Revised sequence stratigraphy of the upper Katian Stage (Cincinnatian) strata in the Cincinnati Arch reference area: Geological and paleontological implications

Carlton E. Brett, Christopher D. Aucoin, Benjamin F. Dattilo, Rebecca L. Freeman, Kyle R. Hartshorn, Patrick I. McLaughlin, Cameron E. Schwalbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Upper Ordovician Cincinnatian Series is a critical upper Katian reference succession. Previously, six 3rd-order depositional sequences (C1 to C6) have been recognized and frequently used as regional time slices. Recent research, however, indicates a need for revision and additions, including the recognition of additional 3rd- and 4th-order sequences. We propose amendments based upon high-resolution correlations using a combination of regional disconformities, cycle stacking patterns, bioevents, marker beds, and chemostratigraphy. Several disconformities, including a large regionally angular mid-Richmondian unconformity, are newly recognized or reinterpreted. In addition, distinctive depositional patterns aid in the recognition of systems tracts, with a) thick proximal laminated peritidal facies representing early transgressive systems tracts (TSTs) or lowstands, in part (LSTs), b) shell-rich limestone packages representing later TSTs and overlain by c) more shale-prone highstand systems tracts (HSTs), themselves overlain locally by d) siliciclastic dominated falling stage systems tract (FSST) deposits that are commonly removed beneath substantial unconformities (sequence boundaries). At present, we recognize eight 3rd-order Cincinnatian sequences, designated C1 through C8, and 16 4th-order subdivisions and their component systems tracts. A younger (Hirnantian?) sequence may be present at some localities as the enigmatic Centerville Formation and/or basal Belfast Member of the Brassfield Formation. The implications of these new correlations and sequence interpretations include a new standard for relative sea-level changes and insights into basin dynamics. This framework also permits a more nuanced history of biotic changes that include geologically brief pulses of immigration associated with the transgressions of the C1 (lower Kope Formation), C5C (Clarksville Member of Waynesville Formation), and C7A (basal Whitewater Formation).

Original languageEnglish
Article number109483
JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
StatePublished - Feb 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Bioevents
  • Epiboles
  • Ordovician
  • Richmondian invasion
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Unconformity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Paleontology


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