 1986).

Distribution: The Dutch Creek is present in the parts or whole of 12 counties in southwesternmost Indiana (Becker, 1974, fig. 9) (Droste and Shaver, 1986).


The Dutch Creek Sandstone Member overlies both the New Harmony Group (Lower Devonian; conformably) and the Wabash Formation (Upper Silurian; unconformably) in southwesternmost Indiana (Becker, 1974, fig. 9) (Droste and Shaver, 1986).


The Dutch Creek coextends under the one name into Illinois and western Kentucky (with formation rank in the latter state) (Droste and Shaver, 1986). In Indiana and Illinois it correlates with (is in facies relation with) a lower part of the Geneva Dolomite Member (Jeffersonville and Grand Tower Limestones) (Droste and Shaver, 1986). The Dutch Creek is usually assigned an early Middle Devonian age, but part or all of it is probably late Early Devonian in age (Droste and Shaver, 1986). (See Boucot and Johnson, 1968, and Shaver, 1984.) Devera and Fraunfelter (1988) reported that the age is thought to be early Eifelian in southwestern Illinois and late Emsian in southeastern Illinois, southern Indiana, and western Kentucky.

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Muscatatuck Group
Formation: Jeffersonville Limestone
Member: Dutch Creek Sandstone Member
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Muscatatuck Group
Formation: Jeffersonville Limestone
Member: Dutch Creek Sandstone Member

Misc/Abandoned Names:


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 featuers in Indiana.

Major tectonic features that affect bedrock geology in Indiana.


Becker, L. E., 1974, Silurian and Devonian rocks in Indiana southwest of the Cincinnati Arch: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 50, 83 p.

Boucot, A. J., and Johnson, J. G., 1968, Stratigraphy and paleontology of the Bois Blanc Formation in New York: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 584-B, p. B1-B27.

Collinson, Charles, and Atherton, Elwood, 1975, Devonian 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. 104-123.

Devera, J. A., and Fraunfelter, G. H., 1988, Middle Devonian paleogeography and tectonic relationships east of the Ozark Dome, southeastern Missouri, southwestern Illinois and parts of southwestern Indiana and western Kentucky, in McMillan, N. J., Embry, A. F., and Glass, D. J., eds., Devonian of the World; Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on the Devonian System; Volume II, Sedimentation: Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 14, p. 179-196.

Droste, J. B., and Shaver, R. H., 1975, The Jeffersonville Limestone (Middle Devonian) of Indiana—stratigraphy, sedimentation, and relation to Silurian reef-bearing rocks: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 59, p. 393-412.

Droste, J. B., and Shaver, R. H., 1986, Dutch Creek Sandstone 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. 40.

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.

Meents, W. F., and Swann, D. H., 1965, Grand Tower Limestone (Devonian) of southern Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Circular 389, 34 p.

Savage, T. E., 1920, Devonian formations of Illinois: American Journal of Science, v. 49, p. 169-182.

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.

For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (
Date last revised: June 27, 2017