The Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation of the Black Warrior basin in Alabama comprises as much as 3000 m of shale, sandstone, and coal. The boundary between the informal units of the lower Pottsville and the upper Pottsville is the base of the Black Creek coal group, in the middle part of the section. Lower Pottsville strata include orthoquartzitic sandstone, shale, and coal interpreted as having been deposited in a barrier/back-barrier setting. Upper Pottsville strata consist of lithic arenite, shale, coal, and minor amounts of orthoquartzite, and are interpreted as representing a lateral gradation from lower delta plain to barrier bar. Previous studies indicated northward sediment dispersal. The change in sedimentation patterns in the middle part of the Pottsville suggests introduction into the basin of sediments from an eastern source during Pottsville deposition.

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