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A review of the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) and its application to the study of Neoproterozoic glacial deposits and climate transitions

By
Heinrich Bahlburg
Heinrich Bahlburg
Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, 48149 Münster, Germany
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Nicole Dobrzinski
Nicole Dobrzinski
RWE Dea AG, Wietze Laboratory, 29323 Wietze, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2011

Abstract

The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) is the most accepted of available weathering indices. Past conditions of physical and chemical weathering can be reliably inferred if application of the CIA is combined with a comprehensive facies analysis. When applied to the reconstruction of climate conditions during Neoproterozoic times, CIA data provide crucial insights into the changes in the relative contributions of chemical and physical weathering in the production of sedimentary detritus. CIA data are thus instrumental not only in documenting changes between icehouse and greenhouse climates, but also in recognizing shorter-term climate oscillations between glacial and warm–humid conditions. Concerning the Neoproterozoic glacial periods, sedimentological and CIA data sets give strong evidence of a functioning hydrological cycle, operative sediment routing systems, and variable climate conditions oscillating between dry–cool and glacial, and warm–humid and interglacial. These findings are incompatible with the hypothesis of a totally ice-covered Snowball Earth.

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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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