Kennedy et al. (2001) pose a provocative hypothesis. Are Neoproterozoic cap carbonates related to gas hydrate destabilization? Because both Neoproterozoic glaciations (i.e., the “Snowball Earth”) and catastrophic gas hydrate (primarily methane) melting are exciting, current topics, this idea is an interesting solution to a most perplexing problem, namely, the widespread proliferation of carbonate deposits overlying glacial diamictite.


In order for Neoproterozoic cap carbonates to be considered a product of gas hydrate destabilization, certain minimum characteristics must be recognized, or at least explained. There are examples of extant carbonates associated with both hydrate (primarily methane-bearing hydrate) melting and seafloor hydrocarbon venting...

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