Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Thomas W. Kammer.


The Black Hand Sandstone Member of the Cuyahoga Formation of Ohio is a multistory, conglomeratic sandstone. Primary lithofacies include trough and planar crossbedded sandstones and massive gravels. The contact between the Black Hand and the surrounding Cuyahoga Formation is sharp and scoured indicating that the contact is an unconformity and sequence boundary. The Black Hand was deposited in a low-sinuosity braided stream within an incised valley system. The river that deposited the Black Hand flowed northward. The Lower Mississippian is subdivided into two sequences.;The age of the Lower Mississippian was determined by surveying the existing literature. Data from the surrounding Cuyahoga and Logan formations was used to constrain the age of the Black Hand. The Logan Formation is early Osagean, while most of the Cuyahoga is Kinderhookian. The Kinderhookian-Osagean boundary is transitional and cannot be precisely determined, but is found in the upper Cuyahoga. The Upper Cuyahoga correlates to the Kinderhookian-Osagean unconformity in the North American mid-continent. A growing body of evidence suggests that the late Kinderhookian was a time of glaciation. A glacio-eustatic drop in sea level is inferred to have caused the incision of the Cuyahoga Formation, while the Black Hand Sandstone was deposited during the subsequent rise in relative sea level.;The basal contact of the Black Hand Sandstone is a sequence boundary. Because the Black Hand has been ignored in regional scale studies its relationship to the other sandstones is unknown. Equivalent sandstones include the Burgoon and Purslane sandstones. The Black Hand is a stratigraphic equivalent of these sandstones, but is geographically separated from them. The Burgoon and Purslane sandstones are both underlain by redbeds, indicating subaerial exposure prior, as does the contact between Price and Maccrady formations in southern West Virginia. This compares favorably with evidence of an unconformity between the Black Hand and Cuyahoga, therefore the sequence boundary at the base of the Black Hand is regional. Evidence for this surface throughout the central Appalachians suggests that the its cause was most likely a glacioeustatic drop in sea level as opposed to local tectonic effects.*.;*This dissertation is a compound document (contains both a paper copy and a CD as part of the dissertation). The CD requires the following system requirements: Microsoft Office.