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Nature and classification of waterlain glaciogenic sediments, exemplified by Pleistocene, Late Paleozoic and Late Precambrian deposits

Earth-Science Reviews
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0012-8252(84)90023-0
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Abstract This study of waterlain glaciogenic sediments is designed to present both a review and new information on glaciogenic subaquatic deposits of differing age in a number of localities in North and South America and South Africa. The Late Paleozoic glaciogenic deposits of the Parana┬┤Basin in Brazil and the Karoo Basin of South Africa are singled out for special attention as they show a reasonably complete lateral sequence of terrestrial to off-shore glaciogenic sedimentation. Although the environment of subaquatic glaciogenic sedimentation varies from one area to the next, certain common elements are found which can be used to develop a generalized model for both glaciomarine and glaciolacustrine sedimentation. For descriptive purposes, the model is divided into two broad categories: a shelf facies and a basinal facies. The shelf facies is marked by massive diamicton(ite) which may be 200 m or more in thickness and which is frequently overlain by a complex of clastic sediments consisting primarily of gravity and fluid flows. The basinal facies is marked by products of subaquatic slumps and more distal turbidites and glaciomarine sediments. New terminology is introduced. The massive diamicton(ite), which is diagnostic of the shelf facies, probably represents deposition from the base of active ice in a subaquatic environment and is termed undermelt diamicton(ite). The gravity and fluid flows which are usually found overlying undermelt diamicton(ite) and in the basinal facies are subdivided into six categories: glaciogenic subaquatic outwash, glaciogenic suspension flow, glaciogenic chaotic debris flow, glaciogenic subaquatic debris flow, glaciogenic slurry flow and glaciogenic turbidity flow. The relative abundance of undermelt diamicton(ite) and the various types of gravity and fluid flows can be used to define inner shelf, outer shelf, inner basin and outer basin facies of glaciomarine sedimentation.

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