Hoffman et al.(1998b) developed a modified ‘snowball’ Earth hypothesis to explain the association of Neoproterozoic low-latitude glaciation with the deposition of “cap carbonate” rocks bearing highly depleted carbon isotopic values. According to this hypothesis, a runaway albedo feedback caused the world’s oceans to freeze for millions of years. During this time interval, the continental ice cover was thought to have become thin and patchy because of the virtual elimination of the hydrological cycle (Kirschvink, 1992; Hoffman et al., 1998b). The Vreeland diamictites record vigorous erosion by an extensive ice sheet at or near the pressure melting...

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