Three-Dimensional Mapping of the Upper Lexington Limestone, Inner Bluegrass Region, North-Central Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract. Throughout most of east-central United States, subsurface and surface Upper Ordovician Trenton equivalents of the Lexington Limestone are tabular, “layer-cake” units of about 60 m in thickness. However, in the Inner Bluegrass region of north-central Kentucky, the exposed Lexington Limestone includes nearly 40 m of younger carbonates and interbedded shales on top of Trenton equivalents. These additional carbonates and shales comprise the upper Lexington Limestone and are interpreted to represent a structurally controlled carbonate buildup of complex facies. The organization of this complex facies mosaic is still not understood, and hence, this data-synthesis EDMAP project is proposed in order to develop a three-dimensional geoframework for the upper part of the Lexington Limestone in central Kentucky. Our principle question is: Can three- dimensional mapping be used to characterize complex geologic surfaces like those in the upper Lexington Limestone of central Kentucky, and in so doing, confirm the presence of structural control on the distribution of upper Lexington Limestone members? The project will include the collection of location and elevation data for key stratigraphic horizons from local exposures, cores, well logs, geologic quadrangle maps, and student theses, followed by the use of ESRI Arc Pro and Arc Online to manage and interpolate this data to visualize subsurface geologic contacts, faults, and other geologic data on three-dimensional geologic maps. This EDMAP project will complement ongoing 3D geoframework projects at the Kentucky Geological Survey, and the results will be available for inclusion with regional or national compilations through the KGS geoframework database. The expected three-dimensional maps of the upper Lexington Limestone will not only provide an educational opportunity and contribute to an ongoing KGS statewide geoframework project, but will also have major geotechnical implications for understanding the distribution of karst, groundwater, and agriculturally productive soils in the Bluegrass Region of central Kentucky.
Effective start/end date8/8/228/7/23


  • US Geological Survey: $19,700.00


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