Abstract:

The Neoproterozoic Dalradian Supergroup is a dominantly siliciclastic metasedimentary succession in the Caledonian orogenic belt of Scotland and Ireland. Despite polyphase deformation and greenschist- to upper amphibolite-facies metamorphism, carbonate units distributed throughout the Dalradian record marked δ13Ccarbonate excursions that can be linked to those associated with key environmental events of Neoproterozoic time. These include: (1) tentative correlation of the Ballachulish Limestone with the c. 800 Ma Bitter Springs anomaly; (2) the presence of the pre-Marinoan Trezona anomaly and 635 Ma Marinoan-equivalent cap carbonate sequence in rocks of the middle Easdale Subgroup; (3) the terminal Proterozoic (c. 600–551 Ma) Wonoka–Shuram anomaly in the Girlsta Limestone on Shetland. These linkages strengthen previously inferred correlations of the Stralinchy–Reelan formations and the Inishowen–Loch na Cille–MacDuff ice-rafted debris beds to the respectively 635 Ma Marinoan and 582 Ma Gaskiers glaciations, and suggest that the oldest Dalradian glacial unit, the Port Askaig Formation, represents one of the c. 750–690 Ma Sturtian glacial episodes. These δ13C data and resulting correlations provide more robust constraints on the geological evolution of the Dalradian Supergroup than anything hitherto available and enhance its utility in helping refine understanding of Neoproterozoic Earth history.

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