Dakota Formation widespread in western Iowa, lower sandstone-dominated Nishnabotna Member, upper mudstone/shale-dominated Woodbury Member. Correlative Windrow Formation found as erosional outliers in northeastern and north-central Iowa. Primary lithologies: sandstone, quartzose, very fine to medium grained; mudstone/shale, light to dark gray, variably silty-sandy, noncalcareous (Woodbury Mbr.). Secondary lithologies: sandstone, medium to very coarse grained, part pebbly to gravelly, locally cemented by iron oxides (Nishnabotna Mbr., Windrow Fm.), gravel, quartz and chert clasts; siltstone; mudstone, red, pink, yellow-brown, black (carbonaceous). Minor: lignite; siderite (concretions, pedogenic sphaerosiderite pellets, cemented siltstone); massive iron ore, silty to sandy (Windrow Fm.). Maximum thickness Dakota Fm. 500 ft (150 m), commonly 100-300 ft (30-90 m); Windrow Fm. 40 ft (12 m).
Interval includes Sweetland Creek Shale in southeast Iowa, and “Amana beds” of Iowa County. Lime Creek Fm onlaps eroded Ordovician surface in northwestern Iowa. Primary Lithologies: shale, gray to green-gray, dolomitic to calcareous; limestone, variably argillaceous, fossiliferous, part biostromal; dolomite, variably argillaceous, part fossiliferous. Secondary Lithologies: limestone, dense, “sublithographic” (upper part of carbonate-dominated facies in central and northwestern Iowa); shale, green-gray to brown, silty (Sweetland Creek Shale). Minor: siltstone; chert; oolitic limestone, carbonate breccia (central to northwestern Iowa). Thickness variations in outcrop belt: Sweetland Creek Shale of southeastern Iowa, 3-30 ft (1-9 m); Lime Creek Fm of southeastern to north-central Iowa, 40-200 ft (12-60 m); Lime Creek Fm of northwestern Iowa, 200-350 ft (60-105 m).
Galena Group includes Decorah, Dunleith, Wise Lake, Dubuque formations; Platteville Formation includes Pecatonica, McGregor members; Glenwood Shale forms thin basal shale unit. Primary lithologies: dolomite, part porous to vuggy, fossiliferous, part cherty; limestone and dolomitic limestone, fossiliferous, part cherty (note: Galena Group entirely limestone to north, entirely dolomite to south, interstratified limestone-dolomite in intervening areas). Secondary lithologies: shale, green-gray, calcareous, with thin to nodular limestone, part fossiliferous (Decorah Sh); limestone, wavy-bedded to nodular, part fossiliferous (Decorah-Platteville); dolomite and limestone, slightly argillaceous. Minor: shale partings and thin beds, green-gray to brown-gray, part fossiliferous (Dubuque Fm); shale partings and thin beds, light to dark brown, part organic-rich (Decorah-Platteville); dolomite, sandy to very sandy (Pecatonica Mbr); shale, green-gray, noncalcareous, unfossiliferous, part sandy (Glenwood Sh); thin sandstone to siltstone (Glenwood Sh); dark phosphatic grains (primarily Glenwood, Pecatonica, Decorah); phosphate-pyrite-iron oxide crusts (on some hardground surfaces); pyrite nodules; thin K-bentonite beds (Galena Gp); ironstone ooids (Decorah Sh). Maximum thicknesses total interval: 330 ft (100 m); Galena Group, 250-280 ft (76-85 m); Platteville Formation, 25-55 ft (8-17 m); Glenwood Shale, 3-10 ft (1-3 m).
Interval includes “Graneros” Shale, Greenhorn Formation, Carlile Shale. Primary Lithologies: shale, medium to dark gray, variably silty, calcareous to very calcareous. Secondary lithologies: chalk, marl, argillaceous limestone, with skeletal (inoceramid) packstones; shale, gray, silty, noncalcareous. Minor: siltstone; calcite and siderite concretions. Maximum thickness 265 ft (80 m).
Includes Elgin, Clermont, Fort Atkinson, Brainard, and Neda members. Overlain by Silurian strata in east-central Iowa, incised paleovalleys beneath Mosalem Fm.; truncated beneath Devonian strata in northern-most counties. Primary lithologies: shale, green-gray, variably dolomitic, mostly unfossiliferous; dolomite, argillaceous, part shaly, variably fossiliferous (part with common trilobites); dolomite, part argillaceous, part cherty to very cherty (northern Iowa). Secondary lithologies: shale, brown to brown-gray, organic, part graptolitic, part finely laminated (lower strata); dolomitic limestone to limestone, argillaceous, part cherty to very cherty, variably fossiliferous, part crinoidal (northern Iowa); interbedded dolomite and shale, part nodular, part fossiliferous. Minor: phosphorite, granular to massive (basal unit); dolomite, phosphatic to very phosphatic, argillaceous (Elgin Mbr.); ooidal ironstone and red shale (Neda Mbr.); pyrite, finely disseminated to nodular, pyrite cements. Maximum thicknesses: generally 200-275 ft (60-85 m) beneath Silurian, locally 100-200 ft (30-60 m) beneath Mosalem Fm.; 75-180 ft (23-55 m) where capped by Devonian strata in northern Iowa.