David Mrofka, Martin Kennedy, 2011. "The Kingston Peak Formation in the eastern Death Valley region", The Geological Record of Neoproterozoic Glaciations, Emmanuelle Arnaud, Galen P. Halverson, Graham Shields-Zhou
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The late Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation (Fm.) is a several-kilometre-thick sedimentary succession primarily influenced by syndepositional tectonism and located in the region around Death Valley, California (Fig. 40.1). Its distribution is divisible into an eastern facies assemblage, the subject of this paper, and a western facies assemblage covered in a separate chapter. The diamictite-bearing Kingston Peak Fm. is bounded by the underlying shallow platform carbonates of the Beck Spring Fm. and overlain by the Noonday Dolomite. There is an absence of direct palaeolatitude or radiometric age constraints and any correlation is based on broad similarities with other coarse-grained strata (diamictite) located in a northward trending belt along the Cordilleran miogeocline. The overlying Noonday Dolomite has been interpreted to be a late Cryogenian ‘cap carbonate’ and shares a set of unique facies associations and isotopic and lithological characteristics with other late Neoproterozoic post-glacial carbonate intervals in Namibia, Canada, Australia and Brazil. Research to date has focused on understanding local basin evolution, glacial sedimentology, correlation between the eastern and western facies assemblages and initiation and development of the North American Cordillera. The intimate association of tectonic and glacial facies with rapid local thickness and facies changes corresponding with syn-sedimentary faulting is the most distinctive stratigraphic characteristic of the Kingston Peak Fm. The complex local stratigraphy complicates correlation both within the Death Valley region as well as globally, and pending absolute age dates, does not fit easily with conventional Cryogenian Period glacial models identifying two or more discrete ice ages.
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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.