IGNIS
Mansfield Formation

Age:

Pennsylvanian

Type designation:

Type area: The Mansfield Formation was originally named the "Mansfield Sandstone" by Hopkins (1896, p. 199-200) for rocks exposed at Mansfield, Parke County, Indiana (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Reference sections:

(1) Indiana Geological Survey drill hole (SDH) 31 (Indiana Geological Survey Petroleum Database Management System No. 124926) located 5 miles (8.05 km) southwest of Rockville, Parke County, Indiana, in the NENE sec. 3, T. 14 N., R. 7 W. was designated as a reference section for the Mansfield Formation by Hutchison (1976).

(2) A composite section of core from SDH 30 and SDH 174 (Indiana Geological Survey Petroleum Database Management System Nos. 125034 and 125033) located 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of Mansfield, Parke County, Indiana, in the SESW sec. 31, T. 15 N., R. 6 W., was designated as a reference section for the Mansfield Formation by Hutchison (1976).

History of usage:

Cumings (1922, p. 527-528) amended the Mansfield to include all the rocks between the base of the Pennsylvanian System and the base of the Lower Block Coal Member (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Kottlowski (1959), recognizing that the unit contains much shale and thin beds of coal, clay, and limestone, designated the unit as the Mansfield Formation (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Description:

The lowermost part of the Mansfield commonly consists of sandstone, generally cross bedded and containing a quartz-pebble and chert conglomerate in places, but it also includes dark carbonaceous shale in many places (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The quartz-pebble conglomerate is also found in higher parts of the formation (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

In the Shoals area of southwestern Indiana, the Mansfield has two broad, more or less distinct, vertically separate divisions; the lower consists mostly of sandstone, and the upper consists dominantly of shale and mudstone (Gray, Jenkins, and Weidman 1960, p. 23). The divisional boundary is at the position, or inferred position, of the Pinnick Coal Member, which near Shoals lies 50 to 185 ft (15 to 56 m) above the base and 200 ft (61 m) below the top of the formation (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Three lithologies, passing laterally into one another, also have been recognized in southwestern Indiana (Gray, 1962, p. 28-33). The Cannelton Lithofacies, nearest the Ohio River, consists dominantly of siltstone and mudstone; the Shoals Lithofacies, well exposed near Shoals, Martin County, has many cross-stratified sandstones; and the Bloomfield Lithofacies, named for that town in Greene County, is characterized by an abundance of gray shales (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

The seven named members of the Mansfield, in ascending order, are the French Lick, St. Meinrad, Pinnick, Blue Creek, and Mariah Hill Coal Members; the Lead Creek Limestone Member; and the Shady Lane Coal Member (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Other member and bed names having limited, colloquial, or outdated use are the Cannelton Sandstone, which was the name applied by Hopkins (1896, p. 314) to the massive sandstone that crops out in the bluff of the Ohio River behind Cannelton, Perry County; the Cannelton Coal of Logan (1922, p. 623), which was probably applied to both the Upper and Lower Cannelton Coals, especially the upper nearer Tell City and the lower near Cannelton, Perry County; the Lower Huntingburg Coal, which is Franklin and Wanless's (1944, p. 87) designation for what is also the Mariah Hill Coal Member; the Shoals Coal (Logan, 1922, p. 623), which is near the base of Pennsylvanian rocks in the railroad cut west of Shoals, Martin County; the Kirksville Coal (Logan, 1922, p. 623-624), which is found in the southwestern part of Monroe County near Kirksville; and the Grandview Limestone of Franklin and Wanless (1944, p. 89-90), which is probably coextensive with the Ferdinand Limestone Bed (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

The term “Coal I” was intended to apply to the lowest Mansfield coal bed, but as used by Ashley (1899) it actually refers to the lowest commercial coal at any given place (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The name, therefore, applied to more than one bed, and it has not been widely used (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The French Lick Coal Member is the lowest named member and is overlain by about 50 ft (15 m) of mudstone, siltstone, and fine-grained sandstone of remarkably even bedding (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). These silty rocks, best exhibited and formerly quarried near French Lick in Orange County, were called the Hindostan Whetstone Beds as early as 1838 by Owen (1859, p. 16) and were described in detail by Cox (1876, p. 6-8) (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The Pinnick Coal Member lies some 50 ft (15 m) above the French Lick in the French Lick area (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The Upper and Lower Cannelton Coals were extensively mined near Cannelton, Perry County, and were first described by Lesley (1862, p. 343-344) (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Apparently, these coals are the same coals described as the Troy Coal and the Upper Troy Coal at Troy, Perry County, by Franklin and Wanless (1944, p. 86-87) (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

The Upper Troy Coal of Franklin and Wanless (1944, p. 88) appears to be the same as the St. Meinrad Coal Member, which is sufficiently thick to be extensively mined near St. Meinrad, Spencer County, and throughout northwestern Perry County (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Boundaries:

North of southern Parke County the Lower Block Coal Member (Brazil Formation) is absent or unidentifiable, so that it is nearly impossible to separate the Brazil and Mansfield Formations; in southern Indiana, in Daviess (Hutchison, 1971), Dubois (Hutchison, 1964), and Spencer (Hutchison, 1959) Counties, coal beds believed to be the equivalent of the block coals are present over most of the area but are difficult to distinguish from coals in the upper Mansfield (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

The Mansfield rests unconformably, with as much as 150 ft (46 m) of local relief, on Mississippian rocks that are generally progressively older northward. Progressive northward overlap is also suggested by the 50- to 300-ft (15- to 91-m) range in thickness of the exposed Mansfield (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Correlations:

The rocks assigned to the Mansfield Formation are equivalent to the Caseyville Formation and the lower part of the Tradewater Formation of Illinois and western Kentucky (The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin, 2001), part of what has commonly been called the Pottsvillian Series of the Appalachian area, and to the Morrowan Series of the Midcontinent area (Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). The Hindostan flora was described by Read (1947) as early Pottsvillian in age (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986). Unnamed Mansfield limestones in Parke County are in the ostracod Zone of Amphissites rothi, and unnamed Mansfield limestones near Troy and Cannelton, Spencer and Perry Counties, contain the fusulinid Profusulinella, the Amphissites rothi fauna, and the ostracod Cavellinella casei, all of which are thought to indicate a Morrowan age (Hutchison, 1970; Hutchison and Hasenmueller, 1986).

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Raccoon Creek Group
Formation: Mansfield Formation
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Raccoon Creek Group
Formation: Mansfield Formation

Misc/Abandoned Names:

None

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Pm

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:

Ashley, G. H., 1899, The coal deposits of Indiana: Indiana Department of Geology and Natural Resources Annual Report 23, p. 1-1,573.

Cox, E. T., 1876, Seventh annual report of the geological survey of Indiana, made during the year 1875: Indianapolis, Indiana, 601 p.

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.

Franklin, D. W., and Wanless, H. R., 1944, Pennsylvanian stratigraphy of part of southern Indiana: Illinois State Academy of Science Transactions, v. 37, p. 85-92.

Gray, H. H., 1962, Outcrop features of the Mansfield Formation in southwestern Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Report of Progress 26, 40 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.

Hopkins, T. C., 1896, The Carboniferous sandstones of western Indiana an economic report on the sandstones of a portion of western Indiana, accompanied by two atlas sheets showing the outcrops and distribution of the sandstone: Indiana Department of Geology and Natural Resources Annual Report 20, p. 186-327.

Hutchison, H. C., 1959, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Spencer County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 8.

Hutchison, H. C., 1964, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Dubois County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 10.

Hutchison, H. C., 1970, Mansfield 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. 102-105.

Hutchison, H. C., 1971, Distribution, structure, and mined areas of coals in Daviess County, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Preliminary Coal Map 15.

Hutchison, H. C., 1976, Geology of the Catlin-Mansfield area, Parke and Putnam Counties, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 54, 57 p.

Hutchison, H. C., and Hasenmueller, W. A., 1986, Mansfield 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. 86-88.

Kottlowski, F. E., 1959, Geology and coal deposits of the Coal City quadrangle, Greene, Clay, and Owen Counties: U.S. Geological Survey Coal Investigations Map C-28.

Lesley, Joseph, 1862, Report of Prof. Lesley, in Owen, Richard, Report of a geological reconnaissance of Indiana, made in the years 1859 and 1860: Indianapolis, H. H. Dodd and Co., p. 343-344.

Logan, W. N., 1922, Economic geology 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. 5, p. 571-1,058.

Owen, D. D., 1859, Report of a geological reconnaissance of the State of Indiana made in the year 1837, pt. 1: Indianapolis, John C. Walker, State Printer, 63 p.

Read, C. B., 1947, Pennsylvanian floral zones and floral provinces: Journal of Geology, v. 55, p. 271-279.

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.

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.



For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: April 13, 2017

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