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Eolianite-Bearing Depositional Cycles in the Ste. Genevieve Limestoneof Indiana and Kentucky: Evidence for Mississippian Eustasy

By
J. Robert Dodd
J. Robert Dodd
Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, U.S.A.
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Ralph E. Hunter
Ralph E. Hunter
1015 Carolina Street, San Francisco, California 94107, U.S.A.
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Patricia A. Merkley
Patricia A. Merkley
2853 South State Road 162, Jasper, Indiana 47546, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2001

Abstract

Carbonate eolian deposits are interbedded with shallow-marine limestones in the Ste. Genevieve Limestone in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. Eolian grainstones can be distinguished from marine grainstones on the basis of sedimentary structures and petrographic characteristics. Eolian grainstones occur in four separate intervals in the formation. Subaerial exposure surfaces, as revealed by brecciation, rhizoliths, and calcrete, are usually at the tops of eolianites. Some exposure surfaces are not accompanied by eolian deposits, indicating that eolianites are discontinuous.

At least seven shoaling-upward cycles (0 to 12 m thick) bounded by marine-flooding surfaces occur in the Ste. Genevieve and upper St. Louis Limestones in this area. Individual cycles can be correlated along the outcrop belt for at least 50 Ion and for at least 20km across the outcrop belt and in nearby cores. The base of a cycle is marked by a flooding surface as indicated by marine sediments above an eolian unit or exposure surface. The basal beds are typically carbonate mudstones or wackestones (in some cases dolomitized), which probably formed in the deepest envLronment. These micrite-ricb deposits typically are overlain by oolitic, skeletal, or peloidal marine grainstones or packstones, which probably formed as shoal or beach deposits. These are in many cases topped by an exposure surface as indicated by brecciation, rhizoliths, and rare calcrete stringers. The upper unit in four of the cycles is an eolian deposit that commonly has rhizoliths and calcrete stringers at the top and in some locations within the deposit. The upper boundary of the cycle is marked by another marineflooding surface. In some cases eolian deposits are missing from the cycle, probably because of nondeposition.

Eolianites and exposure surfaces formed during falls in relative sea level. Sea-level fluctuation may have been caused by eustatic changes related to the early stages of late Paleozoic glaciation, but local teclonism cannot be disproved. Eolian deposits reach their maximum known thickness of about 6 m in the Corydon area and gradually thin to zero to the west and north.

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SEPM Special Publication

Modern and Ancient Carbonate Eolianites: Sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy, and Diagenesis

F. E. (Rick) Abegg
F. E. (Rick) Abegg
Chevron USA Production Company, 935 Gravier St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, U.S.A.
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David B. Loope
David B. Loope
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588, U.S.A.
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Paul M. (Mitch) Harris
Paul M. (Mitch) Harris
Chevron Petroleum Technology Company, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
71
ISBN electronic:
9781565761933
Publication date:
January 01, 2001

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