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Lower to middle Paleozoic sequence stratigraphy and paleontology in the greater Louisville, Kentucky, area

By
Carlton E. Brett
Carlton E. Brett
Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0013, USA
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Kyle R. Hartshorn
Kyle R. Hartshorn
Dry Dredgers, P.O. Box 210013, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221, USA
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Christopher B.T. Waid
Christopher B.T. Waid
Division of Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, Columbus, Ohio 43229, USA
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Patrick I. McLaughlin
Patrick I. McLaughlin
Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Katherine V. Bulinski
Katherine V. Bulinski
School of Environmental Studies, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky 40205, USA
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James R. Thomka
James R. Thomka
Department of Geosciences, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325, USA
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Timothy R. Paton
Timothy R. Paton
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA
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Rebecca L. Freeman
Rebecca L. Freeman
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506, USA
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Benjamin F. Dattilo
Benjamin F. Dattilo
Department of Biology, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805, USA
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Published:
December 10, 2018
Publication history
30 August 2018

ABSTRACT

The Cincinnati Arch region of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana is an icon of North American Paleozoic stratigraphy, as it exposes strata ranging from Ordovician to Pennsylvanian in age. In particular, the highly fossiliferous Ordovician, Silurian, and Middle Devonian successions have been extensively studied since the nineteenth century, and continue to serve as a crucial proving ground for new methods and models of biostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy in mixed clasticcarbonate depositional settings. These strata are locally capped by Middle Devonian limestones with their own diverse fauna and unique depositional history. Outcrops near Louisville, Kentucky, provide an excellent opportunity to examine these strata firsthand and discuss sequence stratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, sedimentary environments, and paleoecology. A series of new roadcuts south of Mount Washington, Kentucky, exposes the lower to middle Richmondian Stage (Upper Ordovician, Cincinnatian) and presents a diverse suite of marine facies, from peritidal mudstones to offshore shoals, coral biostromes, and subtidal shales. These exposures are well suited for highlighting the revised sequence stratigraphy of the Cincinnatian Series, presented herein. Nearby outcrops also include much of the local Silurian succession, allowing an in-depth observation of Llandovery and Wenlock strata, including several chemostratigraphically important intervals that have improved regional and international correlation. Supplementary exposures east and north of Louisville provide context for subjacent and superjacent Ordovician-Silurian strata, as well as examples of lateral facies changes and unconformities. Additionally, the Falls of the Ohio at Clarksville, Indiana, features an exceptional outcrop of the overlying Middle Devonian succession, including an extensive and well-preserved biostrome of corals, sponges, and other marine fauna. These fossil beds, coupled with significant exposures in local quarries, are critical for understanding the paleoecology and stratigraphy of the Middle Devonian of the North American midcontinent.

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GSA Special Papers

Ancient Oceans, Orogenic Uplifts, and Glacial Ice: Geologic Crossroads in America’s Heartland

Lee J. Florea
Lee J. Florea
Indiana Geological and Water Survey Indiana University 611 N. Walnut Grove Avenue Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
51
ISBN electronic:
9780813756516
Publication date:
December 10, 2018

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