Mississippian System

Type section and use of name in Indiana: The name Aux Vases Sandstone was given by Keyes (1892, p. 296) to sandstone exposed in the bluffs at the mouth of the Aux Vases River in eastern Ste. Genevieve County, Mo. The name was later applied to the Indiana outcrop by Malott (1945, 1946, 1952), but following Gray, Jenkins, and Weidman (1960, p. 49) and Swann (1963, p. 32-33), the Aux Vases of Malott is considered to be the Popcorn Member of the Paoli Limestone. As now recognized in Indiana, the Aux Vases Formation comprises the rocks that have commonly been called the Aux Vases in subsurface work in southeastern Indiana and that were described as such by Pinsak (1957, p. 19, 22) and Swann (1963, p. 18-20, 29, 30; Swann and Atherton, 1948).

Description: In Indiana the Aux Vases Formation is recognized only in the subsurface. It extends from Knox County to Perry County and southwestward. Commonly it is less than 25 feet (8 m) thick and includes dolomite, green calcareous shale, and green argillaceous dolomite, all of which grade southwestward into fine- to medium-grained quartz and limestone sand in a green argillaceous matrix. In some places the uppermost part of the formation consists of arenaceous dolomite. According to Swann (1963, p. 30), these rocks are a tongue that is recognizable eastward to within about 20 miles (30 km) of the Indiana outcrop Pinsak (1957, pl. 1), however, recognized tongues of shaly sandstone that may represent the Aux Vases Formation in the middle and upper parts of the outcropping Levias Member of the Ste. Genevieve Limestone.

Correlation: Southwestward the Aux Vases extends into and correlates with the type Rosiclare Sandstone Member of southern Illinois. Westward it extends across the Illinois Basin and into the type Aux Vases of Missouri (Swann, 1963, p. 59, 80). As used in the type area, however, the Aux Vases spans a considerably greater stratigraphic range than in Indiana.

Because the guide fossil Platycrinites penicillus has been observed in the Aux Vases of areas west and south of Indiana and in Aux Vases lateral equivalents in Indiana, the Aux Vases Formation is assigned to the Valmeyerian Series.