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Abstract

The Neoproterozoic successions of the São Francisco Craton are primarily represented by the Bambuí and Una groups, deposited in cratonic epicontinental basins, and by the Vazante and Vaza Barris/Miaba groups, which accumulated on passive margins on the edges of the craton. The epicontinental basins comprise three megasequences: glaciogenic, carbonate platform (marine) and dominantly continental siliciclastics. Possible correlative sequences are observed in the passive margin deposits. At least two major transgressive–regressive sea-level cycles occurred during the evolution of the carbonate megasequence, which lies above glaciomarine diamictites of probable early Cryogenian (i.e. Sturtian) age. C, O, Sr and S isotope trends from analyses of well-preserved samples, together with lithostratigraphic observations, provide reasonable correlations for most of the Neoproterozoic successions of the São Francisco Craton. The 87Sr/86Sr record of these successions, ranging from 0.70769 to 0.70780, supports the proposed correlation with the Bambuí, Una and Vaza/Barris successions, and with the basal units of the Vazante Group. In addition, C-isotope positive excursions ranging from +8.7 to +14‰ and negative excursions from –5.7 to –7‰ VPDB in the Bambuí, Una and Vaza-Barris successions provide key markers for correlations. The precise ages of the sedimentation in these successions remains a matter of debate, but organic shales of two units of the Vazante Group have been dated by Re–Os techniques in two different laboratories, both yielding Mesoproterozoic ages. The Neoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic successions preserve significant glaciogenic deposits.

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