Eagleford Fm.
  Grayson Marl Fm.

Woodbine Formation
(c. 95-96 mya)

Depositional systems in the Woodbine Formation (Upper Cretaceous) Northeast Texas

" The Woodbine Formation is composed largely of terrigenous sediment eroded from Paleozoic sedimentary and weakly metamorphosed sedimentary rocks of the Ouachita Mountains in southern Oklahoma and Arkansas and subsequently deposited in a complex of near shore environments along the margins of the broadly subsiding Northeast Texas Basin. Three principal depositional systems are recognized in Woodbine rocks -- a fluvial system, a high-destructive delta system, and a shelf-strandplain system. Their recognition is based on a regional outcrop and subsurface investigation in which external geometry of framework sands was integrated with lithology, sedimentary structures, fossil distribution, and bounding relationships."

Two components of the fluvial system, a tributary channel sand facies and a meander belt sand facies, are developed in the Dexter Member (lower Woodbine) northeast of a line from Dallas to Tyler. To the south and southwest, a high-destructive delta system is persistent throughout the entire Woodbine section. The three component facies of the delta system are: progradational channel-mouth bar sands; coastal barrier sands, deposited along shore adjacent to the channel mouth; and prodelta-shelf muds. The Lewisville (upper Woodbine) shelf-strandplain system, developed in the northern third of the basin marginal to principal deltaic facies, is composed of two facies: shelf muds and strandplain sands, accumulated along shore..."

Sedimentology and Paleoecology of the Woodbine Formation at Lake Grapevine...

" The Woodbine Formation is about 100 meters thick (320 ft) and consists predominately of sandstones and shales (Johnson, 1974). The Woodbine Formation occurs in exposed outcrops in north central Texas and southern Oklahoma, it is the oldest Upper Cretaceous unit in the Gulf Coastal Plain (Hedlund, 1966; Oliver, 1971; Trudel, 1994). In Texas, the Woodbine outcrops along a line from Temple in central Texas, northward to Lake Texoma near the Red River (Oliver, 1971) (Fig. 2). It occurs as an irregular and narrow band, up to 20 miles wide extending from Cooke County to Johnson County (Johnson, 1974) (Fig. 2 ). In the subsurface, the Woodbine underlies a 45 county area in Texas, bounded by outcrop on the north and west, and by the Sabine uplift to the east (Oliver, 1971; Trudel, 1994). Woodbine sediments weathered out from the Ouachita Mountains in southern Oklahoma and settled in a series of near shore environments in the subsiding northeast Texas basin (Oliver, 1971). The Woodbine deposits are primarily terrigenous near shore and shallow marine depositional systems and include fluvial, deltaic and shelf deposits (Oliver, 1971; Trudel, 1994). The Woodbine unconformably overlies the Grayson Marl of the Washita Group and is unconformably overlain by the Eagle Ford Group (Johnson, 1974; Lee, 1997; Oliver, 1971; Trudel, 1994) (Fig. 3). A period of marine deposition lasting about ten million years separates the Woodbine from the earlier terrestrial depositional environments of the Trinity Group (Winkler et al., 1995)... "

Geology Pics:

Primary rock type: Sandstone and mudstone
Secondary rock type: Shale and clay lenses

Location 1, 
Tarrant county, Texas
Location 2,  Tarrant county, Texas

Location 7, Tarrant county, Texas
Location 3, Tarrant county, Texas
Upper Woodbine just below Tarrant (Eagle Ford)  Fm.

Location 5,
Tarrant county,  Texas
Woodbine layers containing plant impressions.
Location 6,
Tarrant county, Texas

Location 4,  Denton county, Texas
Location 8, Tarrant county, Texas
Location 8, Tarrant county, Texas
Location 9, Denton county, Texas
Location 9, Denton county, Texas


A crocodile osteoderm ("scute")

Formation: Woodbine
Period: Cretaceous (c. 94-96 mya)
Loc: Denton co., Texas. Feb. 2013.
(Brad C. coll.)
Protohadros byrdi tooth

Formation: Woodbine
Period: Cretaceous (c. 94-96 mya)
Loc: Denton co., Texas.
(SMU collection)
A dinosaur vertebra (same)
Formation: Woodbine
Period: Cretaceous (c. 94-96 mya)
Loc: Denton co., Texas. 2013.
(Brad C. coll.)
Cephalopods: (ammonites)
Calycoceras tarrantense

(Acanthoceras tarrantense)
Loc: Tarrant co., Texas.  May 24, 2008.
Calycoceras tarrantense

(Acanthoceras tarrantense)
Loc: Tarrant co., Texas.
Calycoceras tarrantense

(Acanthoceras tarrantense)
Loc: Tarrant co., Texas.  Aug. 2014.
Paraconlioceras leonense??

(Calycoceras leonense)
Loc: Tarrant co., Texas. Aug. 2014.
Metoicoceras? ammonite

Loc: Tarrant co., Texas.  2007.
Ostrea leveretti

Loc: Tarrant co, Texas.  Feb. 9, 2010.
Plant fossils: 
Leaf impression

Loc: Tarrant co, Texas.  March 11, 2011.
Leaf impression

Loc: Tarrant co, Texas.  March 11, 2011.
A plant leaf impression (animated)

Loc: Tarrant co., Texas.  2007.
Fossil wood with marine worm bores?
Loc: Tarrant co, Texas.  Feb. 9, 2010.
Fossil wood

Loc: Dallas co, Texas.  Sept. 9, 2012.
Fossil wood

Loc: Tarrant co, Texas.  Nov. 3, 2007.

The Geology of Texas - Vol. 1


Nomenclature.--- The first description of Woodbine47 strata was published by B. F. Shumard (1474, p. 140) in 1863, when he announced the discovery of dicotyledonous leaves (Salix, Ilex, and Laurus) in yellowish sandstones and bluish shales in Lamar County, and correlated the beds with the Dakota of Meek and Hayden. He correctly placed these strata below his "Marly clay or Red River group" (Eagle Ford). The Lower (Eastern) Cross Timbers belt, underlain by the Woodbine formation, was noted by early travelers and was described by William Kennedy (902a) in 1841. It was mapped by R. H. Loughridge (1017) in 1884 for the tenth census.

Hill in 1887 described the Lower and Upper Cross Timbers belts more minutely and gave the name "Timber Creek group" (731, pp. 296, 298, 300) to the formation now called Woodbine. In 1891 he pointed out the value of these beds as an artesian reservoir (780, pp. 6970). The formation was first called "Woodbine" by Hill in 1902 (803, p. 292), the type locality being near Woodbine, eastern Cooke County, Texas. The Woodbine, formerly called a formation, is here considered as a group, and consequently units, as Lewisville and Dexter, formerly vaguely called "beds," are here considered formations.

Stratigraphy and contacts.--- Both the lower and the upper contacts of the Woodbine are unconformable at many places, but further study is required before it can be stated that they are everywhere unconformable.

Basal contact.--- On the outcrop north of Bosqueville, McLennan County, the Buda limestone is absent, and the Woodbine everywhere directly overlies the Grayson. At Bosqueville a thin remnant of Woodbine overlies about 2 feet of Buda limestone. South of this point the Woodbine is absent, unless it should prove to be represented by the thin Pepper shale lying beneath the Tarrant flaggy limestone and unconformably above the Grayson or Buda. In the El Paso district a sandstone in the position of the Woodbine (Dakota) overlies the Buda. Gulfwards from the outcrop, the formation underlying the Woodbine is reported as a clay of the stratigraphic position of the Grayson, in Fannin and Lamar County wells and in the East Texas embayment.

At certain places the upper formations of the Lower Cretaceous are removed, and the Woodbine rests on lower formations. This situation exists eastward from Grayson County. Thus at Cedar Mills, Grayson County (177, pp. 4950; 1575, pp. 282, 295; 1391; 1539, p. 1327), a massive 10-foot stratum of Woodbine sand with a layer of hematite concretions in its base directly overlies Grayson marl, which is reduced to only 2 feet in thickness. This occurrence may represent the subsequent planation of the top of the Washita group, which becomes more pronounced farther east, for in passing down the Red River valley the Comanche series is beveled off and the Woodbine rests on successively lower formations. Thus at Cerrogordo, Arkansas, the Woodbine rests unconformably on Kiamichi clay, and farther east, on Trinity sand. Scott (1820, p. 2) denies any visible unconformity at the base of the Woodbine from Red River southward to Hill County, but the contact at most localities is invisible because of overwash. A second area in which the Woodbine (Dakota) rests unconformably on lower Washita rocks is in Dallam County in the northern Llano Estacado. Here, as C. L. Baker has recently reported, sands lithologically referable to the Dakota directly overlie shales and sands of probable Purgatoire age. At localities in an adjoining county, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, the Purgatoire contains typical Duck Creek ammonites but lacks fossils known to be from any higher level.

Upper contact.--- No discordance of dip at the Woodbine-Eagle Ford contact is suggested in sections made at Bear Creek, western Dallas County (1575, p. 292), Walnut Creek, Tarrant County (1575, p. 292) and Chambers Creek, Johnson County (1575, p. 302). However, Stephenson (1539, p. 1327) considers that at most places from Tarrant County southwards where the contact has been examined, an unconformity is indicated by the sharp lithologic change and by the presence of mechanically reworked material in the base of the Eagle Ford. He says: "At several localities in Johnson and Hill counties water-worn sandstone pebbles as much as 2 inches in their longest dimension were observed in this basal bed, and in a new road cut a mile northeast of Tarrant station, Tarrant County, the basal bed of the Eagle Ford beneath beds carrying Acanthoceras aff. A. rotomagense Defrance consists of a hard conglomerate containing many dark phosphatic pebbles and some fish bone fragments, resting on Woodbine sandstone."


Grayson clay (Buda at Bosqueville, McLennan County). Facies.--- As will be pointed out in the discussion of the Wilcox group, Woodbine and Wilcox show many similarities in types of materials and in probable depositional history. The Woodbine group begins with a thin, fine grained, mostly non-calcareous clay, which is marine and fossiliferous at least in Tarrant, Bell, and Travis counties. The reservations must be made, however, that these clays have not all been proven contemporaneous with each other, nor has their Woodbine age been proved. The one in Bell County unconformably overlies Grayson clay. They are likely all near-shore deposits. They are succeeded by the Dexter sand. This formation consists of water-bearing pack sands and locally of indurated sandstone layers, some of which form the caps of the various Brushy Knobs along the Woodbine outcrop from Hill County north-ward to Grayson County. These sands are leaf-bearing and not typically marine, or at least no marine invertebrates have been recorded from them. Eastward from Hyatts Bluff, Fannin County, Woodbine clays contain much decomposed volcanic material (1113a, 1353), and may represent outwash on a rather flat depositional plain, but may be in part marine because they are closely associated with beds containing invertebrate fossils (Ostrea soleniscus?, Metoicoceras, Metengonoceras). These beds are suggested to be of upper Woodbine age (1353, p. 198). The Lewisville beds are a near-shore sandy deposit and contain marine fossils. The upper black, lustrous clays contain oysters, and are a near-shore, marine or brackish, deposit. The overlying Eagle Ford is a neritic marine deposit. On account of difficulties of correlation, the facies of the Woodbine in the East Texas embayment is imperfectly known. The Dakota in western Texas is supposedly non-marine.

Areal outcrop; local sections.--- The outcrop and subsurface occurrence of the Woodbine in Texas comprise a squarish sand-clay sheet about 120 by 180 miles in extent, occupying an area of about 21,000 square miles. The northern and western edges of this sheet are formed by the outcrop, from which the rocks dip gulfwards into the East Texas embayment. The sheet is roughly bounded on the north by the Red River valley; on the west by the interior margin of the Eastern Cross Timbers belt, which borders the interior edge of the Black Prairie and runs from near Gainesville to near Waco; on the south by an underground line passing roughly from Waco eastwards to Leon County, Palestine and Nacogdoches; and on the east by a line roughly paralleling the western edge of the Sabine uplift (see fig. 22).
The Woodbine outcrops along Red River valley in a narrow southward dipping strip from Cerrogordo, Arkansas, west to Orlena, Cooke County, Texas (mapped in 1353, pl. 20). Thence the outcrop runs south to near Aquilla, southern Hill County, near the Brazos (mapped in 803, Pl. LXVI). South and east of these outcrops it dips gulfwards and is buried beneath younger sediments (1232, 1234b). North and west of the outcrop the Woodbine has been removed by erosion over central Texas, but remains in the El Paso region (128a, 129), in Dallam County (6151, in Cimarron County, Oklahoma (Rothrock, Okla. G. S. Bull. 34, 1925), and probably at other places in the Texas Panhandle. The Woodbine has been correlated with the Dakota by C. A. White and by later writers. It is possible that Dakota sediments covered most of the Llano Estacado, but whether all of north Texas east of the Llano and west of the central Texas outcrop was so covered is unknown. The extent of the various facies and the position of the shore lines of the Woodbine remain to be investigated.

Outcrop in Arkansas and Oklahoma.--- Two features distinguish the Wood-bine in Arkansas and Oklahoma from that in north Texas: in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, and eastwards in southern Arkansas, it contains much tuffaceous material; and in Arkansas it contains near the base considerable gravel deposits. In southwestern Arkansas the Woodbine consists of 300 feet or less chiefly of gravel and cross-bedded sand, a large part of which contains water-laid volcanic materials, and minor amounts of red, dark gray and brown clay (392, pp. 17-29; 1353). The base of the Woodbine is a gravel bed, with a maximum thickness of 60 feet, which thins and disappears to the west. In size the material ranges from small grains to cobbles 5 inches in diameter. The pebbles are subrounded or well rounded. Most of them are novaculite, some are quartzite or chert, a few are kaolinized, porphyritic igneous rock. The upper part of the formation consists typically of sand containing gains of novaculite and igneous rocks, and gravelly lenses and beds. The formation contains lenses and beds of calcite-cemented sandstone preserving microscopic tuff structure, and unconsolidated sand containing pockets of red clay, the product of oxidation and decomposition of volcanic material. Dark, leaf-bearing clays have been found in Arkansas, but no invertebrate fossils. The cross-bedded, assorted tuffaceous sands and gravels are a waterlaid deposit. Leaves and carbonized wood indicate the nearness of land. The occurrence of basal gravel, calcite, glauconite, and the wide, uniform distribution of the volcanic materials indicate marine deposition, according to Dane, though some of the materials, as the red clay and the coarser lenticular gravels may be subaerial deposits.

Red River valley.--- In southern Bryan and Choctaw counties, Oklahoma, the Woodbine has a thickness of about 500 feet, and in Fannin County, Texas, an apparent thickness of 625 feet (1353, p. 178). In northeastern Texas and in Bryan and Choctaw counties, Oklahoma, the Woodbine consists of irregularly bedded quartz sand, which was deposited in shallow-marine and brackish water, and of films, lenses, and layers of clay, and cross-bedded, water-laid volcanic sands and tuffs. At Golden Bluff, 3 miles east of Arthur City, Lamar County, and at a locality 2 miles east of Kanawha, northwestern Red River County, Ostrea soleniscus, a Woodbine fossil, occurs. It is overlain by Eagle Ford west of Woodland, northwestern Red River County, and by Bonham clay east of that point. In northwestern Fannin County, as at Hyatts Bluff, tuffaceous sandstone occurs in the Woodbine.

Grayson-Cooke counties.--- The basal Woodbine is of variable composition. At Cedar Mills, massive sand overlies the Grayson. On Rock Creek, northeastern Grayson County, the Grayson is overlain by 10 to 15 feet of lignitic clay containing thin seams of lignite, lignitic sand and lignitized wood debris; this is succeeded by massive beds of yellow and brown sand, interstratified with lenses of blue and black clays. At a locality 6 miles southeast of Gainesville, Taff observed the Woodbine sandstone resting directly on Grayson marl, without an intervening clay stratum. In a branch of Choctaw Creek about 7 miles east-southeast of Denison, Taff reports that above the Grayson there is about 20 feet of purplish-blue, lignitic clay, overlain by considerable cross-bedded Woodbine sandstone. North of Denton County, the Dexter sand makes a conspicuous outcrop, forming a sandy, timbered soil strewn with blocks of dark, ferruginous sandstone and siliceous ironstone concretions. This outcrop passes northwards through Woodbine, Callisburg, and Dexter, and at a point south of Orlena turns eastward down the Red River valley, and continues thence through Gordonville, Pottsboro, and Woodlake. The knobs of Iron Ore Ridge consist of Dexter clays and sands capped by hard, fossiliferous Lewisville sandstone. The Dexter sands in Grayson County reach a thickness of 250 feet, of which the basal 100 feet contains much dark brown indurated ferruginous sandstone and ironstone concretions. The bulk of the Dexter consists of sandstone, sand, and clay. The sandstone ranges from soft to hard, from massive to thin bedded, and in color from white or greenish to yellow, brown, and red. The grains are coarse and quartzose, the cementing material calcareous or siliceous. In Denison the basal part of the Dexter consists of free white sand and a small amount of mica flakes and glauconite specks. This portion of the Woodbine yields dicotyledonous leaves at localities near Denison (803, pp. 314-317).

The Lewisville beds become more clayey and less sandy north-wards from Timber Creek, the type locality. Near Gordonville they consist of dark-blue clay, and brown sandy clay containing beds of impure lignite up to 3 feet thick. Lignite outcrops in Walnut Creek north of Gordonville and near Big Mineral Creek between Gordonville and Pottsville. On Hickory and Big Mineral creeks the Lewisville has increased in thickness and consists of sandy clays (the proportion of sand having decreased) and several local seams of lignite up to 3 feet in thickness. Hill places the top of the Woodbine at a greenish-gray sandstone stratum containing Exogyra columbella Meek.

Denton-Tarrant counties.--- The basal clay in this district consists of 5 to 25 feet of fine-grained, blue-black or purplish-black, practically non-calcareous clay, deposited in irregular sheets of different thicknesses, but devoid of shaly lamination and breaking with a conchoidal fracture. The clay is marine, and carries ammonites (Mantelliceras or Submantelliceras, Scott), pelecypoda, gastropoda, and foraminifera. It is exposed on the Sanger road west of Pilot Point, and has been found in core drills in Tarrant County, but at most localities on the outcrop it is badly overwashed by Woodbine sand. It is overlain by apparently non-marine sands and sandy clays. Scott considers the basal clay as having been deposited near the mouths of rivers draining lowlands (1820, p. 2).

Southeast of Denton the 10 to 15 feet of thin layers of ferruginous sand and sandy clay at the base of the Woodbine is succeeded by thick Dexter sands. At the Denton brickyards the basal Woodbine consists of dark blue to gray clay, some sandy clay, and thin seams of blue-gray, blackish and reddish sandstone.

The Dexter sand, which reaches a thickness of 100 feet or more in this region, is difficult to partition because of its inconsecutive exposures. It has at least two main sandstone members, the lower one, containing fossils, being exposed around Burleson and at localities 2 miles or more west of Tarrant station, the other being exposed in cuts just east of Tarrant station. The intervening strata are dark laminated clays and sandy clays.

The Lewisville in Tarrant County includes sandstones, sandy clays, and lustrous, black, oyster-bearing clays, as exposed around Tar-rant station (1575, pp. 293-294). Taff published a section of 200 or more feet of Lewisville sands, sandstones, and clays at the type locality, Timber Creek south of Lewisville, southeastern Denton County.

Johnson-McLennan counties.--- At the outcrop the Woodbine thins from 300 feet at the Tarrant-Johnson county line to nothing in northern McLennan County. Underground it thickens in a north-east direction toward the East Texas embayment. On North Chambers Creek, 6 miles southeast of Alvarado, the upper 68 feet of Woodbine consists of sandstone and clay, both the upper and the basal strata containing Lewisville fossils (1575, pp. 290-291) . On South Chambers Creek north of Grandview, the upper 71 feet of Woodbine consists of sandstones and some clay, with Lewisville fossils. The Dexter sands and clays have a large outcrop to the west of these localities. On Cottonwood Creek south of Osceola, northern Hill County, the upper 86 feet of the Woodbine consists of sandstones, packsands, and clays, with Lewisville fossils in the upper part. Near Aquilla, southern Hill County, sands, sandstones, and clays form the middle and basal Woodbine, but no Lewisville fossils are recorded from this section (157.5, p. 288). At the R. E. Finley well. 2 miles south of west of Aquilla, 13 feet of white and brown sandstone and blue shale represents the Woodbine (11, p. 39). Between this point and Bosqueville, west of Waco, any thinned Woodbine is represented in the black, lustrous shales beneath the Eagle Ford flags. At Bosqueville about 2 feet of Woodbine sandstone with Ostrea cf. carica Cragin overlies the Buda. Near China Springs limestone blocks contain O. soleniscus (11, p. 59). South of this locality the Woodbine, if present, is represented in the black, lustrous shales beneath the Acanthoceras flags.

The materials and mode of deposition of the Woodbine have been somewhat studied. The materials (Ross, Miser and Stephenson, 1353: Plummer, 1234b; Kelsey and Denton, 899b) consist of quartz (angular to rounded; clear, milky, gray, pink, purple), clay and silt, volcanic ash, bentonite, carbonaceous material, black chert, glauconite, marcasite, pyrite and other substances. In outcrop and well samples, and from all parts of the Woodbine, generally about 70% by weight of the grains falls in grade 3 (.295.147 mm. diameter). In the Red River valley the Woodbine contains much volcanic material (1353). The deposition (Scott, 1391: Shuler and Millican, 1455b) is notably lenticular, and is stated to be regulated by current action. Shuler and Millican state that the Upper Woodbine (Lewisville) in south-central Denton County was marked by shallow, off-shore, lenticular deposition of "materials transported from the northeast for distances necessary for moderate sorting." The section shows several southwardly advancing lentils of sand, sandstone or sandy clay (one of them called the "Copperas Branch tongue," 14551), p. 19).

Subsurface in outcrop-counties.--- Wells in the northern tip of McLennan County passed through only a small thickness of Woodbine: in the F. & M. well at Leroy there was logged 5 feet (855860) of hard sand rock, but in the Wirt Franklin, J. A. West No. 1 well sands bearing salt water were found for an interval of 118 feet (9i51093). Thence the subsurface margin of Woodbine as re-corded in wells passes southeastward across Limestone County, and crosses the Mexia fault south of Groesbeck. The Woodbine isopachs run in a southeast direction, and between Hillsboro and Hubbard the formation is 100 to 150 feet thick.

Northwards across Johnson County, Woodbine in wells thickens from 160 feet to about 300 feet, in Tart ant County it is about 325 to 350 feet, in the Dallas wells reported by Shuler it is given as about 325 feet, and in Grayson County it probably reaches a thickness of 500 feet.

Southern extension of the Woodbine.
--- From McLennan County
southwards a purplish-black, non-calcareous clay, which lies above the Grayson (or the Buda) and below the Acanthoceras flags of the Eagle Ford, has been considered as the southern extension of the Woodbine by Stephenson and several other writers. This clay has been best studied in the Belton-Temple section. It is here called the Pepper formation.