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Low-latitude glaciation in the Neoproterozoic of Oman

Ben Kilner, Conall Mac Niocaill and Martin Brasier
Low-latitude glaciation in the Neoproterozoic of Oman
Geology (Boulder) (May 2005) 33 (5): 413-416


Although Earth is widely believed to have undergone a series of extreme low-latitude snowball glaciations during the Neoproterozoic (ca. 1000-543 Ma), only one reliable paleomagnetic result, from Elatina, South Australia, places glacial rocks close to the equator. We report new paleomagnetic data from the Neoproterozoic Huqf Supergroup of Oman that pass fold and reversal tests and yield a paleopole at 52.3 degrees S, 074.4 degrees E (N = 25 sites; alpha (sub 95) = 7.3 degrees ). This paleopole places the Muscat region of Oman at a latitude of 13 degrees in the late Neoproterozoic and provides the first direct evidence that both glacial and overlying cap carbonate units were deposited in the tropics. The presence of glacial-interglacial cyclicity within the Huqf Supergroup indicates that areas close to the equator may have been largely free of ice at the time of deposition, a result that is inconsistent with the classic snowball Earth model. Our result precludes the possibility that contrasting lithologies mark a phase of rapid plate motion and provides the first evidence for low-latitude glaciation in Arabia. A series of magnetic reversals in the Fiq tillite and the overlying Hadash dolomite, in northern and central Oman, correlates well with a similar sequence in the Mirbat Formation in southern Oman and indicates that recovery from glacial conditions took place over long time scales (possibly >10 (super 5) -10 (super 6) yr).

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 33
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Low-latitude glaciation in the Neoproterozoic of Oman
Affiliation: University of Oxford, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford, United Kingdom
Pages: 413-416
Published: 200505
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 34
Accession Number: 2005-034361
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2005073
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., geol. sketch map
N19°30'00" - N20°30'00", E58°00'00" - E58°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200519
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