Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level





Walter L. Manger

Committee Member

T.A. "Mac" McGilvery

Second Committee Member

Glenn Sharman


Arkansas Geology, Arkoma Basin, Moorefield Shale, Stratigraphy


The Moorefield Shale represents the Meramecian Series in the Eastern Arkoma Basin in northern Arkansas. Lying on the margin of the Mississippi Embayment and Reelfoot Rift, sequence stratigraphic interpretations have labelled the Moorefield Shale a lowstand wedge succeeding the Early Mississippian (Osagean) Boone Limestone conformably and overlain conformably by the Hindsville Limestone/Batesville Sandstone. The unit contains a basal brown-black limestone and succeeding brown-black phosphatic shale. The Moorefield Shale was deposited along the broad, stable cratonic platform on the southern flank of Laurasia, before it’s collision with Gondwanaland to form the supercontinent Pangea at the end of the Paleozoic. During this time, the midcontinent region was covered by shallow seas and carbonates covered most of the region. A shallowly dipping carbonate ramp developed in the region providing a foundation for clastic sediment deposition. The Boone Limestone underlies the Moorefield Shale throughout the eastern Arkoma Region however, the Boone carbonate sediment was transported from its origin on the Burlington Shelf in the northwestern part of Arkansas, and thicknesses of the Boone Limestone significantly decrease to the south and east. Thinning of the Boone Limestone has allowed greater accommodation space for succeeding formations in the eastern Arkoma Basin, and has allowed the Moorefield Shale to be considerably thicker in the east. Thicknesses of the Moorefield Shale measure to approximately 100 feet in outcrop, and 350 feet or greater in the subsurface. Due to the lack of research, the Moorefield Shale offers a unique perspective into the stratigraphy and deposition of Mississippian units of the eastern Arkoma Basin.