Abstract

Three stratigraphically well defined rocks from the glaciogenic Scout Mountain Member, Neoproterozoic Pocatello Formation, southern Idaho, yielded sensitive, high-resolution ion-microprobe (SHRIMP) U-Pb zircon ages that constrain the age of the upper diamictite and its cap carbonate to between ca. 710 and 667 Ma. (1) Zircons from an epiclastic plagioclase-phyric tuff breccia immediately below glaciogenic Scout Mountain Member diamictite on Oxford Mountain, just north of the Utah border, yield a SHRIMP U-Pb concordia age of 709 ± 5 Ma. (2) A porphyritic rhyolite clast from the upper Scout Mountain Member diamictite at Portneuf Narrows, south of Pocatello, yields a concordia age of 717 ± 4 Ma. (3) The simple igneous zircon population from a reworked fallout tuff bed in the uppermost Scout Mountain Member, 20 m above the upper diamictite and its cap carbonate and immediately below a second cap-like carbonate, has a concordia age of 667 ± 5 Ma. These data support previous interpretations that the Scout Mountain Member glaciation scoured nearby volcanic highlands composed of the bimodal Bannock Volcanic Member and suggest that the volcanism was 717 ± 4 Ma. This age is close to, but distinctly older than, ca. 685 Ma U-Pb SHRIMP ages from the lithostratigraphically correlative Edwardsburg Formation in central Idaho. These data imply that the major rifting phase in this part of western Laurentia spanned 717–685 Ma rather than 800–750 Ma, as previously suggested. Further, because the Scout Mountain succession has been correlated with the Sturtian glacial phase on the basis of lithostratigraphy plus C and Sr isotope values in the carbonates, these data suggest that the Sturtian glacial epoch may have lasted until 670 Ma.

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