MAPPING AND DESCRIPTION OF THE MOLINE CHERT, ROCK ISLAND CO, ILLINOIS
First mention of this layer is by Worthen and Shaw, (1882). It is next mentioned by Birmingham and Van Dyke, (1981), who modify the stratigraphic column by Anderson, R.C.,(1967), to document its relative location while doing archaeological survey work.
The archaeological field is interested in a formal description of this material as it was utilized by prehistoric people from paleo culture until historic contact. Regional workers in archaeology may easily identify this material but it is acknowledged as being problematic further afield due to other Midwest cherts with similar coloration or texture. One notably similar material is Upper Mercer Chert from East Central Ohio which is also a Pennsylvanian age strata.
An initial, regional ground survey has documented the outcropping and float occurrences. Field survey is followed by an investigative review of regional drilling records in an expanding pattern from Moline, Illinois to develop a subsurface structural map of the currently undefined strata. Samples obtained from the mapping initiative will be processed by XRF analysis at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois to investigate a geochemical signature. An addititional selection of specimens will be prepared to document distinct diagenetic variations observed within the chert’s separate bedding planes within the formation. These procedures will maximze interpretation of this unusual material.