IGNIS
Aux Vases Member

Age:

Mississippian

Type designation:

Type locality: The name "Aux Vases Sandstone" was given to sandstone exposed in the bluffs at the mouth of the Aux Vases River in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, by Keyes (1892, p. 296) (Gray, 1986, p. 6).

History of usage:

Extended: The name “Aux Vases Sandstone” was applied to the Indiana outcrop by Malott (1945, 1946, 1952) (Shaver, 1970; Gray, 1986).

Revised: The name “Aux Vases Formation” as used by Malott was reject for use in Indiana by Gray, Jenkins, and Weidman, (1960, p. 49). They (1960, p. 50) proposed that strata formerly designated as Aux Vases be regarded as the basal unit of the Paoli Limestone. The name “Aux Vases Formation” was retained for rocks called Aux Vases or basin Aux Vases by Pinsak (1957, p. 19, 22) and Swann (1963, p. 18-19, 29, 30) in their subsurface work in southwestern Indiana (Shaver, 1970).

Restricted: Droste and Carpenter (1990) reduced the rank of the Aux Vases to that of a member and restricted the Aux Vases Member to the shales and sandstones that lie between the interbedded carbonate rocks, shales, and sandstones of the uppermost part of the Ste. Genevieve Limestone below and the Renault Member of the Paoli Limestone above.

Description:

In Indiana the Aux Vases Member is composed of green to greenish-gray calcareous and variably fossiliferous shale interbedded with lenses of shaly to pure, very fine grained sandstone. In a few places in the subsurface there is a small amount of red to maroon in the gray and green shales (Droste and Carpenter, 1990). The shales contain small carbonate nodules and thin and discontinuous lenses of limestone.

The Aux Vases Member ranges from less that 1 ft (0.3 m) to more than 30 ft (9 m) in thickness; however, throughout most of the subsurface in Indiana the Aux Vases is less than 10 ft (3 m) thick (Droste and Carpenter, 1990). Its maximum thickness is 38 ft (11.6 m) in Posey County (Droste and Carpenter, 1990).

Distribution: In Indiana the Aux Vases Member of the Paoli Limestone extends from Owen County southwestward to Posey County (Droste and Carpenter, 1990, fig. 21).

Boundaries:

The contact between the Aux Vases Member of the Paoli Limestone and the underlying Ste. Genevieve Limestone is conformable generally, but in some places near the outcrop the contact may be one of minor discontinuity (Droste and Carpenter, 1990).

Correlations:

Droste and Carpenter (1990) traced the Aux Vases from the subsurface to surface exposures; in the outcrop area the Aux Vases interval was previously recognized as the Popcorn Member at the base of the Paoli Limestone. They (1990, fig. 2) assigned the Aux Vases Formation to the uppermost part of the Valmeyerian Series and the lowermost part of the Chesterian Series.

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Blue River Group
Formation: Paoli Limestone
Member: Aux Vases Member
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Blue River Group
Formation: Paoli Limestone
Member: Aux Vases Member

Misc/Abandoned Names:

Popcorn Member

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Mpav

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:

Droste, J. B., and Carpenter, G. L., 1990, Subsurface stratigraphy of the Blue River Group (Mississippian) in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 62, 45 p.

Gray, H. H., 1986, Aux Vases 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. 6-7.

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.

Keyes, C. R., 1892, The principal Mississippian section: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 3, p. 283-300.

Malott, C. A., 1945, Rosiclare and Aux Vases Sandstones in southern Indiana [abs.]: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 56, p. 1,180.

Malott, C. A., 1946, The geology of Cataract Falls, Owen County, Indiana: Journal of Geology, v. 54, p. 322-326.

Malott, C. A., 1952, Stratigraphy of the Ste. Genevieve and Chester formations of southern Indiana: Ann Arbor, Michigan, Edwards Letter Shop, 105 p.

Pinsak, A. P., 1957, Subsurface stratigraphy of the Salem Limestone and associated formations in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 11, 62 p.

Shaver, R. H., 1970, Aux Vases 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. 8-9.

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.



For additional information contact:

Nancy Hasenmueller (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: November 23, 2016

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