IGNIS
Sunbury Shale

Age:

Mississippian

Type designation:

Type locality: Originally described as the Sunbury Black Slate (Hicks, 1878, p. 216, 220), the Sunbury Shale was named for Sunbury, Delaware County, Ohio, where 10 to 15 ft (3.0 to 4.6 m) of black carbonaceous shale overlies the Berea Sandstone and underlies what was called the Raccoon Shales (now part of the Cuyahoga Formation) (Shaver, 1970; Hasenmueller and Shaver, 1986).

Description:

In the Michigan Basin part of northernmost Indiana, the Sunbury is a carbonaceous brownish-black shale and lies stratigraphically between the greenish-gray Ellsworth Shale (below) and the Coldwater Shale (Hasenmueller and Shaver, 1986).

Distribution: The unit was recognized by Hasenmueller and Bassett (1979) in Steuben, Lagrange, Noble, and DeKalb Counties (Hasenmueller and Shaver, 1986). The Sunbury Shale is slightly more than 10 ft (3 m) thick in Steuben County in northeasternmost Indiana and thins southward and westward (Lineback, 1968, 1970; Hasenmueller and Bassett, 1981; Hasenmueller and Shaver, 1986). The Sunbury is absent west of Lagrange County (Hasenmueller and Shaver, 1986).

Correlations:

The Sunbury is laterally equivalent to the uppermost part of the Ellsworth Shale of Michigan and northern Indiana and probably correlates with the Henryville Bed of the Ellsworth and Clegg Creek Members of the New Albany Shale in the Illinois Basin (Lineback, 1968, 1970; Hasenmueller and Bassett, 1981; Shaver, 1970; Hasenmueller and Shaver, 1986).

Regional Indiana usage:

Michigan Basin (COSUNA 15)
Member: Sunbury Shale

Misc/Abandoned Names:

Sunbury Black Slate

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Msb

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:

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.

Hasenmueller, N. R., and Bassett, J. L., 1979, Maps of northern Indiana showing thicknesses of the Sunbury, Ellsworth, and Antrim Shales (New Albany Shale equivalents): Morgantown, W. Va., U.S. Department of Energy, Morgantown Energy Technology Center, METC\EGSP Series No. 806 [1980].

Hasenmueller, N. R., and Bassett, J. L., 1981, Stratigraphy, in Hasenmueller, N. R., and Woodard, G. S., eds., Studies of the New Albany Shale (Devonian and Mississippian) and equivalent strata in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey, p. 5-32.

Hasenmueller, N. R., and Shaver, R. H., 1986, Sunbury Shale, 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. 152.

Hicks, L. E., 1878, The Waverly Group in central Ohio: American Journal of Science, ser. 3, v. 16, p. 216-224.

Lineback, J. A., 1968, Subdivisions and depositional environments of New Albany Shale (Devonian-Mississippian) in Indiana: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 52, p. 1,291-1,303.

Lineback, J. A., 1970, Stratigraphy of the New Albany Shale in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 44, 73 p.

Shaver, R. H., 1970, Sunbury Shale, 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. 173-174.

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 (hasenmue@indiana.edu)
Date last revised: May 23, 2017

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