Abstract

The Mississippian Fort Payne Formation of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama is well known for its abundant crinoids and a diverse array of autochthonous and allochthonous carbonate and siliciclastic facies. Using Principal Coordinate Analysis and Non-Metric Multidimensional Scaling, it is demonstrated that distinct, contemporaneous, and geographically adjacent autochthonous facies in south-central Kentucky supported distinct crinoid assemblages. The two carbonate buildup facies had different assemblages dominated by camerate crinoids, carbonate channel-fill deposits were dominated by advanced cladid crinoids and the camerate Elegantocrinus hemisphaericus, and green shale facies supported a fauna dominated by disparids and primitive cladid crinoids. Allochthonous facies contain neither distinctive nor exotic taxa. Thus, these transported assemblages are considered a mixture of elements from the recognized, autochthonous facies. Faunal assemblages from Dale Hollow Reservoir are allochthonous; and faunas in north-central Alabama and south-central Tennessee are different from others, which may reflect slight biogeographic distinctions.

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