Two cores from Buchanan and Andrew Counties in the Forest City Basin, northwestern Missouri, yielded approximately 1,200 feet of sedimentary rock deposited during the Pennsylvanian Period (approximately 300 million years ago), a period characterized by rapid fluctuations in sea level. The cores were logged from the Excello Formation in the Upper Desmoinesian Series upward to the Iatan Formation at the top of the Missourian Series. Lithofacies were identified from rock composition, grain size, color, bedding thickness, sedimentary structures, and fossils. Petrographic thin sections were taken from selected rock types and the results were used to complement the visual descriptions. Limestones are the dominant lithofacies, but elastic rocks and coal beds are also present. A preliminary palynological investigation of dispersed organic matter (palynodebris), spores, and pollen from organic-rich lithofacies provided additional information on the depositional environments. The two cores were correlated primarily on the basis of the sedimentologic, and then integrated with palynologic results. Several formations are characterized by fades changes. This study also examined the possible influences of sea level fluctuations on the sedimentary rocks, and it appears that coal beds, underclays, and shales are correlative with sea level falls.

Meeting Name

Missouri Academy of Science 2000 Annual Meeting (2000: Apr., Columbia, MO)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


Financial support for this study was provided by the University of Missouri--Rolla's Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Experience (OURE), for which the senior author is grateful.

Keywords and Phrases

Palynology; Palynomorphs; Sedimentology; Pennsylvanian

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

Apr. 2000

Included in

Geology Commons