Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. James C. Hower

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan E. Fryar


Detailed petrography, geochemistry, and palynology together describe the depositional environments and paleoecology of an abandoned meander-fill system in western Kentucky. Oriented block petrography reveals alternating clay-rich and attrinite-rich zones of variable thickness. Woody tissues, where present, do not show dessication features and deflation layers could not be identified. Overall, petrography is indicative of a topogenous mire. Mire palyno-assemblages are less diverse than assemblages reported from clays in the region. Castanea-Cupuliferoidaepollenites assemblages dominate the entire system and other tree pollen are common; fungal spores are relatively uncommon. Weighted statistical analyses reveal ecological groupings beyond this dominance and define botanical succession within the mire. The nearestliving- relative method for determining paleoclimate indicates temperate to warm temperate conditions during deposition. Palynology indicates a Claibornian stage, middle Eocene age for the deposit.

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