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A review of the Ediacaran to Early Cambrian (‘Infra-Cambrian’) evaporites and associated sediments of the Middle East

By
A. G. Smith
A. G. Smith
Department of Earth Sciences, Sedgwick Museum, Downing Street, Cambridge CB3 2EQ, UK (e-mail: ags1@esc.cam.ac.uk)
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

The paper reviews the age, location and extent of the late Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian evaporite basins in the Middle East, NW India and Pakistan. The stratigraphic section discussed includes the largest inorganic negative δ13C excursion known (in the Shuram Formation); six cycles of alternating evaporites and carbonate (Ara Formation) and a unique formation in the middle of the Ara known as the Al Shomou silicilyte, which is a major hydrocarbon source. Tuff/volcanic horizons within the Ara are very well dated, with a precision of <0.15 myr. Extensional faulting was contemporaneous with the deposition of the evaporites, creating basins that at times showed density stratification and anoxia. The Buah Formation, which underlies the Ara, provides an insight into the development of Ediacaran carbonate ramp systems in the absence of bioturbation. A reconstruction of Gondwana brings the Ara and the Hormuz evaporites close to the evaporites of NW India and Pakistan, but leaves a small gap between them, which was probably occupied by a continental sliver, mostly likely part of the Lut block of central Iran. The Ara-Hormuz basins lie on the edge of a major continental collision between India and east Africa that was part of the amalgamation of east Gondwana.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of Neoproterozoic–Cambrian Basins in Asia

G. M. Bhat
G. M. Bhat
University of Jammu, India
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J. Craig
J. Craig
eni exploration & production, Italy
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J. W. Thurow
J. W. Thurow
University College London, UK
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B. Thusu
B. Thusu
University College London, UK
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A. Cozzi
A. Cozzi
Ieoc, Egypt
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Geological Society of London
Volume
366
ISBN electronic:
9781862396142
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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