Indiana Geological Survey Geologic Names Information System

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Dec 2, 2019 Nov 1, 2020 All Counties
Director: Nancy Hasenmueller
Other Researchers: Barbara Hill, Rebecca Meyer, Pratima Soni
Funding: Indiana University - Indiana Geological & Water Survey
Issue: Many geological repositories include large amounts of stratigraphic data. One problem faced by managers of these archives is locating correct stratigraphic nomenclature to complement their data. The Geologic Names Committee (GNC) of the Indiana Geological & Water Survey (IGWS) is addressing this problem by developing an online database of geologic names officially recognized by the IGWS.
Objective: The database will facilitate labeling stratigraphic data in IGWS digital and paper archives, aid IGWS researchers in locating current geologic nomenclature for their publications, and provide web-based access to IGWS geologic nomenclature to a broad spectrum of users from academia, industry, government, and the general public.
Approach: The GNC, with assistance from other IGWS staff, focused initial efforts on entering current Paleozoic nomenclature into the database and designing web-based access to these data. The database and website allow users to access information about specific units by searching on a formal stratigraphic name, abandoned name, or miscellaneous unofficial name such as “Indiana Limestone” (the Salem Limestone, Mississippian). Options to select units by specifying system(s) and stratigraphic rank(s) allow users to retrieve data for more than one unit and view the data in alphabetic or stratigraphic order. The web display shows IGWS nomenclature for the selected unit(s), names of equivalent units, miscellaneous and abandoned names, and applicable higher-rank stratigraphic terms for each of the five Indiana areas delineated in the Midwestern Basins and Arches Region (COSUNA Project) to emphasize geographic changes in rank, lithic term, and assignment to higher-ranked units.
Products: The website is available at The IGWS GNC plans to continue development of the database and website to better serve users and maintain compatibility with the GEOLEX database developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. An interactive stratigraphic chart showing Paleozoic rock-unit names in Indiana will be updated at the website. The chart will link to each individual rock-unit web page and to the AAPG COSUNA regions 11-15. Project metadata, additional photographs and images relating to stratigraphic units, a section describing the economic importance of each stratigraphic unit, and a web-based search mechanism that will link Indiana stratigraphic units to correlative units will be compiled.
Benefits: The site provides web-based access to IGWS geologic nomenclature to a broad spectrum of users from academia, industry, government, and the general public.