The publication combines data on Paleozoic and Mesozoic stratigraphy and petroleum geology of the Illinois basin, U.S.A., in order to facilitate visualizing the stratigraphy on a regional scale and visualizing stratigraphic relations within the basin. Data are presented in eight schematic chronostratigraphic sections arranged approximately from north to south, with time denoted in equal increments along the sections, in addition to the areal extent of this structural basin. The stratigraphic data are modified from Hass (1956), Conant and Swanson (1961), Wilman and others (1975), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1984, 1986), Olive and McDowell (1986), Shaver and others (1986), Thompson (1986), Mancini and others (1996), and Harrison and Litwin (1997). The time scale is taken from Gradstein and others (2004). Additional stratigraphic nomenclature is from Harland and others (1990), Babcock and others (2007), and Bergstrom and others (2008). Stratigraphic sequences as defined by Sloss (1963, 1988) and Wheeler (1963) also are included, as well as the locations of major petroleum source rocks and major petroleum plays. The stratigraphic units shown are colored according to predominant lithology, in order to emphasize general lithologic patterns and to provide a broad overview of the Illinois basin. For the purpose of comparison, three columns on the right show schematic depictions of stratigraphy and interpreted events in the Illinois basin and in the adjacent Michigan and Appalachian basins.