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Mayfield Kentucky Ball Clay, Graves Co., Kentucky, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 41' 6'' North , 88° 35' 7'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 36.68500,-88.58528
Köppen climate type:Cfa : Humid subtropical climate

REF:U.S.G.S. BULL. 128
Deposit:: MSHA INSP. REPT. 9-23-81
Deposit:: MSHA LIST 5-18-81
Deposit:: # ASSOC. WITH MILL, SEQ. NO. 0210839003
Commodities (Major) - Clay - Ball Clay
Development Status: Producer
Host Rock Unit: Claiborne, Hawthorn Formation

Mineral List

2 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

Quaternary - Tertiary
0 - 66 Ma

ID: 1819352
Continental deposits

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Description: Sandy silt and silty sand, dark-red, locally yellowish-brown, clayey; very fine to fine quartz; unit occurs mostly on ridges and hill tops; grades into underlying unit; may be in part a weathered zone developed prior to and during early stages of loess formation (Chamberlin and Salisbury, 1891). \nClayey and silty sand, predominantly dark-red, locally reddish-brown, yellowish-brown, dark-brownish-gray, and dark-gray; very fine to medium quartz and sparse yellow and white chert; locally sparse coarse grains, granules, and pebbles of chert; gradational contact with underlying sand. Thickness based on drill-hole data. \nSand and clay: Sand, light-brown, yellowish-brown, brown; chiefly well-sorted fine to medium equidimensional quartz grains; contains sparse to very abundant black opaque minerals and locally abundant white mica flakes; fairly clean; clayey in part. Clay, light- to dark-gray, sandy and silty; occurs as thin seams and lenses as much as 10 feet thick. A sample of clay from a depth of about 35 feet in the drill hole labeled 438 about 2 1/2 miles south of Farmington contained Pterocarya, Sciadopitys, and modern pollen forms; this assemblage "...strongly suggests a Pliocene age. The possibility that the sample may be of Miocene or latest Oligocene age, in the absence of adequate control (for the late Tertiary and Quaternary part of the section) must not be overlooked" (R. H. Tschudy, written communication, 1963, U S G S Paleobotanical Locality Number D3176). Unit absent or thin where continental deposits are less than 20 feet thick; in the drill hole labeled 449? northeast of Bethel Church unit apparently lies on sand of Claiborne(?) Formation and contact is obscure. Thickness based on drill-hole data. \nGravel and sand: Gravel, brown, reddish-brown; pebbles predominantly white, yellow, orange, and yellow chert, most are subangular to rounded, generally range from 1/4 to 31/2 inches across, some contain Paleozoic fossils; contains sparse well-rounded kidney-shaped quartz pebbles up to 1 inch across. Matrix chiefly poorly sorted silty and clayey very fine to very coarse quartz and chert sand, locally cemented by iron oxide into ledges of conglomerate up to 5 feet thick; horizontal and cross-laminations well to poorly developed. Gravel generally ranges from about 10 to 55 feet in thickness and averages about 35 feet; forms base of continental deposits where one or both of overlying units are present except at the place noted above, and in places forms entire section of continental deposits. Sand, reddish-brown, yellowish-brown; varies from sand like that in overlying unit to that composed of poorly sorted coarse to very coarse quartz and chert grains, clayey, silty, and pebbly in part; present as cross-laminated crudely lenticular layers several feet thick and of small lateral extent within gravel. A 5-foot vertical channel sample of a pebbly sand layer exposed in the Bennett clay mine contains 2 to 3 percent heavy minerals consisting of 54 percent ilmenite, 7 percent leucoxene, 5 percent rutile, 15 percent zircon, 2 percent tourmaline, 5 percent kyanite, 1 percent sillimanite, 7 percent staurolite, 4 percent clinozoisite, and a trace of muscovite, biotite, and garnet(?) in the 149 to 177 micron fraction (J. P. Owens, written communication, 1962). Thickness based on outcrop and drill-hole data. The threefold division of continental deposits, which in general is an upper silty sand, a middle clean sand, and lower gravel, is easily recognized in most drill holes, particularly where the deposits are thick. Surface exposures are poor, and no attempt was made to map the three divisions. The middle clean sand is difficult to distinguish from Claiborne(?) sand in isolated exposures. Between Vulton Creek and the north and east boundaries of the quadrangle and at altitudes between 450 and 480 feet along some drainages, small exposures of chert-free sand (shown on map by outcrop symbol) lie between exposures of gravel. Most of these patches of sand are arbitrarily mapped with continental deposits.

Comments: QTc; Farmington Quadrangle (GQ-530) | | Map description and column:

Lithology: Sandy silt | silty sand

Reference: KGS Databases, Maps, and Publications. Kentucky 1:24,000 Geologic Map. Kentucky Geological Survey. [22]

Holocene - Tertiary
0 - 66 Ma

ID: 2736594
Continental deposits and loess, undifferentiated

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Description: Continental deposits and loess, undifferentiated; West of the Tennessee River

Lithology: Major:{fine alluvium}, Minor:{gravel,sand}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

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