Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Continental carbonate facies of a Neoproterozoic panglaciation, north-east Svalbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Ian J. Fairchild, Edward J. Fleming, Huiming Bao, Douglas I. Benn, Ian Boomer, Yuri V. Dublyansky, Galen P. Halverson, Michael J. Hambrey, Chris Hendy, Emily A. McMillan, Christoph Spötl, Carl T. E. Stevenson, Peter M. Wynn

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The Marinoan panglaciation (ca 650 to 635 Ma) is represented in north-east Svalbard by the 130 to 175 m thick Wilsonbreen Formation which contains syn-glacial carbonates in its upper 100 m. These sediments are now known to have been deposited under a CO2-rich atmosphere, late in the glaciation, and global climate models facilitate testing of proposed analogues. Precipitated carbonates occur in four of the seven facies associations identified: Fluvial Channel (including stromatolitic and intraclastic limestones in ephemeral stream deposits); Dolomitic Floodplain (dolomite-cemented sand and siltstones, and microbial dolomites); Calcareous Lake Margin (intraclastic dolomite and wave-rippled or aeolian siliciclastic facies); and Calcareous Lake (slump-folded and locally re-sedimented rhythmic/stromatolitic limestones and dolomites associated with ice-rafted sediment). There is no strong cyclicity, and modern analogues suggest that sudden changes in lake level may exert a strong control on facies geometry. Both calcite and dolomite in stromatolites and rhythmites display either primary or early diagenetic replacive growth. Oxygen isotope values (−12 to +15‰VPDB) broadly covary with δ13C. High δ13C values of +3·5 to +4·5‰ correspond to equilibration with an atmosphere dominated by volcanically degassed CO2 with δ13C of −6 to −7‰. Limestones have consistently negative δ18O values, while rhythmic and playa dolomites preserve intermediate compositions, and dolocretes possess slightly negative to strongly positive δ18O signatures, reflecting significant evaporation under hyperarid conditions. Inferred meltwater compositions (−8 to −15·5‰) could reflect smaller Rayleigh fractionation related to more limited cooling than in modern polar regions. A common pseudomorph morphology is interpreted as a replacement of ikaite (CaCO3·H2O), which may also have been the precursor for widespread replacive calcite mosaics. Local dolomitization of lacustrine facies is interpreted to reflect microenvironments with fluctuating redox conditions. Although differing in (palaeo)latitude and carbonate abundance, the Wilsonbreen carbonates provide strong parallels with the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-497
JournalSedimentology
Volume63
Issue number2
Early online date4 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

    Research areas

  • Carbon isotopes, Cryogenian, Ikaite pseudomorphs, Lacustrine, Oxygen isotopes, Snowball Earth

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Sensitivity of a calving glacier to ice—ocean interactions under climate change: new insights from a 3-D full-Stokes model

    Todd, J., Christoffersen, P., Zwinger, T., Råback, P. & Benn, D. I., 14 Jun 2019, In : Cryosphere. 13, 6, p. 1681-1694 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Automatic detection of calving events from time-lapse imagery at Tunabreen, Svalbard

    Vallot, D., Adinugroho, S., Strand, R., How, P., Pettersson, R., Benn, D. & Hulton, N. R. J., 29 Mar 2019, In : Geoscientific Instrumentation Methods and Data Systems. 8, 1, p. 113-127 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Calving controlled by melt-under-cutting: detailed calving styles revealed through time-lapse observations

    How, P., Schild, K. M., Benn, D. I., Noormets, R., Kirchner, N., Luckman, A., Vallot, D., Hulton, N. R. J. & Borstad, C., 30 Jan 2019, In : Annals of Glaciology. First View, 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Physical conditions of fast glacier flow: 3. Seasonally-evolving ice deformation on Store Glacier, West Greenland

    Young, T. J., Christoffersen, P., Doyle, S. H., Nicholls, K. W., Stewart, C. L., Hubbard, B., Hubbard, A., Lok, L. B., Brennan, P., Benn, D. I., Luckman, A. & Bougamont, M., Jan 2019, In : Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface. 124, 1, p. 245-267 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Multiple Late Holocene surges of a High-Arctic tidewater glacier system in Svalbard

    Lovell, H., Benn, D. I., Lukas, S., Ottesen, D., Luckman, A., Hardiman, M., Barr, L. D., Boston, C. M. & Sevestre, H., 1 Dec 2018, In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 201, p. 162-185 24 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Integrating field and laboratory approaches for ripple development in mixed sand–clay–EPS

    Baas, J. H., Baker, M. L., Malarkey, J., Bass, S. J., Manning, A. J., Hope, J. A., Peakall, J., Lichtman, I. D., Ye, L., Davies, A. G., Parsons, D. R., Paterson, D. M. & Thorne, P. D., 5 Jun 2019, In : Sedimentology. Early View, 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Cathodoluminescence petrography and isotope geochemistry of KT impact ejecta deposited 360km from the Chicxulub crater, at Albion Island, Belize

    Fouke, B., Zerkle, A. L., Walter, A., Pope, K., Ocampo, A., Wachtman, R., Grajales Nishimura, J., Claeys, P. & Fischer, A., 2002, In : Sedimentology. 49, p. 117-138

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 241163216