Francis A. Macdonald, 2011. "The Tsagaan Oloom Formation, southwestern Mongolia", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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The Tsagaan Oloom Formation (Fm.) in southwestern Mongolia contains two Neoproterozoic glacial deposits, with diamictite in the Maikhan Ul Member (Mb.) and in the Khongoryn Mb., which are separated by over 500 m of limestone. The Maikhan Ul Mb. ranges in thickness between 5 m and greater than 300 m, expanding in deeper-water sections towards the SW, where it is composed of two massive diamictites separated by over 100 m of sandstone, siltstone and shale. The basal 10 m of the overlying Tayshir Mb. of the Tsagaan Oloom Fm. consists of a fine-laminated, dark grey limestone. The Khongoryn Mb. is composed primarily of limestone clasts in a shale matrix, and is between 0 and 23 m thick. The overlying Ol Mb. contains sedimentary structures characteristic of basal Ediacaran cap carbonates including micropeloids, tubestone stromatolites, giant wave ripples and former aragonite crystal fans. U–Pb evaporation ages from zircons in the underlying Dzabkhan Volcanics constrain the Tsagaan Oloom Fm. to <773 Ma, and tuffs within the Maikhan Ul and Tayshir members testify to the potential for additional geochronology. The Cryogenian organic-rich limestone of the Tayshir Mb., which lies between the two glacial deposits, is ideally suited for geochemical studies and has been the subject of several carbon, strontium and rare earth element investigations. Limited palaeomagnetic studies suggest a mid- to low-latitude position of the Dzabkhan platform during deposition of the glaciogenic strata, and additional studies are in progress.
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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.