IGNIS
Seelyville Coal Member

Age:

Pennsylvanian

Type designation:

Type locality: The name “Seelyville” was applied casually by Ashley (1909, p. 31, chart opposite p. 97) to the thick coal bed mined underground at Seelyville in Vigo County, Indiana (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). No specific type section was designated (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). This coal was formally named the "Seelyville Coal Member" by Kosanke and others (1960, p. 33), who incorrectly spelled it "Seeleyville" and who (p. 46) designated the type area as the mines near Seelyville, Vigo County, in T. 12 N., Rs. 7 and 8 W. (Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986).

Reference core: A reference core from Indiana Geological Survey drill hole (SDH) 306 (Indiana Geological Survey Petroleum Database Management System No. 115871) contains the Seelyville Coal Member from 161.4 to 166.25 ft (49.2 to 50.7 m) (Hasenmueller and Ault, 1991, p. 7). SDH 306 is located in the SE¼NE¼NW¼ sec. 2, T. 2 S., R. 7 W., near the type section of the Survant Coal Member of the Linton Formation in Pike County (Hasenmueller and Ault, 1991, fig. 1).

History of usage:

From 1899 to 1909 this coal had been mistakenly called Coal VI (Ashley, 1899), an error that Ashley later (1909) corrected to Coal III (Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986).

The Seelyville has been known by various names along its outcrop area, which extends the length of the Indiana coalfield (Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). It has been called the Lower Hanging Rock Coal in Vermillion County, where it was mined with the Colchester Coal Member along the Big Vermillion River northwest of Eugene (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). In Clay and Vigo Counties it has been called the Staunton Coal from exposures around Staunton, and in Dubois and Pike Counties it has been called the Rock Creek Coal (Fuller and Ashley, 1902, p. 2; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). Along the outcrop in the latter counties, it is only 2 to 3 ft (0.6 to 0.9 m) thick and has a shale or a sandstone roof (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986).

For many years the Seelyville was designated as the uppermost member of the Staunton Formation of the Raccoon Creek Group; however, in 2001 The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin redefined the Seelyville as the lowermost bed of the Linton Formation of the Carbondale Group.

Description:

The Seelyville Coal Member has been reported to be as much as 11 ft (3.4 m) thick and averages 6 ft (1.8 m) in thickness in the northern part of the Indiana coalfield (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). It is bright banded and highly pyritiferous and is split into three benches of about equal thickness by two thin pyritiferous shale partings (Hutchison, 1960; Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). The roof of the coal is either gray shale that is silty and carbonaceous or brown to gray sandstone that is massive, friable, fine grained, carbonaceous, and micaceous (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). The floor is generally gray plastic underclay that is shaly in places (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986).

Correlations:

The Seelyville was correlated with a part of the Abingdon Cyclothem of western Illinois by Alexander (1943) (Hutchison, 1970; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). As recognized in Illinois by Hopkins and Simon (1975, p. 186), the Seelyville occurs primarily in Edgar, Clark, and Crawford Counties in the eastern part of the state but is found only in places in southern Illinois between the DeKoven and Colchester Coal Members (Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). There the species of spores found in the Seelyville help to distinguish it from the older DeKoven coal (Peppers, 1970, p. 31-33; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). Southward in Illinois the Seelyville thins and is split into two benches (Treworgy, 1981, p. 5; Hasenmueller and Hutchison, 1986). The Seelyville has been correlated with the Davis Coal Member/bed in Illinois and western Kentucky by The Tri-State Committee on Correlation of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin Committee (2001).

Regional Indiana usage:

Illinois Basin (COSUNA 11)
Supergroup: none
Group: Carbondale Group
Formation: Linton Formation
Member: Seelyville Coal Member
Illinois Basin Margin (COSUNA 12)
Supergroup: none
Group: Carbondale Group
Formation: Linton Formation
Member: Seelyville Coal Member

Misc/Abandoned Names:

Coal III, Coal VI, Lower Hanging Rock Coal, Rock Creek Coal, Seelyville Coal Member (III), Staunton Coal

Geologic Map Unit Designation:

Plsv

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:

Alexander, J. W., 1943, Key beds of the Pennsylvanian section of eastern Vermilion County, Illinois, and Vermillion, Warren, and Fountain Counties, Indiana: Illinois State Academy of Science Transactions, v. 36, p. 141-144.

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

Ashley, G. H., 1909, Supplementary report to the report of 1898 on the coal deposits of Indiana: Indiana Department of Geology and Natural Resources Annual Report 33, p. 13-150.

Fuller, M. L., and Ashley, G. H., 1902, Description of the Ditney quadrangle: U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Atlas, Folio 84, 8 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.

Hasenmueller, W. A., and Ault, C. H., 1991, Reference core and correlation of key beds in the Petersburg and Linton Formations (Pennsylvanian) in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 57, 8 p.

Hasenmueller, W. A., and Hutchison, H. C., 1986, Seelyville Coal 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. 138-139.

Hopkins, M. E., and Simon, J. A., 1975, Pennsylvanian 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. 163-201.

Hutchison, H. C., 1960, Geology and coal deposits of the Brazil quadrangles, Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 16, 38 p.

Hutchison, H. C., 1970, Seelyville Coal Member (III), 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. 161-163.

Kosanke, R. M., Simon, J. A., Wanless, H. R., and Willman, H. B., 1960, Classification of the Pennsylvanian strata of Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Report of Investigations 214, 84 p.

Peppers, R. A., 1970, Correlation and palynology of coals in the Carbondale and Spoon Formations (Pennsylvanian) of the northeastern part of the Illinois Basin: Illinois State Geological Survey Bulletin 93, 173 p.

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.

Treworgy, C. G., 1981, The Seelyville coal—a major unexploited seam in Illinois: Illinois State Geological Survey Illinois Minerals Notes 80, 11 p.



For additional information contact:

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

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