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Life through the 'Varanger ice ages': microfossil record of late Neoproterozoic glacial-interglacial units from arctic Norway
Department of Earth Science, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, USA.
Tromsø Universitetsmuseum.
Área de Paleontología, Universidad de Extremadura, Avenida de Elvas s/n, Badajoz, Spain.
Uppsala University, Music and Museums, Museum of Evolution.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8769-3572
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2018 (English)In: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America, 2018, Vol. 50Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The late Neoproterozoic strata in Finnmark (Arctic Norway) provide a good sedimentary record of Neoproterozoic glaciations on the Baltica paleocontinent. The lower Vestertana Group exposed on the Digermulen Peninsula contains two glaciogenic units, the Smalfjord and Mortensnes formations. Chemostratigraphic correlation dated the Smalfjord diamictite to the Marinoan glaciation (650-635 Ma), yet its age was also proposed to be older, per correlation to glacial units in central and southern Scandinavia. The diamictites are bracketing shales and siltstones of the interglacial Nyborg Formation. Stratigraphic, paleontological, and sedimentological data are presented from the interglacial-glacial succession, investigated by the Digermulen Early Life Research Group. Palynological analysis yielded well-preserved organic-walled microfossils (OWM) from the Nyborg Fm., and from fine-grained diamictite matrix in the Mortensnes Fm. via a modified extraction method.

The interglacial Nyborg Fm. hosts a moderate diversity assemblage of prokaryotic and eukaryotic OWM, as well as acanthomorphic acritarchs such as Ceratosphaeridium, ?Cavaspina, and a novel process-bearing form. Organically preserved, enigmatic multicellular eukaryotic fossils occur in the upper Nyborg Fm. The Mortensens glacial assemblage is less diverse and contains bacterial filaments, leiosphaerids, toroidal forms, and Micrhystridium-type minute acanthomorphs.

The presence of Doushantuo-Pertatataka type acritarchs in the Nyborg Fm., and small acanthomorphs in the Mortensnes diamictite corroborate an early Ediacaran age for the interglacial-glacial succession on Digermulen. In addition to the trace fossil and body-fossil record of Ediacara-biota in the overlying Stáhpogieddi Formation, the microfossil biostratigraphy suggests Marinoan and Gaskiers glaciation equivalent ages of the Varanger glaciations in Finnmark. Protistan diversity in the succession declined through and following the glaciation, until late Ediacaran.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Geological Society of America, 2018. Vol. 50
Series
Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, ISSN ISSN 0016-7592 ; 50
Keywords [en]
Organic walled microfossils, Digermulen Peninsula, Neoproterozoic, glaciation
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371741DOI: 10.1130/abs/2018AM-322291OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371741DiVA, id: diva2:1274132
Conference
GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018
Projects
Digermulen Early Life ResearchAvailable from: 2018-12-28 Created: 2018-12-28 Last updated: 2019-03-13Bibliographically approved

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