SILT: THE OVERLOOKED BUT ENLIGHTENING WILDCARD OF A CYCLIC SEDIMENTARY SUCCESSION
To document and quantify the stratigraphic occurrences of silt throughout the Kope, several sections have been measured at high resolution, noting all siltstone beds >1 cm thick, at several locations across the Cincinnati Arch, covering a distal-to-proximal gradient. Sections have been statistically analyzed to determine distributions of siltstones within each meter-scale cycle and to compare these distributions with occurrences of limestones, the abundances of key taxa, and reconstructed sea level curves. Results to date indicate that siltstones are preferentially distributed in distinct, sparsely fossiliferous parts of the formation associated with highstand intervals and relatively deep water. Transgressive, shallow water limestone bundles are largely silt-free. Furthermore, isopach and trace element provenance studies strongly suggest that Kope silts and clays had different source areas, in the northern and southern Taconics, respectively. Taken together, these results demonstrate that silt is an important, if often overlooked component of cyclic carbonate and siliclastic fancies, as it tracks changes in strength, type and provenance of sedimentation.