Stratigraphic and isotopic data identify the lower 45 m of the Araras Group, on the southwest margin of the Amazon craton, as a Neoproterozoic platform cap carbonate deposited below wave base upon Varanger glacial diamictites of the Puga Formation. The basal beds consist of moderately deep water pinkish dolomudstone with stratiform to wavy fenestral microbialites locally cut by tube-like structures and fenestral nonmicrobial planar laminites with tepee-like features. Above the basal carbonates are deep-water bituminous lime mudstones with alternating thin calcite crusts and lime mudstone laminae commonly disrupted by calcite crystal fans (pseudomorphs after aragonite). The basal contact of the Puga cap exhibits soft-sediment deformational structures (principally load casts) that are here attributed to rebound-induced seismicity acting upon both recently deposited carbonate sediments and underlying unconsolidated diamictite. These features constitute the first clearly recognized sedimentological evidence for the rapid change from icehouse to greenhouse conditions as postulated in the snowball Earth model of Neoproterozoic glaciation.

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