Architectural elements and paleoecology of carbonate shoal and intershoal deposits in the Salem Limestone (Mississippian) in south-central Indiana (1990)

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Authors: Todd Thompson

PREFACE: Quarry operators in the dimension-stone district of south-central Indiana are using a new type of saw that imparts a rough "polish" to the quarry walls. The saws are producing outcrops of the physical and biological sedimentary structures in the Salem Limestone that have never been seen before. The 3-dimensional distributions of physical sedimentary structures on the quarry walls can be mapped and architectural elements of these structures that comprise the shoal body can be defined. This "clastic" approach to the study of carbonate shoal and tidal channel deposits is yielding a more detailed view of the types of deposits that are preserved in an ancient carbonate shoal and the types of processes that formed them. Recent study of fauna and trace fossils in the Salem complement the sedimentological studies, providing the needed paleoecological constraints on the system. The field trip will examine physical and biological sedimentary structures and fauna in two quarries near Bedford, Indiana and in an outcrop between Bedford and Bloomington. Concentration will be placed on the physical characteristics of the Salem Limestone and discussions will be focused on the processes that influenced the system and paleoecological responses. The field trip has 5 leaders and will be helped along by several individuals from the Indiana Geological Survey and the Department of Geosciences of Indiana University. I hope the diversity of people conducting and helping with the trip will stimulate discussions about many aspects of the Salem Limestone in the Friday evening meeting and during the Saturday field trip. Although the trip will focus on physical sedimentology and paleoecology of the Salem along the outcrop belt, I feel that there are many other aspects of the Salem Limestone that would be of interest to the field trip participants. Short papers about the Salem are included in the back of the guidebook.



Thompson, T. A. 1990,  Architectural elements and paleoecology of carbonate shoal and intershoal deposits in the Salem Limestone (Mississippian) in south-central Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Guidebook 14, 75 p., 36 fig.


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Keywords: field guide, Salem Limestone, Mississippian, sedimentology, paleoecology, Sanders Group, tidalite, bedform, cross bed

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