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Kansas Geological Survey, Bulletin 175, Part 4, originally published in 1965

The Pleasanton Group (Upper Pennsylvanian) in Kansas

by John Mark Jewett, Philip A. Emery, and David A. Hatcher

small image of the cover of the book; cream paper with black text.

Originally published in 1965 as Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 175, Part 4. This is, in general, the original text as published. The information has not been updated.


The Pleasanton Group, a span of rocks that is mostly shale but includes some sandstone, limestone, and coal, is described as it occurs in its belt of outcrop in eastern Kansas. These rocks, which for several years previous to 1948 were called the "Bourbon Group," are of early Missourian age (Upper Pennsylvanian). The Group comprises, in ascending order, the Seminole Formation, the Checkerboard Limestone, and the Tacket Formation (a new stratigraphic name introduced in this paper). Another new name, South Mound Shale Member, is introduced for the upper member of the Seminole Formation, whose lower member is the Hepler Sandstone. A thick sequence of dark limestone and shale beds, known as "Bourbon flags" and some lenticular sandstone bodies (Knobtown sandstone) are characteristic of facies of the Seminole-Tacket formations, the name applied to the entire span of Pleasanton rocks in the northern part of its outcrop area where the separating Checkerboard Limestone is not identified.


This report briefly describes the Pleasanton Group, of Late Pennsylvanian age, in eastern Kansas and offers a revised classification of these rocks. This Group is comprised largely of shale with some sandstone and limestone and a very minor amount of coal, with a thickness along the outcrop ranging from 30 to 135 feet. The lower boundary is marked by a disconformity that is designated as the boundary between Desmoinesian and Missourian rocks. By definition, the upper boundary of the Group is at the base of the Hertha Limestone (Moore, et al., 1951, p. 90). In addition to offering a somewhat comprehensive description of Pleasanton rocks, the purpose of this paper is to present formal definitions of the names Tacket Formation and South Mound Shale Member.

Previous Work and Acknowledgments

No attempt is made here to mention the many geologists who have studied and described the Pleasanton strata in local areas. Knowledge of these beds in Missouri has been contributed by Frank C. Greene (1933), L. M. Cline (1941), and Wallace B. Howe (1953-1961). Data concerning beds of equivalent age in Oklahoma have come from Malcolm C. Oakes (1940). Other workers mentioned in various parts of this paper have added to the general store of information on these rocks.

Many of the data used in this report have been taken from two University of Kansas master of science theses, Hatcher (1961) and Emery (1962), prepared under the supervision of the senior author. This work has been supplemented by detailed studies by Jewett in 1937. Hatcher studied the northern part of the outcrop area in Kansas and Emery the southern part. In addition, Emery studied many exposures throughout the entire outcrop area in Kansas and those in neighboring states.

Classification and Geologic Setting

The Pleasant Group crops out in eastern Kansas in a belt about 1 to 8 miles in width extending from the southeastern part of Miami County to the southeastern part of Montgomery County (Plate 1 [available as an Acrobat PDF file]) (Moore and Landes, 1937; Jewett, 1964). The beds dip to the northwest, generally at about 20 feet per mile. The overlying basal limestone of the Kansas City Group supports a cuesta which faces eastward and in which is exposed a considerable thickness of Pleasanton rocks. Structurally the region in which the Pleasanton and associated upper Pennsylvanian rocks crop out is called the Prairie Plains Monocline (Jewett, 1954). Classification of Pennsylvanian strata that crop out in eastern Kansas is shown in Table 1.

Table 1--Classlfication of Pennsylvanian rocks cropping out in eastern Kansas (from Jewett, 1959).

Pennsylvanian System
Virgilian Stage
Wabaunse Group
Shawnee Group
Douglas Group
Missourian Stage
Lansing Group
Kansas City Group
Pleasanton Group
Desmoinesian Stage
Marmaton Group
Cherokee Group*
The lowest few feet of Cherokee rocks in southeastern
Kansas are probably of Atokan Age.

Emery (1962, p. 10) proposed a revised classification of subdivisions of the Pleasanton Group. His classification is herein adopted by the State Geological Survey of Kansas (Table 2).

Recently Singler (196D-) discussed the Pleasanton Group in the Northern Midcontinent and used nomenclature proposed by Emery in his unpublished Master's thesis (1962).

Table 2--Classification of Pleasanton rocks cropping out in eastern Kansas.

Missourian Stage
Lansing Group
Kansas City Group
Pleasanton Group
Tacket Formation (new name)
Checkerboard Limestone
Seminole Formation
South Mound Shale Member (new name)
Hepler Sandstone Member (formation
reduced to member status)
(regional disconformity)
Desmoinesian Stage


A diagrammatic cross section of Pleasanton rocks in their Kansas outcrop belt (Pl. 1 [available as an Acrobat PDF file]) was compiled chiefly by Emery from about 40 measured sections. It is modified by data obtained by observation and measurement at a large number of other exposures. It should be noted that the cross section represents strata as though projected onto a vertical plane that lies in the direction of the strike of the rocks and is a composite of many exposures within a belt of outcrop several miles wide.

The Desmoinesian-Missourian Disconformity

As shown on Plate 1, Pleasanton strata lie on a surface of disconformity which truncates upper Marmaton formations of Desmoinesian age. The contact between Pleasanton rocks and lower sediments is quite easily identifiable because of the presence of the Hepler Sandstone Member of the Seminole Formation, which can be seen almost everywhere along the exposed contact. This contact is regarded as the boundary between Desmoinesian and overlying Missourian sediments (Moore, 1935 [1936], p. 68), time-rock divisions which now are designated as stages in Kansas (Jewett, 1959).

Along the outcrop belt of Pleasanton rocks in Kansas the sub-Missourian surface normally cuts into the Holdenville Shale (Taff, 1901). However, in some places, for example, in Linn and Bourbon counties, Kansas, basal Missourian sediments are in contact with older formations in the Marmaton Group.

There are a number of exposures along the outcrop of the Pleasanton Group in Kansas where the Hepler Sandstone Member is absent; also, in the subsurface a short distance west of the outcrop, there are many wells that penetrate the Pleasanton Group and encounter no basal sandstone. In Linn County in the northern part of the outcrop area, a number of test holes were drilled in the vicinity of Mound City that penetrate a maroon shale in the approximate position of the Hepler Sandstone.

Emery (1962, p. 14) noted that in an exposure of lower Pleasanton and upper Marmaton rocks near Coffeyville, Montgomery County, sandstone is absent and that there is no recognizable evidence of weathering, except for a difference in color and a very slight difference in the amount of kaolin in the dominantly illitic clays, in the upper part of what is believed to be the Holdenville Shale.

In the subsurface in Miami County, in the "Big Lake" oil field, the disconformable surface below Pleasanton sediments seems to be lower than the horizon of the Lenapah Limestone, which commonly underlies the Holdenville Shale, and locally the surface is below the position of the next lower Marmaton Limestone, the Altamont (Jewett, 1954, fig. 13, p. 69). In the light of the available information in most of eastern Kansas, the sub-Missourian disconformity is not discernible in the subsurface a few miles west of the outcrops of lower Pleasanton and upper Marmaton rocks, and It is quite probable that the erosional surface does not extend far to the west. A core taken from a drill hole in Coffeyville, Montgomery County, Kansas, several years ago and examined by Jewett showed a continuous dark shale section between the Checkerboard Limestone and Lenapah Limestone. It is common practice in subsurface studies in eastern Kansas to regard as Pleasanton Group all strata that can be recognized as lying between limestones of the Kansas City Group and the uppermost recognizable Marmaton limestone (Adkison, 1963). In oil-field terms this rock section often is called the "Big shale."

Pleasanton Group

The name Pleasanton, with group rank, was adopted for strata of Missourian age lying below the Hertha Limestone in Kansas (Moore, 1948). By definition the lower boundary of the Group is at the disconformable surface that truncates Desmoinesian rocks, and the upper boundary is at the base of the Kansas City Group. Previously, the name Pleasanton had been used for a larger span of strata (Moore, 1935 [1936], p. 62-72).

The name "Pleasanton" as a stratigraphic term is derived from the city of Pleasanton, Linn County, Kansas. Only a few feet in the upper part of the Group are exposed in Pleasanton. There is a fairly complete exposure a short distance away along a county road, SW sec. 27, T 21 S, R 24 E (Jewett and Muilenburg, 1957, p. 39). A more complete exposure of this span of rocks, formerly called the "Bourbon Group" (Jewett, 1932, p. 99), is in the south valley wall of the Marmaton River along Kansas Highway 3, south of Uniontown, Bourbon County, Kansas.

Seminole Formation

The term "Seminole Formation," as used in Oklahoma, is adopted for usage in Kansas as the basal formation of the Pleasanton Group and includes all rocks above the basal Missourian disconformity and below the Checkerboard Limestone. The Formation is present in Kansas from the Oklahoma-Kansas boundary northward to the northernmost limit of the Checkerboard outcrop in central Neosho County, Kansas (Oakes and Jewett, 1943, p. 633, 637, fig. 1 and 634-635; Moore, et al., 1937, p. 41-42).

Seminole was first used as a stratigraphic term by Taff (1901) when he applied the name to a conglomerate in Seminole County, Oklahoma. The name is derived from the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and the type area is in the northwestern part of the Colgate Quadrangle (USGS topographic map, 30 min. series, 1898). For further explanation and criteria for extending usage of the name into northern Oklahoma and to the Kansas border consult Branson (1957, p. 94).

Within its area of outcrop the Seminole Formation may be divided into two units; the basal unit is called the "Hepler Sandstone Member" (new combination), and the shale between the Hepler Sandstone Member and the base of the Checkerboard Limestone is called the "South Mound Shale Member" (new name) (Emery, 1962).

Hepler Sandstone Member

For several years sediments now called the "Hepler Sandstone Member" were known as the basal Missourian sandstone" (Jewett, 1937, p. 36). The name "Hepler sandstone" was applied to this rock in 1940 (Jewett, 1940a). In Kansas the Hepler Sandstone Member is classed as the basal member of the Seminole Formation. Its type section is just north of Hepler in Bourbon County, Kansas.

At most of its exposures in Kansas the Hepler Sandstone is a fine- to very fine-grained, micaceous, and slightly ferruginous, quartzose sandstone. Fresh exposures show rather firm cementation by calcium carbonate; weathered exposures commonly are limonitic. Colors of the Sandstone along the outcrop range from gray to reddish-brown. Hatcher (1961) noted that in the northern part of the outcrop belt a conspicuous concentration of calcium carbonate occurs in the middle part of the formation. The Hepler Sandstone Member is thicker in the northern part of its outcrop area than in the southern part. The thickest section that has been measured, 25.5 feet, is in Linn County, Kansas. The maximum observed thickness of the unit in southern Kansas is 12 feet, but the average throughout the outcrop belt is less than 4 feet. Emery (1962) noted that a marked decrease in grain size accompanied the general southward thinning. Northward from central Bourbon County, Kansas, the grain size of the Sandstone ranges from 1/16 mm to 1/4 mm, but southward the grain size is no larger than 1/8 mm and some grains are of silt size.

In Linn County the Hepler Sandstone Member shows unusual compositional and structural conditions. In the vicinity of Pleasanton, especially in sec. 25, T 21 S, R 24 E, the unit is about 16 feet thick and locally is heavily impregnated with asphalt, so much so that the deposit has been quarried for road-surfacing material (Jewett, 1940). A short distance southwest of the abandoned asphalt-rock quarry (SE sec. 25, T 21 S, R 24 E) steeply dipping beds of Hepler Sandstone are exposed in the stream bed of Muddy Creek.

The Hepler is only locally fossiliferous. Brachiopods occur in an extremely calcareous facies of the rock in an exposure near the center of the south line of sec. 2, T 33 S, R 18 E, Labette County, Kansas (Jewett, 1945).

South Mound Shale Member

The new name "South Mound Shale Member" (Emery, 1962) is applied to strata in the Seminole Formation that lie above the Hepler Sandstone Member and below the Checkerboard Limestone. The South Mound Member is identified only in areas of the Checkerboard's occurrence. This newly-named unit comprises principally gray, clayey, and locally silty, shale and a very minor amount of limestone and coal. The name is derived from the town of South Mound in southeastern Neosho County, Kansas. At South Mound the Member is only 0.3-foot thick. Therefore, a section approximately 20 miles to the southwest, 0.5 mile south of Mound Valley, in SE SW sec. 2, T 33 S, R 18 E, Labette County, Kansas, was chosen as the type section (Table 3).

Table 3--Type section of the South Mound Shale Member. Section is near the center of the SE SW sec. 2, T 33 S, R 18 E, south of Mound Valley, Labette County, Kansas.

Checkerboard Limestone
Limestone, bluish-gray, cross-bedded, crinoidal 0.7
Shale, buff, silty 0.7
Limestone, brown, fossiliferous0.2
Seminole Formation
South Mound Shale Member
Shale, gray, containing crinoid fragments, Derbyia, Composita, gastropods 6.5
Coal 0.3
Shale and underclay, gray, containing silicified wood fragments 1.0
Hepler Sandstone Member
Limestone, sandy, nodular 1.0
Sandstone, buff, calcareous, containing brachiopods 1.0
Holdenville Shale
Shale, gray in upper part, dark gray in lower part, contains Mesolobus and large productids in upper part, thin zone packed with Acaciapora austini about 3 feet from base, abundant "Aulopora" and "Lophophyllum" in lower part 13.7+

Coal occurs in the South Mound Shale Member in sec. 26, T 31 S, R 19 E; black shale lies above the coal, and gray shale containing plant fossils lies under it. At that place the unit is 4.7 feet thick. Coal occurs in the South Mound Member also in sec. 2, T 33 S, R 18 E (Table 3). Derbyia, Punctospirifer, Composita, and crinoid fragments have been observed in the South Mound Shale in sec. 19, T 34 S, R 17 E, in an exposure where the unit is 5.0 feet thick; a thin nodular limestone lies 1.5 feet below the top, and the Hepler Sandstone Member is absent. At that place the base of the Seminole Formation and the base of Pleasanton Group is defined at a color change, maroon upward into gray, in the shale section.

Checkerboard Limestone

Oakes and Jewett (1943) showed that the limestone in northern Oklahoma known as the Checkerboard extends into Kansas, and for several years the rock has been recognized as occurring in Labette and Montgomery counties Kansas (Jewett, 1945; 1954). Emery has identified the unit as far north as T 29 S in Neosho County, Kansas.

The term "Checkerboard Limestone" has been in use in Oklahoma for many years (Hutchinson, 1911). For a time the usage was somewhat informal, the name having been derived from "Checkerboard Crossing," in sec. 22, T 15 N, R 11 E, Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, and Checkerboard Creek, which were named because of the checkerboard-like joint pattern. It is assumed that "Checkerboard Crossing" is the type locality (Fath and Emery, 1917, p. 370; Gould and Decker, 1925, p. 72).

A limestone similar in stratigraphic position and thickness to the lower part of the Checkerboard Limestone, as it is in southern Kansas, but without the characteristic joint pattern, occurs in northwestern Missouri, where it is called the "Exline Limestone" (Howe, 1961). Although one may surmise that before acquiring westward dip and truncation the ledges may have been more or less continuous, to call the rock in Missouri Checkerboard (or vice versa) would serve no useful purpose.

In Kansas the Checkerboard Limestone generally is classified as a formation in the lower part of the Pleasanton Group. In extreme northern Oklahoma this formation, the underlying Seminole Formation, and the overlying Coffeyville Formation are assigned to the lower part of the Skiatook Group, a classification that, because of facies changes that occur a few miles north of the state line, is used commonly in Oklahoma (Oakes and Jewett, 1943, Oakes, 1940). The classification that includes the Skiatook Group is discussed later in this paper.

The Checkerboard Limestone is divisible into lower and upper limestones and a separating shale, which may be regarded as unnamed members. The thickness ranges from a feather edge to about 14 feet.

Lower limestone unit--The lower unit in the Checkerboard Limestone is gray, brown-weathering limestone that locally is a distinctly cross-bedded coquina composed largely of gastropods and crinoid fragments. In some places it contains abundant brachiopods and other fossils. Insoluble residues reveal plentiful arenaceous foraminifers. The thickness ranges up to 2 feet. It is this part of the Checkerboard Limestone that extends farthest into Kansas.

Shale unit--The middle shale unit in the Checkerboard Limestone ranges in thickness from a fraction of a foot to about 8 feet and is normally poorly exposed. At one locality in the NE sec. 25, T 28 N, R 15 E, Nowata County, Oklahoma, this shale is gray and contains abundant Derbyia, Composita, and Juresania, as well as Hustedia.

Upper limestone unit--The upper limestone in the Checkerboard Limestone is an impure, gray, brown-weathering, nodular, fine-grained limestone containing gastropods, brachiopods, and in some places abundant arenaceous foraminifers. The thickness is as much as 0.8 foot.

Tacket Formation

The new name Tacket Formation (Emery, 1962) is applied to the upper part of the Pleasanton Group, strata that lie between the top of the Checkerboard Limestone and the base of the Hertha Limestone. In the northern part of the Pleasanton outcrop belt the Checkerboard Limestone is absent and the Tacket Formation is in direct contact with the Seminole Formation (Pl. 1 [available as an Acrobat PDF file]). In extreme southern Kansas where the Hertha Limestone is absent or recognized only with difficulty, the upper boundary of the Tacket Formation is defined as occurring at the top of a zone of black, platy shale that locally underlies a zone of impure limestone concretions or a very thin ledge of abundantly fossiliferous limestone that is recognized as the southern continuation of the Hertha Limestone.

In Kansas the Tacket Formation ranges in thickness from about 15 to 60 or more feet. The unit is comprised chiefly of shale, a considerable part of which is carbonaceous and very dark gray to nearly black. Limestone occurring in thin flaggy layers interbedded with dark shale, known as the Bourbon flags, and sandstone, called the Knobtown, are regarded as facies of the Formation (Pl. 1).

The name Tacket is derived from Tacket Mound (Parsons Quadrangle, U.S.G.S. topographic map, 15 min. series, 1945) in the SW sec. 7, T 32 S, R 19 E, Labette County, Kansas. The type exposure of the Formation is along the west side of sec. 17 (Table 4).

Table 4--Type exposure of the Tacket Formation. Section is in the S sec. 7 and along the west side of sec. 17, T 32 S, R 19 E, Labette County, Kansas.

Kansas City Group
Swope Limestone
(members undifferentiated)
Limestone, poorly exposed on crest of Tacket Mound. 
Ladore Shale
Shale, much limonitic concretionary material, shale, mostly covered 45.0±
Coal 0.1-2
Shale, gray 2-3.0
Coal 0.1-2
Shale, gray 1.0
Coal 0.1-2
Shale, gray, blocky, plant fossils 4.0
Shale, mostly covered 6.0±
Total 59.0±
Hertha Limestone
Sniabar Limestone Member
Limestone, bluish-gray, earthy, slabby, sparse chert in upper part, pelecypod fragments near top 3.0±
Mound City Shale Member
Shale and thin limestone beds, gray, locally almost all shale, upper O.5 foot entirely shale throughout exposure 2.0±
Critzer Limestone Member
Limestone, brown to bluish-gray, earthy to slightly crystalline, massive, Marginifera 3.4±
(Note: This is the southernmost known exposure of Hertha Limestone where, because of rather clear-cut lithologic and stratigraphic relationships, members can be designated. However, individual members are not identified in some other places farther north where the Hertha Limestone is exposed).
Total 8.4
Pleasanton Group
Tacket Formation
Upper shale unit
Shale, black, fissile, carbonaceous, contains phosphatic nodules near base 19.0
Limestone unit
Limestone, nodular, gray, weathering light gray, very fine-grained, conchoidal fracture, silty 0.5
Lower shale unit
Shale, black, fissile, iron-stained at top, much of interval covered 20.5
Checkerboard Limestone
Upper limestone unit
Limestone, brown, weathering light brown, nodular, fine-grained, slightly silty, contains gastropods, Derbyia, Composita, and other brachiopod fragments, few arenaceous foraminifers 0.8
Shale, blocky, yellow, calcareous 0.2
Limestone, nodular, thick-bedded, fine-grained, brown, weathering light brown 0.6
Shale unit
Shale, gray, blocky, mostly covered 8.0
Lower limestone unit
Limestone, reddish-gray, weathering light-brown, thin-bedded, contains Derbyia crassa, Composita, Aviculopectin, gastropods and bryozoan fragments, and arenaceous foraminifers 0.8
Seminole Formation
South Mound Shale Member
Shale, gray, platy to blocky 3.0
Covered 7.0
Hepler Sandstone Member
Sandstone, reddish-brown, weathering gray, medium-bedded, limonite cement, well sorted, mainly quartz, very minor amounts of muscovite and garnet, average grain size 1/16 mm in diameter, frosted, sub-rounded to subangular, sphericity of 0.5 1.0
Total 11.0

Because of a thin nodular limestone occupying a position in its upper middle part for a considerable distance, the Tacket Formation is divisible into three units: a lower shale, a middle limestone,, and an upper shale (Pl. 1). The dividing limestone is identified from southern Linn County to about the middle part of Labette County. In the northern part of the Pleasanton outcrop area there are no persistent "marker" beds between the Hepler Sandstone and the Hertha Limestone, although locally the Knobtown sandstone and the "Bourbon" flaggy limestone are conspicuous facies of these formations. In the northern part of the outcrop area the dividing 11 marker bed" seemingly is part of the thick "Bourbon" limestones.

Lower shale unit--Where identified, the lower shale unit in the Tacket Formation ranges in thickness from about 19 to 25 feet. It is mostly gray clay shale or highly carbonaceous, nearly black shale. There are a few small lenses of siltstone or sandstone. The sandstone contains impressions of invertebrates, as well as land plants, but recognizable fossils, excepting sparse impressions of pelecypods, are not plentiful in the gray shale part of the unit.

Limestone unit--A nodular limestone bed extending discontinuously from the area of "Bourbon flags" in southern Linn County is a distinctive facies within the Tacket Formation. It occurs over a wide area in the black shale facies of the Formation. The limestone is about 1 foot thick and is dark gray, nearly lithographic, and breaks with a conchoidal fracture. Insoluble residues contain abundant arenaceous foraminifers. Formerly the name "Uniontown" limestone was used for this rock (Moore, 1932a; Jewett, 1932) at a time when it was believed to be a continuous limestone bed extending greater distances than now is evident. A formal name for it would not serve a useful purpose. It is a distinctive facies within a stratigraphic sequence, but its position within the "Bourbon flags" is uncertain.

The informal term "Bourbon flags" is applied to a large mass of alternating thin beds of dark gray limestone and nearly black shale that may represent a thickened facies of the middle limestone unit in the upper part of the Pleasanton Group in southern Linn and northern Bourbon counties. At some exposures the "Bourbon flags" are 60 or more feet thick (Jewett and Muilenburg, 1957). Commonly the flaggy limestone occurs immediately below the Hertha Limestone, and locally the two rocks are distinguished with difficulty. In a few exposures in northern Bourbon County irregular contact between the lowermost Hertha Limestone and the flags suggests slight erosion following Pleasanton deposition.

Upper shale unit--Southward from northern Neosho County the upper shale unit is an almost entirely black, fissile to platy, highly carbonaceous shale containing nodules with high phosphate and calcium carbonate content and a small amount of uranium and fluorine (Runnels, et al., 1953). Locally the shale and nodules contain high amounts of iron sulphide. Fossils seemingly are rare although Emery found Polygnathus and Aviculopectin in sec. 11, T 28 S, R 20 E. Northward from northern Neosho County to the area of the "Bourbon flags" in northern Bourbon County, the upper shale unit of the Tacket Formation is well-bedded clay shale with a few marine invertebrates.

Sandstone in the upper part of the Pleasanton Group in the northern part of its outcrop area is known as Knobtown sandstone. The name is regarded as an informal one in Kansas but nevertheless is a stratigraphic name of good standing and is useful. The Knobtown's type exposure is in Jackson County, Missouri (Greene, 1933, p. 13). The Missouri Geological Survey employs Knobtown as a facies in the upper part of the Pleasanton Group. The Knobtown sandstone is lenticular (Pl. 1). In places there is no sandstone in this part of the stratigraphic section, although nearby the sandstone facies is 20 feet thick. Locally as much as 15 feet of shale occurs between the Knobtown and the Hertha Limestone. The rock is a buff, thin-bedded to massive, very fine-grained, quartzose sandstone. Cross bedding is rare. Fossil plants are fairly common and a few marine invertebrates have been found at a few localities. At places fragments of land plants and marine invertebrates are found together. Geometry of the sandstone bodies does not indicate simple stream channel fillings.

Oklahoma Equivalent of the Pleasanton Group

Basing correlations on "marker beds" without exact time significance, the Tacket Formation is equivalent to the lower part of the Coffeyville Formation, a designation for strata in northern Oklahoma lying above the Checkerboard Limestone and below the Dennis (Hogshooter) Limestone. The Checkerboard and Dennis limestones are the lowermost limestone formations of Missourian age that continue from Kansas into Oklahoma as easily identified rocks. In central Labette County, Kansas, where the Hertha Limestone is readily recognized, the Dennis Formation is about 150 feet above the Hertha. At Coffeyville, on the southern border of Kansas, a zone which may represent the southern continuation of the Hertha is about 130 feet below the Dennis Limestone. Because of the change in facies of these rocks it may be convenient to employ in extreme southern Kansas (southward from about the middle part of T 33 S) the classification used in northern Oklahoma (Oakes, 1940, table 1, p. 22; Table 4). However the span of Pleasanton rocks can be identified with considerable confidence in several places in the area.

The history of usage of the stratigraphic term "Coffeyville" was discussed by Oakes (1940, p. 33-36). The current usage is in accordance with a redefinition by Moore, et al. (1937). The name is derived from the city of Coffeyville in southern Montgomery County, Kansas. Most of the Formation is exposed in shale pits in the northern part of Coffeyville. The part that is believed to be equivalent to the Tacket Formation is about 20 feet thick. It consists of dark gray shale, seemingly without fossils.

The classification that includes the Coffeyville Formation and that is applicable to parts of extreme southern Kansas is shown in Table 5.

Table 5--Classification of rocks in a part of northern Oklahoma and general classification of a part of the Kansas rock column.. Correlations are based on marker beds, not time lines.

Northern OklahomaGeneral in Kansas
(lower part only)
Dewey LimestoneDrum Limestone
Nellie Bly FormationCherryvale Shale
Hogshooter LimestoneDennis Limestone
Coffeyville FormationLower part of
Bronson Subgroup
 Tacket Formation
Checkerboard LimestoneCheckerboard Limestone
Seminole FormationSeminole Formation


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Jewett, J. M., 1954, Oil and gas in eastern Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 104, p. 1-397.

Jewett, J. M., 1959, Graphic column and classification of rocks in Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, chart.

Jewett, J. M., and Abernathy, G. E., 1945, Oil and gas in eastern Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey Bull. 57, p. 1-244.

Jewett, J. M., and Muilenburg, Grace, 1957, Eastern Kansas: Kansas Geol. Soc., 21st Field Conf., Guidebook, p. 1-126.

Moore, R. C., 1932, A reclassification of the Pennsylvanian System in the Northern Mid-Continent region: Kansas Geol. Soc., 6th Field Conf. Guidebook, p. 79-98.

Moore, R. C., 1935 [1936], Stratigraphic classification of the Pennsylvanian rocks of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 22, p. 1-135. [available online]

Moore, R. C., 1948, Classification of Pennsylvanian rocks in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and northern Oklahoma: Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists, Bull., v. 32, no. 11, p. 2011-2040.

Moore, R. C., Frye, J. C., Jewett, J. M., Lee, Wallace, and O'Connor, H. G., 1951, The Kansas rock column: Kansas Geol. Survey, Bull. 89, p. 1-132. [available online]

Moore, R. C., and Landes, K. K., 1937, Geologic map of Kansas: Kansas Geol. Survey, map.

Moore, R. C., Newell, N. D., Dott, R. H., and Borden, J. L., 1937, Definition and classification of the Missouri subseries of the Pennsylvanian Series in northeastern Oklahoma: Kansas Geol. Society, 11th Ann. Field Conf., Southeastern Kansas, Eastern Oklahoma, Guidebook, p. 39-43.

Oakes, M. C., 1940, Geology and mineral resources of Washington County, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Geol. Survey, Bull. 62, p. 1-208.

Oakes, M. C., and Jewett, J. M., 1943, Upper Desmoinesian and lower Missourian rocks in northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas: Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Bull., v. 27, no. 5, p. 632-640.

Runnels, R. T., Schleicher, T. A., and Van Nortwick, H. S., 1953, Composition of some uranium-bearing phosphatic nodules from Kansas shale: Kansas Geol. Survey Bull. 102, pt. 3, p. 93-104.

Schoewe, W. H., 1949, The geography of Kansas: Kansas Acad. Science Trans., v. 52, no. 1, p. 261-333.

Sinigler, C. R., 1965, Preliminary remarks on the stratigraphy of the Pleasanton Group (Pennsylvanian) in the northern Midcontinent: The Compass, v. 42, no. 2, p. 63-72.

State Geological Survey of Kansas, 1964, Geologic map of Kansas: Map M-1.

Taff, J. A., 1901, The Colgate Quadrangle. U.S. Geol. Survey Geologic Atlas of the U.S., Folio no. 74, p. 1-18.

Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web Aug. 12, 2008; originally published in Dec. 1965.
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