Calibrating the cryogenian

Francis A. Macdonald, Mark D. Schmitz, James L. Crowley, Charles F. Roots, David S. Jones, Adam C. Maloof, Justin V. Strauss, Phoebe A. Cohen, David T. Johnston, Daniel P. Schrag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

400 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Neoproterozoic was an era of great environmental and biological change, but a paucity of direct and precise age constraints on strata from this time has prevented the complete integration of these records. We present four high-precision U-Pb ages for Neoproterozoic rocks in northwestern Canada that constrain large perturbations in the carbon cycle, a major diversification and depletion in the microfossil record, and the onset of the Sturtian glaciation. A volcanic tuff interbedded with Sturtian glacial deposits, dated at 716.5 million years ago, is synchronous with the age of the Franklin large igneous province and paleomagnetic poles that pin Laurentia to an equatorial position. Ice was therefore grounded below sea level at very low pa leo latitudes, which implies that the Sturtian glaciation was global in extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1243
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume327
Issue number5970
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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    Macdonald, F. A., Schmitz, M. D., Crowley, J. L., Roots, C. F., Jones, D. S., Maloof, A. C., Strauss, J. V., Cohen, P. A., Johnston, D. T., & Schrag, D. P. (2010). Calibrating the cryogenian. Science, 327(5970), 1241-1243. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1183325