Lower Mississippian strata of east-central Ohio are predominantly fine-grained marine deposits of the Cuyahoga and Logan formations. Within these sediments is the Black Hand Sandstone of the Cuyahoga Formation. The Black Hand Sandstone is a multistory, crossbedded, coarse-grained conglomeratic sandstone. The contact between the Black Hand Sandstone and the subjacent Cuyahoga Formation is sharp and scoured, with intraclasts of the Cuyahoga Formation incorporated into the basal Black Hand Sandstone. The Black Hand Sandstone was previously thought to represent a distributary channel deposit; however, the combination of lithofacies and architectural elements indicates deposition in a braided stream setting. The Cuyahoga Formation was deposited in a shallow marine setting. The erosional basal contact of the Black Hand Sandstone and the juxtaposition of fluvial and marine sediments suggests a sequence boundary. The geographic distribution of the Black Hand Sandstone combined with the evidence for a sequence boundary suggests deposition in an incised valley. The age of the Black Hand Sandstone is key to inferring the causes of valley incision. The Black Hand Sandstone is nearly devoid of body fossils, necessitating a biostratigraphic analysis of the surrounding Cuyahoga and Logan formations. Analysis indicates the Logan Formation is early Osagean age. Data from the Cuyahoga Formation suggest a Kinderhookian age with a possible transition to the Osagean in the uppermost Cuyahoga Formation. This constrains the age of the Black Hand Sandstone to the transition at the Kinderhookian-Osagean boundary. Recent reports indicate late Kinderhookian (Tournaisian, Tn2) Gondwanan glaciation based upon tillites and sharp excursions in stable-isotope curves. A glacio-eustatic fall in sea level is inferred to have caused incision of the Cuyahoga Formation, followed by deposition of the Black Hand Sandstone and Logan Formation during the subsequent sea level rise. The associated unconformity correlates to the sequence boundary at the Kinderhookian-Osagean boundary in the stratotype area of North America, and the correlative Tn2-Tn3 boundary worldwide, supporting the hypothesis of a global eustatic event at this time. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.