Certain quartz sands of Middle Ordovician age in the Midwestern States are well known for their purity and are exploited for a wide variety of industrial uses. The principal Middle Ordovician formations containing high-purity sands are the St. Peter Sandstone which crops out extensively from Minnesota to Arkansas; the Everton Formation principally of Arkansas; and the Oil Creek, McLish, and Tulip Creek Formations (all of the Simpson Group) of Oklahoma. The St. Peter and sandy beds in the other formations are commonly called "sandstones," but a more appropriate term is "sands" for in most fresh exposures they are completely uncemented or very weakly cemented. On exposure to air, uncemented sands usually become "case hardened" where evaporating ground water precipitates mineral matter at the surface; but this is a surficial effect. This report summarizes the available information on the extent of exposures, range of grain size, and chemical composition of the Middle Ordovician sands.
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USGS Numbered Series
Map showing high-purity silica sand of Middle Ordovician age in the Midwestern states