Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Earth and Environmental Sciences (Geology)

First Advisor

Dr. Frank R. Ettensohn


The upper Tanglewood Member is the final member of the Lexington Limestone and is well-known for its soft-sediment deformation. This study has confirmed the carbonate-shoal-complex origin of the unit, and detailed study shows that its development took place during five small-scale, sequence-like, fining-upward cycles related to eustasy and tectonics. Four lithofacies are represented in the unit. Facies analysis of each cycle shows that the thickest and coarsest part of each cycle corresponds to previously uplifted basement-fault blocks; the occurrence of thick, coarse facies on the same fault blocks suggests that the blocks continued to experience uplift due to Taconian far-field forces generated on the eastern margin of Laurentia. The upper Tanglewood Member includes six deformed horizons that can be traced into equivalent parts of the Clays Ferry and Point Pleasant formations. Concurrence of four lines of evidence, suggested by Ettensohn et al. (2002d) for interpretation of seismites, indicates that the widespread horizons of deformation are seismogenic in origin. Reactivation of basement structures due to Taconian far-field forces probably induced seismicity on the intra-platform carbonate complex so as to produce soft-sediment deformation.

Petrographic investigation indicates that most of the cements in the upper Tanglewood limestones appear to be late diagenetic, fresh-water phreatic cements. Comparing the petrography of deformed and undeformed portions of the same horizon showed no significant differences in terms of cementation, indicating that cementation occurred primarily after deformation. The primary impact of deformation on the microstructure of the unit was the randomization of grain fabric and the increased presence of broken intraclasts.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)