The Hula Hula Diamictite and Katakturuk Dolomite, Arctic Alaska
Published:January 01, 2011
Francis A. Macdonald, 2011. "The Hula Hula Diamictite and Katakturuk Dolomite, Arctic Alaska", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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The Katakturuk Dolomite is a c. 2-km-thick Neoproterozoic carbonate succession (units K1–K4) exposed in the NE Brooks Range of Alaska. These strata were deposited on a south-facing (present coordinates), rifted passive margin on the North Slope subterrane (NSST) of the Arctic Alaska-Chukotka Plate (AACP). The glaciogenic Hula Hula diamictite rests below the Katakturuk Dolomite and consists of 2–50 m of diamictite that interfingers with the underlying Mt. Copleston volcanic rocks. Unit K1 of the Katakturuk Dolomite begins with less than 10 m of dark grey, finely laminated limestone with ‘roll-up’ structures, and continues upwards with nearly 500 m of recrystallized, ooid-dominated grainstone. The Nularvik dolomite (unit K2 of the Kataktruk Dolomite) rests on unit K1 with a knife-sharp contact on a heavily silicified surface. The Nularvik dolomite is composed predominantly of laminated micro-peloids hosting tubestone stromatolites and giant wave ripples, followed by decametres of dolomatized, pseudomorphosed former aragonite crystal fans.
Carbon-isotope chemostratigraphy suggests that the Hula Hula diamictite is an early Cryogenian glacial deposit, and that, despite the absence of directly underlying glacial deposits, the Nularvik dolomite is a basal Ediacaran cap carbonate. These correlations are supported by the characteristic sedimentological features in both the carbonate capping the Hula Hula diamictite and the Nularvik dolomite. Detrital zircon and Palaeozoic fauna provenance studies support the inference that much of the AACP is exotic to Laurentia; however, the pre-Mississipian relationship between the NSST and the rest of the AACP remains uncertain. Previous palaeomagnetic surveys have been hampered by pervasive Late Cretaceous overprints. Additional geological mapping, sequence stratigraphy and geochronological data are needed to correlate Neoproterozoic and Palaeozoic units across the AACP, and constrain relationships between subterranes in the AACP.
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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.