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Geologic units containing black shale

Earth material > Sedimentary rock > Clastic rock > Mudstone > Shale
Black shale
A dark, thinly laminated carbonaceous shale, exceptionally rich in organic matter (5% or more carbon content) and sulfide (esp. iron sulfide, usually pyrite), and often containing unusual concentrations of certain trace elements (U, V, Cu, Ni).
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Alabama - Arizona - Illinois - Indiana - Kentucky - Massachusetts - Maryland - Maine - Michigan - Montana - New Jersey - New York - Ohio - Pennsylvania - Tennessee - Texas - Utah - Virginia - Vermont - Washington - West Virginia
Alabama
Athens Shale (Ordovician)
Athens Shale - black graptolitic shale, locally contains interbedded dark-gray limestone.
Arizona
Sedimentary rocks of the Late Cretaceous Mesaverde Group (Late Cretaceous)
Gray to buff sandstone with interbedded shale and coal. These rocks, which are similar to slightly younger rocks that form Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado, were deposited on the margin of a shallow sea. Rocks of this map unit host the only large coal deposits in Arizona. (84-88 Ma)
Illinois
Bond Formation (Pennsylvanian)
Bond Formation
Carbondale Formation (Pennsylvanian)
Carbondale Formation
Mattoon Formation (Pennsylvanian)
Mattoon Formation
Modesto Formation (Pennsylvanian)
Modesto Formation
Spoon Formation (Pennsylvanian)
Spoon (includes Pa in northeast)
Upper Devonian (Devonian)
Upper Devonian
Indiana
Antrim Shale (Devonian)
Antrim Shale - Black shale; gray shale and limestone in lower part
Ellsworth Shale (Devonian-Mississippian)
Ellsworth Shale - Green shale; some black shale in lower part
New Albany Shale (Devonian-Mississippian)
New Albany Shale - Black and greenish-gray shale
Kentucky
Chattanooga and Ohio Shales, undivided (Devonian to Mississippian)
Chattanooga and Ohio Shales, undivided; along and south of the Pine Fault
New Albany, Chattanooga, and Ohio Shales, Boyle Dolomite (Limestone), and Sellersburg Limestone, undivided (Devonian to Mississippian)
New Albany, Chattanooga, and Ohio Shales, Boyle Dolomite (Limestone), and Sellersburg Limestone, undivided
Pennington Formation, Newman Limestone, Fort Payne Chert, Grainger Formation, Sunbury Shale, Berea Sandstone, and Bedford Shale, undivided; Pennington Formation locally includes sandstone tongue of Lee Formation (Devonian to Pennsylvanian)
Pennington Formation, Newman Limestone, Fort Payne Chert, Grainger Formation, Sunbury Shale, Berea Sandstone, and Bedford Shale, undivided; Pennington Formation locally includes sandstone tongue of Lee Formation
Massachusetts
East Berlin Formation (Lower Jurassic)
East Berlin Formation - Reddish-brown to pale red arkosic sandstone and siltstone, and gray sandstone, gray mudstone, and black shale; interpreted as lake beds. Assigned to Newark Supergroup (Robinson and Luttrell, 1985). The East Berlin Formation of the Hartford basin contains eight facies: trough cross-bedded sandstones, horizontally stratified sandstones, interbedded sandstones and mudrocks, ripple cross-laminated siltstones, black shales, stratified mudrocks, disrupted shales, and disrupted mudstones. These facies are interpreted as a continental depositional system and are divided into two assemblages. Sandflat/alluvial plain facies assemblage (sandstones and siltstones) is composed of sheet-flood deposits. The lacustrine assemblage (shales and mudrocks) represents a saline lake-playa system (Gierlowski-Kordesch, and Rust, 1994).
Mount Toby Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Mount Toby Formation - Reddish-brown to pale red arkosic sandstone, and gray sandstone, gray siltstone, and black shale interpreted as lake beds.
Portland Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Portland Formation - Reddish-brown to pale red arkose and siltstone, and gray sandstone, gray siltstone, and black shale interpreted as lake beds.
Rhode Island Formation (Upper and Middle Pennsylvanian)
Rhode Island Formation - Conglomerate, sandstone, and graywacke. Rhode Island Formation is thickest and most extensive formation in Narragansett basin. Does not extend to Norfolk basin. Consists of gray sandstone and siltstone and lesser amounts of gray to black shale, gray conglomerate, and coal beds 10 m thick. Interfingers with Wamsutta Formation in Narragansett basin. In places overlies Dedham Granite. Age is Middle and Late Pennsylvanian (Goldsmith, 1991).
Shuttle Meadow Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Shuttle Meadow Formation - Reddish-brown to pale red arkosic sandstone and siltstone, and gray sandstone, gray mudstone, and black shale; interpreted as lake beds. The Shuttle Meadow Formation is assigned to Newark Supergroup and is extended into MA in the Hartford basin. It consists of sandstone strata containing one interval of gray mudstone beds. The unit grades eastward along strike into a conglomeratic facies. It overlies the New Haven Arkose or Hitchcock Volcanics and underlies the Holyoke Basalt (Robinson and Luttrell, 1985).
Sugarloaf Formation (Lower Jurassic)
Sugarloaf Formation - Reddish-brown to pale red arkose, and gray sandstone, gray siltstone, and black shale interpreted as lake beds.
Turner Falls Sandstone (Lower Jurassic)
Turner Falls Sandstone - Reddish-brown to pale red arkosic sandstone, and gray sandstone, gray siltstone, and black shale interpreted as lake beds.
Maryland
Hamilton Group (including Mahantango Formation and Marcellus Shale), and including Tioga Metabentontite Bed, and Needmore Shale (Devonian)
Hamilton Group including Mahantango Formation - Dark gray, laminated shale, siltstone, and very fine-grained sandstone; thickness 600 feet in west, increases to 1,200 feet in east, and Marcellus Shale - Gray-black, thinly laminated, pyritic, carbonaceous shale; thickness 250 feet in east, increases to 500 feet in west. Also includes Tioga Metabentonite Bed - Brownish-gray, thinly laminated shale containing sand-size mica flakes; thickness less than one foot; and Needmore Shale - Olive-gray to black shale and dark, thin-bedded, fossiliferous, argillaceous limestone; thickness ranges from 70 to 145 feet.
Helderberg Formation and Keyser Limestone (Devonian)
Helderberg Formation, including Licking Creek Limestone Member - (Becraft Limestone of earlier reports.) Present only in east. Medium gray, medium-grained limestone near top; bedded black chert and thin-bedded limestone in middle; silty argillaceous limestone and shale near base; contains tongues of Shriver and Mandata; thickness 110 feet; Mandata Shale Member - Dark brown to black, thin-bedded shale; fossiliferous; thickness 20 to 30 feet in west, intertongues with Licking Creek Limestone Member in east; Corriganville Limestone Member (Head) - (New Scotland Limestone of earlier reports.) Medium gray, medium-grained, medium-bedded limestone, interbedded with chert; fossiliferous; thickness 15 to 30 feet; New Creek Limestone Member - (Coeymans Limestone of earlier reports.) Medium gray, thick-bedded, coarse-grained limestone; fossiliferous; thickness 9 to 10 feet. Limestone changes facies eastward into sandstone, the Elbow Ridge Sandstone Member - Medium-bedded, medium- to coarse-grained, calcarous sandstone; thickness 10 to 18 feet.; and the Keyser Limestone - Dark gray, thin- to thick-bedded, fine- to coarse-grained calcarenite; contains nodular limestone, dolomitic limestone, and calcarous shale; cherty near top; fossiliferous; thickness 200 to 300 feet.
Oriskany Group including Ridgeley Sandstone and Shriver Chert (Devonian)
Oriskany Group, including Ridgeley Sandstone - White, medium- to coarse-grained, fossiliferous, calcareous orthoquartzite; thickness 160 feet in west. Medium to dark gray cherty, arenaceous limestone in east; thickness 50 feet; and Shriver Chert - Dark gray, brown, and black silty shales, cherty shales, and nodular and bedded black chert; fossiliferous; thickness 170 feet in west, upper boundary gradational with Ridgeley. Thickness 14 feet in east where the lower Shriver intertongues with the Licking Creek Limestone Member of the Helderberg Formation
Maine
Silurian Waterville Formation (Silurian)
Silurian Waterville Formation
Silurian Waterville Formation limestone member (Silurian)
Silurian Waterville Formation limestone member
Michigan
Antrim Shale (Late Devonian)
Antrim Shale
Bell Shale (Middle Devonian)
Bell Shale
Collingwood Limestone (Late Ordovician)
Collingwood Limestone
Michigan Formation (Mississippian)
Michigan Formation
Sunbury Shale (Mississippian-Devonian)
Sunbury Shale
Utica Shale (Late Ordovician)
Utica Shale
Montana
Permian, undifferentiated (Phanerozoic | Paleozoic | Permian)
Permian, undifferentiated: chert, sandstone, limestone, quartzite, and shale with rock phosphate mostly at base; mainly Phosphoria formation
Permian, undifferentiated (Phanerozoic | Paleozoic | Permian)
Permian, undifferentiated: chert, sandstone, limestone, quartzite, and shale with rock phosphate mostly at base; mainly Phosphoria formation
New Jersey
Marcellus Shale (Middle Devonian)
Marcellus Shale (Vanuxem, 1840) - Medium-gray weathering, dark-gray to grayish-black, thin- to thick-bedded, fossiliferous, fissile and limonite-stained locally arenaceous shale. Lower contact grades downward over 12 m (40 ft) from black shale through limy shale, into silty limestone of the Buttermilk Falls Limestone (documented in drill core data of Fletcher and Woodrow, 1970). Approximately 274 m (900 ft) thick.
Oriskany Group, undivided (Lower Devonian)
Oriskany Group, undivided (Willard, 1938) - Thickness ranges from 38 m (125 ft) in southwest to 52 m (170 ft) in northeast. Ridgely Sandstone (Swartz and others, 1913) - White-weathering, medium-gray, medium- to thick-bedded, carbonate-cemented quartz-pebble conglomerate and coarse quartz sandstone, which contain abundant brachiopods. Moderately well sorted, subrounded sand gains. Unit thins northeastward and pinches out at Peters Valley. Lower contact abrupt. Thickness ranges from 0 to 10 m (0-32 ft). Shriver Chert (Swartz and others, 1913) - Medium- to dark-gray-weathering, black to dark-gray, medium-to-thick-bedded siltstone and shale containing interbedded black chert and local chert-bearing limestone. Present only in southwestern part of outcrop area where lower contact is gradational with silty limestone of Glenarie Formation. Thickness ranges from 0 to 9 m (0-30 ft). Glenarie Formation (Chadwick, 1908) - Medium-gray-weathering, medium- to dark-gray, fine-grained, thin- to medium-bedded, fossiliferous, silty limestone, and local chert lenses. Unit thickens to northeast. Lower contact probably gradational. Thickness ranges from 17 to 52 m (55-170 ft).
Passaic Formation gray bed (Lower Jurassic and Upper Triassic)
Passaic Formation gray bed - Upper Triassic gray lake deposits (Trpg) consist of gray to black silty mudstone, gray and greenish- to purplish-gray argillaceous siltstone, black shale, and medium- to dark-gray, argillaceous, fine-grained sandstone and are abundant in the lower half of the Passaic Formation. Gray lakebeds occur in groups of two to five cycles although they also occur as single cycles in some parts of the formation. Several lakebed sequences consisting of one or two thick groups of drab-colored beds as much as 30 m (98 ft) thick or more can be traced over tens of kilometers. Many gray-bed sequences are locally correlated within fault blocks; some can be correlated across major faults or intrusive rock units. Thickness of the (entire Passaic) formation between Sourland Mountain and Sand Brook syncline is about 3,500 m (11,483 ft).
New York
Angola and Rhinestreet Shales (Upper Devonian)
Angola and Rhinestreet Shales.
Beers Hill, Dunn Hill, Millport, and Moreland Shales (Upper Devonian)
Beers Hill, Dunn Hill, Millport, and Moreland Shales.
Beers Hill, Dunn Hill, Millport, and Moreland Shales; Grimes Siltstone (Upper Devonian)
Beers Hill, Dunn Hill, Millport, and Moreland Shales; Grimes Siltstone.
Camillus, Syracuse, and Vernon Formations (Upper Silurian)
Camillus, Syracuse, and Vernon Formations - shale, dolostone, salt, and gypsum.
Canajoharie Shale (Middle Ordovician)
Canajoharie Shale
Canajoharie Shale (Middle Ordovician)
Canajoharie Shale - includes Hortonville and Ira Shales in Vermont.
Cashaqua and Middlesex Shales (Upper Devonian)
Cashaqua and Middlesex Shales.
Clinton Group (Lower Silurian)
Decew Dolostone, Rochester Shale, Irondequoit and Merriton Limestones.
Decew Dolostone and Rochester Shale (Lower Silurian)
Decew Dolostone and Rochester Shale
Decew Dolostone and Rochester Shale (Lower Silurian)
Decew Dolostone and Rochester Shale
Genesee Group (Upper Devonian)
Genesee Group - West River Shale; Genundewa Limestone; Penn Yan and Geneseo Shales; North Evans Limestone.
Genesee Group (Upper Devonian)
Genesee Group - West River Shale; Genundewa Limestone; Penn Yan and Geneseo Shales; all except Geneseo replaced eastwardly by Ithaca Formation-shale, siltstone and Sherburne Siltstone.
Ilion Shale (Upper Silurian)
Ilion Shale
Ludlowville Formation (Middle Devonian)
Ludlowville Formation - Deep Run Shale, Tichenor Limestone, Wanakah and Ledyard Shales, Centerfield Limestone Members.
Marcellus Formation (Middle Devonian)
Marcellus Formation - Pecksport, Solsville, Otsego, and Chittenango shale and sandstone Members, Cherry Valley Limestone, and Union Springs Shale Members.
Marcellus Formation (Middle Devonian)
Marcellus Formation - In west: Oatka Creek Shale Member; In east: Cardiff and Chittenango Shale Members, Cherry Vale Limestone and Union Springs Shale Members.
Marcellus Formation (Middle Devonian)
Marcellus Formation - Oatka Creek Shale Member.
Skaneateles Formation (Middle Devonian)
Skaneateles Formation - In west: Levanna Shale and Stafford Limestone Members; In east: Butternut, Pompey, and Delphi Station Shale Members, Mottville Sandstone Member.
Skaneateles Formation (Middle Devonian)
Skaneateles Formation - Levanna Shale, Stafford Limestone Members.
Utica Shale (Middle Ordovician)
Utica Shale
Utica Shale (Middle Ordovician)
Utica Shale
Utica Shale (Middle Ordovician)
Utica Shale
Vernon Formation (Upper Silurian)
Vernon Formation - shale, dolostone.
Vernon Shale (Upper Silurian)
Vernon Shale
Wiscoy Formation (Upper Devonian)
Wiscoy Formation - sandstone, shale; Hanover and Pipe Creek Shales.
Wiscoy Formation (Upper Devonian)
Wiscoy Formation - sandstone, shale; Hanover and Pipe Creek Shales.
Ohio
Antrim Shale (Devonian)
Antrim Shale - Shale; dark brown to black; carbonaceous, thinly laminated; 0 to 230 feet thick.
Ohio Shale (Devonian)
Ohio Shale - Shale; brownish black to greenish gray, weathers brown; carbonaceous to clayey, laminated to thin bedded, fissile parting; carbonate and/or siderite concretions in lowermost 50 feet; petroliferous odor; 250 to 500+ feet thick. Includes Olentangy Shale south of central Delaware Co.
Sunbury and Bedford Formations, Undivided (Devonian and/or Mississippian)
Sunbury and Bedford Formations, Undivided - Shale and siltsone; shale, black to brownish-black, carbonaceous in upper one third of interval, gray to bluish-gray, clayey with occasional siltstone lamina and thin beds in lower two-thirds of interval.
Sunbury Shale (Mississippian)
Sunbury Shale - Carbonaceous shale; black to brownish-black; very thinly laminated; 30 to 120 feet thick.
Sunbury Shale, Berea Sandstone, and Bedford Shale, Undivided (Devonian and/or Mississippian)
Sunbury Shale, Berea Sandstone, and Bedford Shale, Undivided - Shale and sandstone; upper 10 to 50 feet shale; black to brown, weathers light brown; carbonaceous; thin, planar bedding. Underlain by 10 to 50 feet sandstone; brown, weathers light brown to reddish brown; thin to thick bedded, planar to lenticular bedding; minor shale interbeds. Basal 80 to 100 feet shale and interbedded sandstone; gray to brown, weathers light gray to light brown; thin to medium bedded, planar to lenticular bedding; thick. Interval thickness ranges from 100 to 200 feet.
Pennsylvania
Brallier and Harrell Formations, undivided (Devonian)
Brallier and Harrell Formations, undivided - In descending order: Brallier--medium-gray, planar-bedded siltstone interbedded with light-olive shale; sparse marine fauna; Harrell--black shale (Burket Member) and dark-gray shale.
Hamilton Group (Devonian)
Hamilton Group - Includes, in descending order, the Mahantango (Dmh) and Marcellus (Dmr) Formations.
Lockatong Formation (Triassic)
Lockatong Formation - Dark-gray to black, thick-bedded argillite containing a few zones of thin-bedded black shale; locally has thin layers of impure limestone and calcareous shale.
Marcellus Formation (Devonian)
Marcellus Formation - Black shale; sparse marine fauna and siderite concretions. Contains local limestone ("Purcell") member. Tioga bentonite included at base in eastern Pennsylvania.
Reedsville Formation (Ordovician)
Reedsville Formation - Olive-gray to dark-gray shale, siltstone, and fine-grained, thin-bedded sandstone having graded bedding; upper sandstone is very fossiliferous; includes Antes Formation (black calcareous shale) at base along Nittany Arch.
Trimmers Rock Formation (Devonian)
Trimmers Rock Formation - Olive-gray siltstone and shale, characterized by graded bedding; marine fossils; some very fine grained sandstone in northeast; black shale of Harrell Formation at base in Susquehanna Valley.
Tennessee
Chattanooga Shale (Mississippian and Devonian)
Chattanooga Shale - Black carbonaceous shale, fissile. Thickness 100 to 900 feet; about 25 feet on Chilhowee Mountain. (Mapped with Mfp on West-Central and parts of East Central Sheets)
Chattanooga Shale (Mississippian and Devonian)
Chattanooga Shale - Black carbonaceous shale, fissile. Thickness 20 to 30 feet in most areas; thickens abruptly to about 100 feet near east edge of sheet. (Mapped with Mfp on West-Central sheet)
Fort Payne Formation and Chattanooga Shale (Mississippian)
Fort Payne Formation - Bedded chert and calcereous and dolomitic silicastone; minor coarse-grained limestone and shale. Thin green shale (Maury) at base. Thickness about 200 feet. Chattanooga Shale - Black carbonaceous shale, fissile. Thickness 0 to 70 feet.
Fort Payne Formation and Chattanooga Shale (Mississippian)
Fort Payne Formation - Bedded chert; calcareous and dolomitic silicastone; minor limestone and shale; scattered lenses of crinoidal limestone. Thin green shale (Maury) at base. Average thickness about 250 feet (475 in Wells Creek area); and Chattanooga Shale - Black carbonaceous shale, fissile. Thickness 0 to 70 feet; average about 20 feet. (Mapped as MDc on East-Central and East sheets)
Fort Payne Formation and Chattanooga Shale (Mississippian)
Fort Payne Formation - Calcareous and dolomitic silicastone; contains bedded chert, cherty limestone, and shale; scattered crinoidal limestone lenses. Thin green shale (Maury) at base. Thickness 100 to 275 feet.; and Chattanooga Shale - Black carbonaceous shale, fissile. Thickness 20 to 30 feet in most areas. (Mapped as MDc in Flynn Creek structure, where it is about 200 feet thick.) (Also mapped as MDc on the East Sheet)
Mississippian, Silurian, Devonian, and Ordovician Formations - containing all or portions of the Newman, Fort Payne, Chattanooga, Rockwood, and Sequatchie formations. (Mississippian to Ordovician)
Mississippian, Silurian, Devonian, and Ordovician Formations - Structurally complex area containing all or portions of the Newman, Fort Payne, Chattanooga, Rockwood, and Sequatchie formations.
Texas
Cienequita Formation (Phanerozoic | Paleozoic | Carboniferous Pennsylvanian-Middle Pennsylvanian-Late)
Cienequita Formation
Utah
Cretaceous (2) sedimentary rocks in southwestern Utah (Late Cretaceous)
Cretaceous (3) sedimentary rocks in southeastern Utah (Late Cretaceous)
Mississippian (3) sedimentary rocks in Logan-Huntsville Allochthon (Mississippian)
Mississippian (3) sedimentary rocks in western Utah (Mississippian)
Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks in southeastern Utah (Mississipian to Pennsylvanian)
Virginia
Bluefield Formation (Mississippian)
Bluefield Formation - Calcareous shale and limestone.
Chattanooga Shale and Wildcat Valley Sandstone (Devonian-Mississippian)
Chattanooga Shale and Wildcat Valley Sandstone - Black, fissile shale and siltstone; calcareous sandstone
Edinburg Formation, Lincolnshire and New Market Limestones (Ordovician)
Edinburg Formation, Lincolnshire and New Market Limestones - Black limestone and shale; gray limestone, in part cherty
Knobs Formation, Paperville Shale, Lenoir and Mosheim Limestone (Ordovician)
Knobs Formation, Paperville Shale, Lenoir and Mosheim Limestone - Sandstone, conglomerate, siltstone; black, fissile shale; and limestone, in part cherty.
Marcellus Shale and Needmore Formation (Devonian)
Marcellus Shale and Needmore Formation - Black, fissile shale; gray, non-fissile shale; Tioga metabentonite at top of Needmore
Millboro Shale and Needmore Formation (Devonian)
Millboro Shale and Needmore Formation - Black, fissile shale; gray calcareous shale; Tioga metabentonite at top of Needmore.
Millboro Shale, Huntersville Chert, and Rocky Gap Sandstone (Devonian)
Millboro Shale, Huntersville Chert, and Rocky Gap Sandstone - Black, fissile shale; chert; and calcareous sandstone
Vermont
Cumberland Head Formation (Ordovician)
Cumberland Head Formation - Interbedded calcareous black shale and fine-grained homogenous, dark-gray limestone; shown only in Grand Isle County where it is thick enough and well enough exposed to map.
Iberville Formation (Ordovician)
Iberville Formation - Noncalcareous black shale interbedded with occasional dolomite beds and in the lower part with calcareous shale.
Stony Point Formation (Ordovician)
Stony Point Formation - Predominantly calcareous black shale that grades upward into argillaceous limestone and rare dolomite beds, in northwestern Vermont.
Washington
Carboniferous and Permian volcanic rocks (Devonian to Permian; Triassic in Asotin County)
Predominantly altered andesite, basalt, and diabase with interbedded chert and argillite; includes some tuff, greenstone, and spilitic volcanic rocks; northern Cascade Mountains. Mostly schistose greenstone, some agglomerate, and rarely lapilli; includes minor beds of limestone with associated argillite and graywacke; northwestern Stevens County.
Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, mostly marine (Cretaceous)
Lower Cretaceous greenish-gray massive arkosic sandstone and light-gray sandy shale in western Okanogan County. Includes phyllite in eastern Whatcom County.
Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous sedimentary and volcanic rocks (Late Cretaceous-Jurassic)
Sedimentary and volcanic rocks, undivided. Graywacke, argillite, siltstone, slate, volcanic rocks, phyllite, greenschist, and greenstone.
West Virginia
Marcellus Formation (Devonian)
Marcellus Formation (part of Millboro Shale) - predominantly gray-black to black thinly laminated non-calcareous pyritic shale. Contains one or more thin-bedded limestones, including the Purcell Member of Pennsylvania.
Marcellus Formation and Needmore Shale, undivided (Devonian)
Marcellus Formation and Needmore Shale, undivided - Marcellus Formation (part of Millboro Shale): predominantly gray-black to black thinly laminated non-calcareous pyritic shale. Contains one or more thin-bedded limestones, including the Purcell Member of Pennsylvania. Needmore Shale (part of Onesquethaw ("Onondaga") Group): predominantly dark grey or green, calcitic, mostly non-fissile shale. Gives strong "kick" on gamma ray logs. Tioga Bentonite near the top. Includes the black Beaver Dam Shale Member. Grades westward into the Huntersville Chert. Not mappable at scale of this map. Included with Dmn.
Millboro Shale (Devonian)
Millboro Shale - dark grey to black shale facies of eastern West Virginia. Consists of units: Harrell Shale, Mahantango Formation and Marcellus Formation.

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