Abstract

Glaciations took place in five long intervals of the geologic history, called glacioeras: Kaapvaal (Late Archean), Huronian (Early Proterozoic), African (Late Proterozoic), Gondwanan (Paleozoic), and unfinished Antarctic (Late Cenozoic). The glacioeras were similar in structure, duration, and dynamics of evolution. They consisted of three to six glacioperiods including several discrete glacio-epochs. The glacioeras lasted ~ 200 Myr. They started with small regional glaciations, which expanded, reached intercontinental sizes, and then quickly degraded. There were serious differences between the Precambrian and Phanerozoic glacioeras. A series of ecologic crises related to numerous glacial events led first to abiotic and then to biotic factors. Glaciations caused extinction and stagnation of the Earth’s biota, the appearance of bionovations and new biota, and acceleration of evolution processes. Thus, the glacioeras were the turning intervals of the biosphere evolution.

You do not currently have access to this article.