Mazon River

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Mazon River
Origin Greenfield Township, Grundy County, Illinois
41°11′02″N 88°15′13″W / 41.183921°N 88.2536703°W / 41.183921; -88.2536703 (Mazon River origin)
Mouth Confluence with the Illinois River, Morris, Illinois
41°21′09″N 88°25′26″W / 41.3525319°N 88.4239563°W / 41.3525319; -88.4239563 (Mazon River mouth)
Progression Mazon River → Illinois → Mississippi → Gulf of Mexico
Length 28 mi (45 km)
Mouth elevation 489 ft (149 m)
GNIS ID 413173

The Mazon River or Mazon Creek, is a tributary of the Illinois River in the United States. The confluence is near Morris, Illinois.[1]

The Mazon River is associated with the Mazon Creek fossils of the Francis Creek Shale, which are also exposed in strip mines and quarries near the River. This fossil bed includes well-preserved fossils from the Pennsylvanian period of the Paleozoic era and is a world-famous Lagerstätten site.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has recently considered renaming the Mazon River. The IDNR believes that the frequent vandalism and theft of Mazon River signs is due to its current name being very similar to the well known Amazon River of South America.[citation needed]

The Mazon River is approximately 28 miles (45 km) in length,[2] with the West Fork considered the main branch.

The river was named in honor of William Mason, a pioneer settler.[3]

Cities and counties[edit]

The following cities, towns and villages are within the Mazon watershed:

The following counties are at least partly drained by the Mazon River:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mazon River
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 13, 2011
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 202. 

External links[edit]