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Revision of nomenclature and correlations of some Middle Pennsylvanian units in the northwestern part of the Appalachian basin, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia

By
Charles L. Rice
Charles L. Rice
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Robert M. Kosanke
Robert M. Kosanke
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Thomas W. Henry
Thomas W. Henry
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Published:
January 01, 1994

Studies of the physical stratigraphy and analyses of the Middle Pennsylvanian flora and fauna of some coal beds and marine units of the Breathitt Formation in Kentucky, the Pottsville and Allegheny Formations in Ohio, and the Kanawha Formation and Charleston Sandstone in West Virginia show a need for the revision of stratigraphic nomenclature of the Pottsville Formation and the lower part of the Allegheny Formation and equivalent strata. Attempts to project single stratigraphic elements from one region to another have resulted historically in multiple miscorrelations. A major marine unit (previously misidentifled as the Vanport limestone of the Breathitt and Allegheny Formations) is here named the Obryan Member of the Breathitt Formation in northeastern Kentucky and of the Allegheny Formation in southern Ohio. The Obryan is characterized by the fusulinid Beedeina ashlandensis Douglass and is correlated with the Columbiana Member of the Allegheny Formation in central Ohio, which also contains that fusulinid. This correlation and the correlation of the Boggs Limestone Member of the Pottsville Formation in Ohio with the Stoney Fork Member of the Breathitt Formation in Kentucky are supported by analyses of Middle Pennsylvanian conodonts. A preliminary zonation of conodonts for strata of the Pottsville and Allegheny Formations shows that the major marine units of these formations in Ohio are biostratigraphically distinct. The Obryan Member is locally absent, but its position is marked by overlying clay beds in many parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The Vanport Limestone Member of the Allegheny Formation (as identified in Pennsylvania and central Ohio) is here correlated with the Zaleski Flint Member (Allegheny Formation) in southern Ohio. The Kilgore Flint Member (new name, Breathitt Formation), the informal Limekiln limestone and informal Flint Ridge flint (Breathitt Formation) in Kentucky, and the informal Kanawha black flint (Kanawha Formation) in West Virginia are correlated with the Putnam Hill Limestone Member (Allegheny Formation) in Ohio. These latter chert deposits are shoreward (southward and southeastward) facies of a marine unit deposited mostly in restricted estuaries and bays. The chert deposits appear to result from a widespread episode of silicification of fossiliferous marine siltstones and limestones that locally affected underlying peats and silts. The Kilgore and Obryan Members and their equivalents are used as the two principal stratigraphic marker beds for analyses of Middle Pennsylvanian sections extending across northeastern Kentucky from central Ohio to central West Virginia. Clay units and coal beds that overlie the Obryan Member contain flint clay beds (tonsteins) that are, in part, the product of volcanic ash falls. The range zones of selected palynomorphs from northeastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio corroborate some of the correlations proposed herein.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Elements of Pennsylvanian Stratigraphy, Central Appalachian Basin

Charles L. Rice
Charles L. Rice
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Geological Society of America
Volume
294
ISBN print:
9780813722948
Publication date:
January 01, 1994

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