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Abstract

New stratigraphic, geochronological and palaeomagnetic constraints allow updates to be made to a synthesis of Neoproterozoic glacial palaeolatitudes, including modifications to some reliability estimates. The overall pattern of a Neoproterozoic climatic paradox persists: there is an abundance of tropical palaeolatitudes and near to complete absence of glaciogenic deposits demonstrably laid down between latitudes of 60° and 90°. In addition to 12 units with palaeolatitude estimates that are somewhat reliable, estimates with moderate to high reliability now include Konnarock (less than 10° from the palaeo-equator), Elatina, Rapitan, Mechum River, Grand Conglomerat (10–20°), Upper Tindir, Puga (20–30°), Nantuo, Gaskiers (30–40°) and Walsh (40–50°). Among these, Elatina, Upper Tindir and Nantuo are considered to have the highest reliability, all with estimates of low to moderate palaeolatitude. The Elatina result stems from sedimentary rocks with quantitative correction of inclination-shallowing effects, and the Upper Tindir result stems from data collected from igneous rocks that are precisely coeval with the glacial deposits. Despite continuing debate on the global character of Neoproterozoic ice ages, their pan-glacial extent (ice extending to low latitude in a low-obliquity world) is well demonstrated.

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