The Kaigas and Numees formations, Port Nolloth Group, in South Africa and Namibia
Published:January 01, 2011
Hartwig E. Frimmel, 2011. "The Kaigas and Numees formations, Port Nolloth Group, in South Africa and Namibia", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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The Port Nolloth Group makes up the eastern, external part of the Pan-African Gariep Belt (Port Nolloth Zone) in southern Namibia and western South Africa. It contains two glaciogenic diamictite units, the older Kaigas Formation and the younger Numees Formation, with intercalated and overlying carbonate-dominated units. Available chemostratigraphic information include O, C and Sr isotope data. Micropalaeontological and geochronological data point to an early Cryogenian age (c. 750 Ma) of the Kaigas Formation and possibly a middle Ediacaran age (c. 580 Ma) for the Numees Formation. The former was deposited in an evolving, but eventually failed, continental rift on the western flank of the Kalahari Craton, probably at low latitude. The Numees Formation is a laterally continuous, up to 600-m-thick glaciomarine deposit for which a passive continental margin setting has been suggested. Alternatively, based on more recent data, the depositional setting might have been a back-arc basin. The eroded remnants of the corresponding arc are present in the Dom Feliciano Belt.
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The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations
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.