Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The Neoproterozoic Noonday Formation, Death Valley region, California

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Abstract

The Neoproterozoic-Cambrian succession in the Death Valley region of the southwestern United States is among the best exposed and easily accessible in the world. The largest single exposure of these strata occurs in the Panamint Range on the west side of Death Valley, and it, although variably metamorphosed, contains the most complete sections of the Noonday Formation cap carbonate sequence. New geological mapping, measured sections, and high-resolution carbon isotope data for the Noonday Formation in this range enable establishment of a unified stratigraphy across the Death Valley region that consists of three units. From the base upward, they include: the Sentinel Peak Member of light-gray, massive to laminated fine dolostone locally containing vugs and tubes variably filled with micrite, spar, or quartz (and rarely galena), and varying from 2 to 200 m in thickness; the Radcliff Member, composed of feldspathic shale and sandstone and thin-bedded limestone, 0-200 m thick; and the newly defined Mahogany Flats Member of gray, commonly stromatolitic, thin-to medium-bedded fine dolostone that is similar to 200 m thick at its type locality. Carbon isotopic trends in the Panamint Range match to within 1%-2% reproducibility those known for the equivalent non-metamorphosed strata in the eastern Death Valley sections. A composite section of the Noonday Formation displays a chemostratigraphic profile with values near -3% through the cap dolostone of the Sentinel Peak Member, a decline to -6% in the lower part of the Radcliff Member, followed by a recovery to near 0% and subsequent decline toward -2% in the remainder of the Radcliff units and lower Mahogany Flats Member, and then a return to positive values (4%) through the remainder of the Mahogany Flats Member. This pattern matches the Ediacaran cap carbonate in Namibia remarkably well, and, assuming our carbon isotopic correlations are correct, it indicates that Noonday deposition occurred at the beginning of the Ediacaran Period, and that the immediately underlying Wildrose Diamictite of the Kingston Peak Formation probably represents the younger Cryogenian (Marinoan) glacial episode.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1336
Number of pages20
JournalGeological Society of America Bulletin
Volume123
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Hydrothermal dedolomitisation of carbonate rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Zaonega Formation, NW Russia — Implications for the preservation of primary C isotope signals

    Kreitsmann, T., Külaviir, M., Lepland, A., Paiste, K., Paiste, P., Prave, A. R., Sepp, H., Romashkin, A. E., Rychanchik, D. V. & Kirsimäe, K., 3 Mar 2019, In : Chemical Geology. 512, p. 43-57 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Crustal reworking and orogenic styles inferred from zircon Hf isotopes: Proterozoic examples from the North Atlantic region

    Spencer, C. J., Kirkland, C. L., Prave, A. R., Strachan, R. A. & Pease, V., Mar 2019, In : Geoscience Frontiers. 10, 2, p. 417-424

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. 1.99 Ga mafic magmatism in the Rona terrane of the Lewisian Gneiss Complex in Scotland

    Baker, T. R., Prave, A. R. & Spencer, C. J., 28 Dec 2018, In : Precambrian Research. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Evolution of the Mozambique Belt in Malawi constrained by granitoid U-Pb, Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic data

    Manda, B. W. C., Cawood, P. A., Spencer, C. J., Prave, T., Robinson, R. & Roberts, N. M. W., 29 Nov 2018, In : Gondwana Research. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Multiple sulphur isotope records tracking basinal and global processes in the 1.98 Ga Zaonega Formation, NW Russia

    Paiste, K., Lepland, A., Zerkle, A. L., Kirsimäe, K., Izon, G. J., Patel, N., McLean, F., Kreitsmann, T., Mänd, K., Bui, T., Romashkin, A., Rychanchik, D. & Prave, A. R., 5 Nov 2018, In : Chemical Geology. 499, p. 151-164 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Provenance of late Paleozoic strata in the Yili Basin: implications for tectonic evolution of the South Tianshan orogenic belt

    Huang, H., Cawood, P. A., Ni, S., Hou, M., Shi, Z. & Hu, X., 1 May 2018, In : Geological Society of America Bulletin. 130, 5-6, p. 952-974 23 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Reconstructing Early Permian tropical climates from chemical weathering indices

    Yang, J., Cawood, P. A., Du, Y., Li, W. & Yan, J., May 2016, In : Geological Society of America Bulletin. 128, 5-6, p. 739-751 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic extensional and compressional history of East Laurentian margin sequences: the Moine Supergroup, Scottish Caledonides

    Cawood, P. A., Strachan, R. A., Merle, R. E., Millar, I. L., Loewy, S. L., Dalziel, I. W. D., Kinny, P. D., Jourdan, F., Nemchin, A. A. & Connelly, J. N., 2015, In : Geological Society of America Bulletin. 127, 3-4, p. 349-371

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Detrital zircon geochronology of the Grenville/Llano foreland and basal Sauk Sequence in west Texas, USA

    Spencer, C. J., Prave, A. R., Cawood, P. A. & Roberts, N. M. W., 1 Jul 2014, In : Geological Society of America Bulletin. 126, 7-8, p. 1117-1128 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. The Laurentian record of Neoproterozoic glaciation, tectonism, and eukaryotic evolution in Death Valley, California

    Macdonald, F. A., Prave, T., Petterson, R., Smith, E., Pruss, S. B., Oates, K., Waechter, F., Trotzuk, D. & Fallick, A. E., 2013, In : Geological Society of America Bulletin. 125, 7-8, p. 1203-1223

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 23475100