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Item Number: OFS00-18

INTRODUCTION: For many decades, the general perspective of the dominant depositional setting of the Pennsylvanian System in the Illinois Basin (Figs. 1 and 2) has been one of a lush tropical coal-forming mire associated with an extensive delta plain. Published studies over the past decade have shown that, in contrast, the Illinois Basin during Pennsylvanian times was dominated by marine processes rather than nonmarine conditions. The evidence for these marine conditions however is not always obvious and requires an interdisciplinary approach to fully understand the conditions under which the Pennsylvanian sediments were deposited in the Illinois Basin. Many if not most of the sediments deposited during the Pennsylvanian in the Illinois Basin were laid down in brackish water conditions. Three outcrop have been selected for this guidebook (Fig. 3) that illustrate the fresh to brackish water depositional systems that appear to be typical of the lower part of the Pennsylvanian in the Illinois Basin. In this guidebook we examine these outcrops and discuss their geochemical, sedimentological, and paleontological indicators of paleosalinity.

Kvale, E. , Mastalerz, M. 2000, Ancient fresh to brackish water depositional systems: a guide to three outcrop examples in southern Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Open-File Study 00-18, 36 p., 36 fig.

Notes: Publications in the Indiana Geological Survey Open-File series have been inconsistently named using a variety of series titles including "Open-File Report," "Open-File Map," and "Open-File Study." Prior to 1994, a publication in this series was generally referred to as an "Open-File Report" (but not always). To help reduce confusion created by these inconsistencies, the IGS now refers to every publication in the Open-File series as an "Open-File Study." To be entirely correct in writing a bibliographic reference for a publication, one should use the series name and number that appears on the publication itself.

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Keywords: sedimentology, depositional environments, Pennsylvanian, coal, Illinois Basin, paleontology, geochemistry

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