Map and Chart--KGS


The Fort Payne Formation of the Cumberland Saddle region of south-central Kentucky and north-central Tennessee is part of a vast marine sedimentation system that extended over much of North America during the Early Mississippian Period; broadly similar facies reached from Georgia through Tennessee and Kentucky, into western Illinois and Missouri, and into New Mexico and the northern Rockies (Pryor and Sable, 1974). Throughout North America the Fort Payne and its equivalents overlie a black shale (in Kentucky called the Chattanooga Shale) and underlie thick carbonates (in Kentucky, the Warsaw Formation and younger middle Mississippian limestones).

Six miles south of Burkesville, Ky., on Kentucky Highway 61, a complete section of the Fort Payne, from the top of the Chattanooga Shale well into the overlying Warsaw Formation, is exposed in 11 outcrops (Figs. 1-3). The Fort Payne is approximately 270 feet thick in this section and is composed of basal wackestone mounds; distinctive, fossiliferous, green clay shales associated with the mounds; detrital crinoidal packstones; argillaceous dolosiltstones, the most common lithology in the Fort Payne; and a dark, organic-rich shale, which caps a persistent coarsening-upward packstone unit.

Publication Date



Series XI

Report Number

Map and Chart 12

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work was supported in part through National Science Foundation grants EAR-8903654 to Meyer and EAR- 8903486 to Ausich. We thank South Central Land Surveying (B.B. Barnes) for help with surveying, and Larry Brence and Lisa Trump for drafting the figures. The Graduate Fellows of the University of Cincinnati helped with publication costs.

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