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In the Precambrian world, devoid of higher organisms except near its end, carbonate sediments formed by a variety of abiotic and microbial processes, with patterns of deposition determined by tectonic, eustatic, and climatic processes. These ancient rocks demonstrate that the fundamental tenets of carbonate production and accumulation were initiated early in earth history, with the basic attributes of carbonate sedimentation well established by Neoproterozoic time.

The broad temporal patterns of Precambrian carbonate facies composition and disposition parallel the long-term evolution of the earth’s oceans and atmosphere. Archean and Paleoproterozoic carbonates commonly contain abundant sea-floor precipitates, whereas the Neoproterozoic record...

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