The Baykonurian glaciohorizon of the Late Vendian
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Glacial deposits occurring close to the Vendian-Cambrian boundary were discovered long ago in several regions of Asia and West Africa. New data of recent years confirm earlier observation and specify age constraints of these deposits. In certain sections, glacial sediments rest on beds with the Upper Vendian fossils (Vendotaenia sp., Sabellidites remains, and microfossils). In the Hoggar Highland, they discordantly overlie magmatic rocks ca. 560 Ma old. In the East Sayan Mts., the Upper Vendian Cloudina sp. have been found in the diamictite matrix. In Central Asia and Northwest China, cap dolomites conformably overlying glacial deposits grade upward into the chert-phosphatic sediments containing fossils (Tarim region), which are characteristic of the Anabarites trisulcatus Zone in the Nemakit-Daldynian Stage. Fossils of this zone have been found directly above glacial deposits in the East Sayan. According to all these data, the respective Baykonurian glaciation, as it is termed in this work, either antedated the Nemakit-Daldynian Age or was concurrent to its commencement. The glaciation is correlative with a significant negative δ13C excursion of −5 to −10‰. Judging from recent paleotectonic reconstructions, the Baykonurian glaciation was not regional in rank and left records in both hemispheres of the Earth. This glaciation resumes the well-known succession of the great glaciation event in the terminal Late Precambrian, i.e., the Sturtian, Marinoan, and Gaskiers glaciations. Hence, one cannot ignore the Baykonurian glaciation when analyzing the geological, biospheric, and biotic history of the Late Precambrian.
Key wordsglacial deposits Upper Vendian Nemakit-Daldynian Horizon negative δ13C excursion.
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