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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 21 (1937)

Issue: 6. (June)

First Page: 771

Last Page: 788

Title: Illinois Basin

Author(s): J. Marvin Weller (2), Alfred H. Bell (3)


I. Structural history:
The Illinois basin is part of a larger basin which during Paleozoic time extended an unknown distance southward. The greater part of the relative uplift of the borders of the Illinois basin probably occurred at the close of the Paleozoic era (Appalachian revolution). Major and minor structures within the basin were formed at various times during the Paleozoic era; much deformation along the southern border of the basin was of post-Paleozoic age. The time of origin of the more important known structures in the basin is discussed.

II. Exploration for oil:
The history of oil exploration in Illinois is briefly reviewed with special attention to the great southeastern Illinois field which ranks sixth in total production to date in the United States. During most of the 32 years following discovery of this field there has been little systematic exploration for oil in Illinois, but this has been due in large measure to the belief that oil production is probable only around the rims and not in the central portions of large structural basins. Discovery of the Mt. Pleasant field in Michigan and numerous fields in West Texas and elsewhere has upset this belief, so that now many geologists and oil executives favor careful exploration for oil throughout the areas of large structural basins. Possible oil-producing formations in the Illinois basin and tructural trends in the basin with relation to oil possibilities are discussed.

Since 1934 the central part of the basin has been explored scientifically by both geological and geophysical methods. The first discoveries following the recent activity have come in 1937; three new oil wells, all located on the basis of seismograph surveys, and two of which are in the deep basin area, appear to be the beginning of a new period of development.

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