Date of Graduation
Six communities were recognized from the Chesterian age Bluefield Formation in southern West Virginia. These communities were distributed in a wide range of environments from intertidal to open marine. Bivalve communities dominated the shallow intertidal to nearshore environments and the brachiopod and echinoderm communities dominated the shallow and open marine environments. Statistical analyses including cluster, multidimensional scaling, and discriminant analysis were most effective and were used to interpret vertical and spatial distributions of the communities. Vertical changes in fauna were more common between several units of the Bluefield, and to a lesser extent within a particular unit. Faunal changes between units were more noticeable between a regressive and transgressive unit. Spatial changes in fauna were more common within a particular unit, especially within units deposited in shallow environments. Vertically, the lower Bluefield represents a series of transgressions and regressions after the Late Meramecian Greenbrier Group. The largest transgression, the Reynolds Limestone, produced the most uniform marine conditions whereas smaller transgressions, the Glenray Limestone and Ada Shale, were controlled by local conditions. The Webster Springs Sandstone is the most extensive regression of the units studied. The Bickett Shale represents the initial transgression of the Reynolds Limestone. Comparison of other studies of the Bluefield (Mauch Chunk) with this study showed some similarity of species and composition of communities.
Christopher, Cranston Christian, "Marine paleocommunities and paleoenvironments of the upper Mississippian Bluefield Formation in southern West Virginia." (1992). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8634.