A regular, first-order Markov chain was used to analyze vertical transitions among shale or mudstone and limestone classes 1-2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 within the Kope and Fairview Formations included within five stratigraphic sections exposed in Hamilton County, Ohio. The system of lithologic transitions observed is likely governed by a first-order Markov process as opposed to an independent-events model. The fixed probability vector computed for the Kope and Fairview composite data provides the following estimates for the frequency of occurrence of each lithology: shale, 49.27%; limestone 1-2, 14.94%; limestone 3, 23.33%; limestone 4, 3.97%; limestone 5, 4.81%; and limestone 6, 3.42%. The sequence of alternating limestones and shale observed within the Kope and Fairview Formations may be best explained by lateral and vertical repetitions of small-scale, benthic colonization of local, transient highs on a subtidal, epeiric seafloor.

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