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Sequence Stratigraphy and Paleoecology of the Late Mississippian Little Stone Gap Member in the Appalachians of West Virginia
Oyewumi, Adeola Adedoyin
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The upper Mississippian (Chesterian) Little Stone Gap Member of the Hinton Formation in southern West Virginia was evaluated for its lithofacies and faunal composition. Petrographic and multivariate analyses were used to provide a better understanding of the ecological factors and sequence stratigraphic processes that controlled taxa ordinations and spatiotemporal shifts in facies. Six carbonate and three siliciclastic facies occur within the study interval and these facies stack into two distinct parasequence types. Siliciclastic facies were deposited in continental, low-energy lagoonal and marginal marine environments. Carbonate facies record variable energy conditions in lagoonal, shoal, shoal flank and open marine settings. Parasequence stacking patterns are interpreted as resulting from regional fifth-order glacioeustatic sea-level changes consistent with established age constraints for fourth-order sequences. Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) of paleontological bulk samples produced similar differentiation of habitats into carbonates and siliciclastics thereby demonstrating the importance of interpreting ordination patterns within a facies framework. The combined DCA analysis of samples and taxa indicates that bryozoans, crinoids and rugose corals preferentially occur in carbonate facies whereas brachiopods, the most dominant taxon, are abundant in both. Results suggest the presence of significant paleoenvironmental gradients in fossil associations that correlates to changes in hydrodynamic conditions and substrate composition across the depositional system.
- Masters Theses