Although Taff originally applied the term “Caney shale” to strata of late Mississippian and early Pennsylvanian age, most writers now restrict the term to Mississippian shale above the Sycamore limestone. Tomlinson applied the term “Springer formation” to that part of Taff’s Caney shale in the Ardmore basin, above the base of the lowermost prominent sandstone, the Rod Club member. This left a maximum of approximately 3,000 feet of sediments unnamed between what was thought to be the top of the Mississippian and the base of the Springer formation.
The name Goddard formation for pre-Springer (pre-Rod Club) “Pennsylvanian” was proposed several years ago by the writer, and has been subsequently used by some geologists. The type locality is in the Goddard Ranch, Sections 18 and 19, T. 3 S, R. 4 E., Johnston County, Oklahoma. The section starts on the west side of Oil Creek, where the Caney-Goddard contact is well exposed, and extends southwesterly to the base of the Rod Club sandstone.
Recently discovered fossils from the middle and upper parts of the Goddard were studied by Elias (1955) and found to be of definite Mississippian (Chester) age. On this basis, most, if not all, the Goddard is removed from the Springer group, and from the Pennsylvanian system.
The Caney shale is typically black, thinly bedded, calcareous (Elias says siliceous), tough and brittle, and contains numerous phosphatic concretions and several large concretions of dense limestone. The overlying Goddard shale is dark gray, soft, clayey, and non-calcareous. It contains numerous bands of reddish-brown to orange-brown ironstone. The contact is easily discernible in electric logs.
About 730 feet above the base of the Goddard in the type locality, is a series of thin, lenticular sandstones and interbedded shale aggregating a thickness of about 160 feet, which may be correlative with the Redoak Hollow sandstone of the Milo area, named by Elias. Goddard sandstones constitute an important producing zone in the North Ardmore field on the Caddo anticline, where the zone is 100-500 feet above the top of the Mississippian Caney. It is reasonably well established that the Goodwin sandstone, and possibly the Sims sandstone, belong in the Goddard formation.
Figures & Tables
Because of the excellent pioneer work done by Eldridge in mapping occurrences of oil seeps, asphaltic sandstones, and showings in water wells, in southern Oklahoma, and by Taff and Gould on the structure and stratigraphy of the Arbuckle and Wichita mountain areas, there was ample evidence of the presence of petroleum to lure the prospector when Oklahoma and Indian Territories were opened for leasing just after the turn of the century.
About one-fourth the area covered by the oil fields of southern Oklahoma has Pennsylvanian rocks on the surface. This portion has been very well described in the literature. The remaining three-fourths is covered with Permian rocks, the oldest being the upper Pontotoc massive cherty brown sandstones. These are overlain by the Wichita formation consisting of 700 feet of alternating gray sandstones and interbedded purplish-maroon shales and barite beds, and bone beds with the remains of Permian reptiles, sharks, and amphibians. Next above is the basal asphaltic gray sandstone of the Garber formation resting unconformably on whatever may be below it, and carrying the huge “flying saucer” concretions; above which is the remaining 300-foot section of maroon conglomeratic sandstones and shales. The Garber crops out around and over more oil fields than any other formation in southern Oklahoma—like the Mesaverde of the Rockies. Next above is the 400-foot greenish-gray sandy shale section of the Hennessey, followed in turn by the 200-foot maroon sandstone section of the Duncan, the 4oo-foot “purple” shale of the Chickasha, and the 400-foot Whitehorse group. At the top are the Cloud Chief gypsum and the Quartermaster formation.
The conspicuous surface folds along the old lines of weakness prove that the folding at the close of Permian time and again after Cretaceous time was pronounced, supporting ideas of Bullard (1928) and Freie (1930).
From the discovery of the Granite field in 1901, Wheeler in 1905, Cruce in 1906, through Loco and Healdton in 1913, Fox in 1915, Wildcat Jim in 1916, and Velma in 1917, to Robberson in 1920, Sholom Alechem in 1923, and Apache in 1941, most of the fields of southern Oklahoma have been discovered by adhering strictly to common sense rules of oil finding by testing areas of favorable structure close to oil seeps, showings of oil and gas, and asphaltic sandstone occurrences.