Magnetostratigraphy susceptibility of the Upper Ordovician Kope Formation, northern Kentucky

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As a test of the utility of magnetic susceptibility (MS) measurements for correlation among lithified marine sequences, samples were collected from well-studied shale and limestone outcrops of the Upper Ordovician Kope Formation, northern Kentucky. The bulk (initial) low-field MS of these samples is compared among two litho- and biostratigraphically correlated sections containing the same beds. The results of this comparison demonstrated an excellent correlation among equivalent beds. Thermomagnetic susceptibility analysis supports previous XRD work indicating that illite is primary and is the main paramagnetic mineral responsible for the MS variations observed in this study. A composite of MS results for a sequence of 31 named shale-limestone couplets is used to build a composite section of Kope sequences for the area. These MS variations permit division of the various sections into a set of 28 MS cycles within the Kope Formation, covering ∼ 50 m of section. These cycles suggest a systematic control by climate on the influx of detrital material that formed these sedimentary sequences, and support other work indicating Kope climate cyclicity. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

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