Neoproterozoic glaciogenic diamictites of the Katanga Supergroup, Central Africa
Sharad Master, Marek Wendorff, 2011. "Neoproterozoic glaciogenic diamictites of the Katanga Supergroup, Central Africa", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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Glaciogenic sediments of the Katanga Supergroup are represented by two units. The syn-rift Grand Conglomerat Formation (<765±5 Ma to >735±5 Ma) occurs within the Nguba Group, and the Petit Conglomerat Formation defines the base of the Kundelungu Group deposited in the earliest foreland basin of the Lufilian orogenic belt located between the Congo and Kalahari cratons. Their glacial origin is inferred on the basis of the following features: the common and widespread occurrence of thick polymictic conglomerates and diamictites with faceted and striated clasts, massive structure, abundant poorly sorted fine-grained matrix, and the presence of planar-laminated shales (laminites) with dropstones. Glaciomarine facies associations prevail over most of the geographic extent of both units, but at the northern periphery of the depository, continental glacial facies are present. The glaciomarine units are succeeded by carbonates: the Kakontwe Limestone and ‘Calcaire Rose’ respectively. The clasts in the glaciogenic units are of extrabasinal and intrabasinal provenance. Lower boundaries, conformable in the basin centre, evolve to unconformities in the marginal areas to the N and S. The palaeomagnetic evidence suggests deposition in low latitudes.
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In recent years, interest in Neoproterozoic glaciations has grown as their pivotal role in Earth system evolution has become increasingly clear. One of the main goals of the IGCP Project No. 512 was to produce a synthesis of newly available information on Neoproterozoic successions worldwide similar in format to Hambrey & Harland’s (1981) Earth’s pre-Pleistocene Glacial Record. This Memoir therefore consists of a series of overview chapters followed by site-specific chapters. The overview chapters cover key topics including the history of research on Neoproterozoic glaciations, identification of glacial deposits, chemostratigraphic techniques and datasets, palaeomagnetism, biostratigraphy, geochronology and climate modelling. The site specific chapters for 60 successions worldwide include reviews of the history of research on these rocks and up-to-date syntheses of the structural framework, tectonic setting, palaeomagnetic and geochronological constraints, physical, biological, and chemical stratigraphy, and descriptions of the glaciogenic and associated strata, including economic deposits.