Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. David A. Barnes

Second Advisor

Dr. William B. Harrison, III

Third Advisor

Dr. Michelle Kominz

Fourth Advisor

Dr. David B. Westjohn


Geology, stratigraphy, biostratigraphy, sedimentology, Michigan geology

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Over 2,000 linear feet of core material was analyzed to evaluate the stratigraphy and basin evolution of Carboniferous strata in the Michigan basin. Rock units were evaluated on the basis of lithofacies type, contact relationships, and existing regional geologic interpretations. The recovery of three distinct pollen and spore assemblages from core confirms the timing of deposition during the Late Mississippian Chesterian and Early-Middle Pennsylvanian Morrowan and Atokan regional stages within the Michigan basin.

The deposition of a marine carbonate succession with significant interstratified quartz sandstone occurred during the Chesterian regional stage. The Bayport interval (Bayport Limestone) is composed of seven distinct depositional lithofacies reflecting shoal-water to peritidal environments overlain at erosional contacts by tidally bedded (estuarine) quartz sandstone.

In the southern Michigan basin the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian unconformity is marked by either a coarse-grained sandstone unit or a mature paleosol overlying a karsted limestone regolith. Climate sensitive sediments indicate a transition from a predominantly arid to humid climate across the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian systemic boundary in the Michigan basin