Basal Cretaceous deposits in the northernmost part of the Mississippi Embayment in southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois have been correlated previously with the Tuscaloosa Formation of Alabama. New palynological data indicate that these clastic deposits comprise non-marine and marine sections of middle to late Campanian age. They consist of a lower non-marine deposit, the herein newly proposed Post Creek Formation, and an upper marine deposit that we correlate in part with the Coffee Sand of Tennessee. These Campanian deposits overlie a diachronous Mesozoic paleosol, Little Bear Formation, and are progressively overlain by the McNairy Sand of early to middle Maastrichtian age, the Owl Creek Formation of middle to late Maastrichtian age, and the Porters Creek Clay of late Paleocene age. Outcrops and subsurface occurrences of the Post Creek Formation are widespread around the northern margin of the Mississippi Embayment. In contrast, the Coffee Sand is more restricted in distribution, and is present in southeast Missouri only as an outlier. Extensive occurrences of the Coffee Sand are found in Tennessee and further south in the embayment. This study shows that (1) the basal Cretaceous deposits in the northern Mississippi Embayment are not equivalent to the Tuscaloosa Formation, but are entirely separate stratigraphic units, (2) the shallow Cretaceous Interior Seaway occupied the northernmost part of the present Mississippi Embayment by the late Campanian, and (3) a large part of the northern embayment may have experienced an episode of uplift and erosion during the latest Campanian or earliest Maastrichtian, prior to deposition of McNairy Sand. ?? 1997 Academic Press Limited.
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Campanian coastal plain sediments in southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois - Significance to the early geologic history of the northern Mississippi Embayment