Global perturbation of the marine Ca isotopic composition in the aftermath of the Marinoan global glaciation

J. C. Silva-Tamayo, T. F. Nägler, Alcides Nobrega Sial, A. Nogueira, T Kurt Kyser, C. Riccomini, N. P. James, G. M. Narbonne, I. M. Villa

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Ca isotopic compositions of Marinoan post-glacial carbonate successions in Brazil and NW Canada were measured. Both basal dolostones display δ44/40Ca values between 1 and 0.7‰, overlying limestones show a negative Ca isotope excursion to values around 0.1‰, and δ44/40Ca values rapidly increase up-section to near 2.0‰. In the Brazilian successions, those high δ44/40Ca values rapidly decrease and stabilize to values between 0.6 and 0.9‰. These Ca isotope secular variation trends are unlike those of Sturtian post-glacial carbonate successions, but similar to those of Marinoan post-glacial carbonate successions in Namibia, suggesting that the perturbation of the marine Ca cycle was global. This recommends Ca isotope stratigraphy as a tool to correlate Neoproterozoic post-glacial carbonate successions worldwide.While the lowermost and uppermost strata have δ44/40Ca values typical of Phanerozoic carbonates, the extremes, 0.1 and 2.0‰, have not been thus far reported for other marine carbonates. These extreme values suggest a short-lived, non-actualistic perturbation in the marine Ca cycle.Simple box modelling of the Marinoan post-glacial marine Ca cycle can reproduce the extreme values only by postulating a two-step process, with Ca input initially exceeding Ca removal trough carbonate precipitation, followed by precipitation overtaking a decreased Ca input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalPrecambrian Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Ca isotopes
  • Cap carbonates
  • Global glaciation
  • Neoproterozoic

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