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Abstract

The geological paradox of at least two Neoproterozoic glacial intervals at tropical latitudes intercalated within carbonates remains an unsolved puzzle. Several conceptual models have been proposed to explain these apparent rapid swings between climatic extremes and the associated isotopic changes in sea-water chemistry. In Oman, post-glacial transgressive sedimentary successions represent important hydrocarbon source rocks. Source rock characteristics of Neoproterozoic post-glacial successions in other parts of the world (even if not directly correlatable) are, therefore, of special economic interest.

This paper concentrates on the Ghaub Formation diamictite interval in northern Namibia and the major environmental change in the aftermath of the assumed glaciation. The relationship of the post-glacial sediments with the underlying different types of cap carbonate and diamictite successions is discussed, and a model of the succession of events is presented. The palaeotopography, caused mostly by ongoing tectonic activity including uplift on the scale of thousands of metres, strongly influenced the petroleum system created and played an important role for the hydrocarbon prospectivity of this post-glacial succession. Tectonic activity on the shelf of the southern margin of the Congo Craton was repeated, and different sub-basins were created before, during and after the Ghaub glaciation. The newly formed relief was flooded, and the different sub-basins were affected by restricted circulation for quite some time. This general scenario bears many similarities to the late Ordovician–early Silurian petroleum system, also formed during post-glacial sea-level rise.

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