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Abstract

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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