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Abstract

The Devonian Chert of the Black Warrior and Arkoma basins is part of a regional chert accumulation across the southern North American Continent. In the Arkoma Basin the Devonian is called the Penters Chert in the subsurface and the Sallisaw Formation on outcrop (Figure 1). In the Black Warrior Basin the Devonian Chert is an unnamed formation (Figure 2). The Arkansas Novaculite and the Caballos Formation are equivalents found in the Ouachita and Marathon region, respectively. Other shelfward equivalents of the novaculites are the Thirty-one Formation of the Permian Basin, Camden Chert of Tennessee, and Clear Creek Chert of Illinois. The Devonian Chert of the Black Warrior and Arkoma basins has a greater affinity towards its shelfal equivalents to the west, east, and north than to Ouachita equivalents to the south.

Whereas there has been little published on the shelfal equivalents, a large amount of data exists on the Arkansas and Caballos novaculites. The source of silica and the depositional environment for the novaculites and cherts in general have been debated for years. A biogenic source for the silica has been accepted by most workers. Other theories for the silica source advocate alteration of volcanic ash and volcanism promoting growth of siliceous organisms and the production of siliceous sediments; however the evidence of volcanism in the Ouachitas is scarce (limited to scattered tuffs in the Mississippian). General agreement on the depositional environment has not been reached for the novaculites with McBride (1989), Thomas (1988), Sholes (1978), McBride and Folk (1977), Folk

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