The Abu Mahara Group (Ghubrah and Fiq formations), Jabal Akhdar, Oman
Published:January 01, 2011
Philip A. Allen, Jonathan Leather, Martin D. Brasier, Ruben Rieu, Margaret Mccarron, Erwan le Guerroué, James L. Etienne, Andrea Cozzi, 2011. "The Abu Mahara Group (Ghubrah and Fiq formations), Jabal Akhdar, Oman", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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The Abu Mahara Group (c. 725–<645 Ma) of the Huqf Supergroup in the Jabal Akhdar of northern Oman hosts two glacial successions in the Ghubrah and Fiq formations, separated by the <50-m-thick volcanogenic Saqlah Member. The >400-m-thick Ghubrah Formation is dominated by distal glaciogenic rainout diamictites, laminites and turbiditic siltstones, whereas the <1.5-km-thick Fiq Formation exhibits a cyclical stratigraphy of proximal and distal marine glaciogenic facies, and non-glacial sediment gravity flow and shallow marine facies. The Fiq Formation is overlain by a transgressive, isotopically light carbonate known as the Hadash Formation. A tuffaceous ash interbedded with glacial diamictites of the Ghubrah Formation in Wadi Mistal has yielded a U–Pb zircon age of 713.7±0.5 Ma. The Fiq Formation contains detrital zircons as young as 645 Ma. The use of the CIA (Chemical Index of Alteration) shows the Fiq Formation to be climatically cyclic, with alternations of high and low chemical weathering of contemporary land surfaces driven by phases of glaciation and deglaciation. The transgression into the post-glacial Masirah Bay Formation is marked by a major increase in chemical weathering.
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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.