Toward a Neoproterozoic composite carbon-isotope record

TitleToward a Neoproterozoic composite carbon-isotope record
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsHalverson, GP, Hoffman, PF, Schrag, DP, Maloof, AC, Rice, AHN
JournalGeological Society of America Bulletin
Date PublishedSep-Oct
Accession NumberWOS:000231587300006

Glacial deposits of Sturtian and Marinoan age occur in the well-studied Neoproterozoic successions of northern Namibia, South Australia, and northwestern Canada. In all three regions, the Marinoan glaciation is presaged by a large negative delta(13)C anomaly, and the cap carbonates to both glacial units share a suite of unique sedimentological, stratigraphic, and geochemical features. These global chronostratigraphic markers are the bases of a new correlation scheme for the Neoproterozoic that corroborates radiometric data that indicate that there were three glacial epochs between ca. 750 and 580 Ma. Intraregional correlation of Neoproterozoic successions in the present-day North Atlantic region suggests that glacial diamictite pairs in the Polarisbreen Group in northeastern Svalbard and the Tillite Group in eastern Greenland were deposited during the Marinoan glaciation, whereas the younger of a pair of glacials (Mortensnes Formation) in the Vestertana Group of northern Norway was deposited during the third (Gaskiers) Neoproterozoic glaciation. Gaskiers-aged glacial deposits are neither globally distributed nor overlain by a widespread cap carbonate but are associated with an extremely negative delta(13)C anomaly. The chronology developed here provides the framework for a new, high-resolution model carbon-isotope record for the Neoproterozoic comprising new delta(13)C (carbonate) data from Svalbard (Akademikerbreen Group) and Namibia (Otavi Group) and data in the literature from Svalbard, Namibia, and Oman. A new U-Pb zircon age of 760 +/- 1 Ma from an ash bed in the Ombombo Subgroup in Namibia provides the oldest direct time-calibration point in the compilation, but the time scale of this preliminary delta(13)C record remains poorly constrained.