Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. William B. Harrison III

Second Advisor

Richard N. Passero

Third Advisor

W. Thomas Straw

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In northern Kentucky, the Upper Ordovician (Lower Cincinnatian) Kope Formation outcrops as a series of interbedded, laterally discontinuous limestone lenses and beds enclosed in a silty shale unit. Six stratigraphic sections within a 20-mile radius were sampled and measured and two of these were described in detail to characterize the variations in the environmental setting wherein the Kope Formation was deposited.

The shale lithology is homogeneous throughout this formation whereas the bioclastic limestones vary widely in faunal composition, texture, cross-sectional shape, and thickness. Apparently, the depositional style for the fine-grained, terrigenous sediment remained almost constant through Early Cincinnatian time, whereas the recurring interactions between depositional events and biotic community assemblages allowed for the development of the limestone beds. Depositional events probably included storm-wave winnowing of marine sediments and influxes of terrigenous silt. Preservation of different stages of short-term, successional communities accounts for the variations in biotic constituents in the limestone.

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