Abstract

The Huqf Supergroup, Oman, contains volcanic horizons with the potential to calibrate Neoproterozoic events and chemostratigraphy using U-Pb zircon geochronology. A tuffaceous bed near the base, within the lower (Ghubrah) diamictite and beneath a lower cap carbonate, provides the first U-Pb zircon date obtained from within a Neoproterozoic glacial deposit. This date of 723 +16/−10 Ma suggests a Sturtian age. Diamictites about 1 km higher in the section are overlain by the Hadash cap dolomite, which compares with cap dolomites above Marinoan glacial units elsewhere. A U-Pb zircon age of 544.5 ± 3.3 Ma from ignimbrites in the Fara Formation, near the top of the supergroup, is just beneath that of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary (ca. 543 Ma), consistent with the presence of the Neoproterozoic skeletal-fossil Cloudina in correlative subsurface rocks. This revised chronology confirms the existence of four negative δ13C excursions between ca. 723 and 543 Ma, the lower two of which are clearly associated with glaciations.

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