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Recognition of glacial influence in Neoproterozoic sedimentary successions

By
Emmanuelle Arnaud
Emmanuelle Arnaud
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
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James L. Etienne
James L. Etienne
Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd, 97 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RY, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview and key references of glacial processes and resulting sedimentary products in subglacial, terrestrial proglacial and glaciomarine or glaciolacustrine settings. These settings are characterized by a wide variety of processes ranging from subglacial lodgement and deformation, ice-push and sediment remobilization, which in turn result in a wide range of products such as diamictite, conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone and mudstone. The sedimentary record of proglacial settings exhibits the most lateral and vertical variability due to the dynamic nature of ice margins and the most direct record of climatic fluctuations. Many Neoproterozoic successions, however, preserve glaciomarine deposits that can provide a more continuous and high-resolution (though indirect) record of change. This chapter will enable the reader to identify features that may be used to infer a glacial influence on the formation of ancient deposits. The chapter also outlines some of the important issues that require consideration when evaluating palaeoclimatic models for Neoproterozoic sedimentary successions. These include the equivocal significance of most commonly used proxies such as occurrence of diamictite, outsized clasts in laminated sediments, clast characteristics, lithostratigraphic trends and sequence boundaries. Careful analysis of multiple lines of sedimentary evidence, together with other proxies of climatic changes, can yield meaningful reconstructions and provide a basis for testing palaeoclimate models for this time period. A summary table outlining the characteristics of diamictite with different depositional origins is also included in order to assist with the interpretation of the Neoproterozoic sedimentary record.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations

Emmanuelle Arnaud
Emmanuelle Arnaud
University of Guelph, Canada
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Galen P. Halverson
Galen P. Halverson
McGill University, Canada
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Graham Shields-Zhou
Graham Shields-Zhou
University College London, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
36
ISBN electronic:
9781862394117
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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