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GEOREF RECORD

Sedimentary depocenters on snowball Earth; case studies from the Sturtian Chuos Formation in northern Namibia

Paul F. Hoffman, Kelsey G. Lamothe, Samuel J. C. LoBianco, Malcolm S. W. Hodgskiss, Eric J. Bellefroid, Benjamin W. Johnson, E. Blake Hodgin and Galen P. Halverson
Sedimentary depocenters on snowball Earth; case studies from the Sturtian Chuos Formation in northern Namibia
Geosphere (Boulder, CO) (April 2017) 13 (3): 811-837

Abstract

Cryogenian synglacial deposits are regionally thin but locally thick, considering glacial duration, but the reasons for local thickening are poorly known. We studied three local thickenings of the Sturtian Chuos Formation in northern Namibia by measuring closely spaced columnar sections, not only of the synglacial deposits but also of the bounding pre- and post-glacial strata. This enabled incised paleovalleys filled by glacial debris to be distinguished from morainal buildups. In case 1, a U-shaped paleovalley, approximately 450 m deep by approximately 3.0 km wide, is incised into pre-glacial strata and 10% overfilled by ice-contact and subglacial meltwater deposits. In case 2, a wedge of glacial diamictite, approximately 220 m thick by 2.0 km wide, overlies a disconformity that is demonstrably not incised into underlying pre-glacial strata. The wedge, draped by a post-glacial cap carbonate and argillaceous strata, is erosionally truncated at its apex by Marinoan glacial deposits and their basal Ediacaran cap dolomite. The wedge was a positive topographic feature, either a terminal moraine or an erosional outlier of formerly more extensive glacial deposits. In case 3, a wedge of conglomerate, glacial diamictite, and subglacial lake deposits thickens to >2000 m where it abuts against granitoid basement rock uplifted along a border fault. Fault movement ceased before the Sturtian cap carbonate was deposited. The locus of maximum deposition shifted over time from proximal to distal with respect to the border fault, similar to Mesozoic half grabens developed above listric detachments imaged seismically on offshore North Atlantic margins.


EISSN: 1553-040X
Serial Title: Geosphere (Boulder, CO)
Serial Volume: 13
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Sedimentary depocenters on snowball Earth; case studies from the Sturtian Chuos Formation in northern Namibia
Affiliation: Harvard University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, MA, United States
Pages: 811-837
Published: 20170407
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
References: 108
Accession Number: 2017-039855
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., geol. sketch maps
S20°30'00" - S19°00'00", E13°30'00" - E15°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: McGill University, CAN, CanadaYale University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Victoria, CAN, Canada
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201722
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