Glaciation and deglaciation of the Libyan Desert: The Late Ordovician record

Le Heron, D.P. and Armstrong, H.A. and Wilson, C. and Howard, J.P. and Gindre, L. (2010) Glaciation and deglaciation of the Libyan Desert: The Late Ordovician record. Sedimentary Geology, 223 (1-2). pp. 100-125. DOI 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2009.11.002

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Abstract

Detailed outcrop studies at the flanks of Al Kufrah Basin, Libya, reveal the nature of glacially-related sedimentation and post-depositional deformation styles produced in association with the Late Ordovician glaciation, during which ice sheets expanded northward over North Africa to deposit the Mamuniyat Formation. At the SE basin flank (Jabal Azbah), the Mamuniyat Formation is sand-dominated, and incises interfingering braidplain and shallow marine deposits of the Hawaz Formation. The glacially-related sediments include intercalations of mud-chip bearing tabular sandstones and intraformational conglomerates, which are interpreted as turbidite and debrite facies respectively. These record aggradation of an extensive sediment wedge in front of a stable former ice margin. An increase in mudstone content northward is accompanied by the occurrence of more evolved turbidites. A widespread surface, bearing streamlined NW-SE striking ridges and grooves, punctuates this succession. The structures on the surface are interpreted to have formed during a regional north-westward ice advance. Above, siltstones bearing Arthrophycus burrows, and Orthocone-bearing sandstones beneath tidal bars testify to glaciomarine conditions for deposition of the underflow deposits beneath. By contrast, the northern basin margin (Jabal az-Zalmah) is appreciably different in recording shallower water/paralic sedimentation styles and major glaciotectonic deformation features, although facies analysis also reveals northward deepening. Here, a siltstone wedging from 8 to 50 m toward the north was deposited (lower delta plain), succeeded by climbing ripple cross-laminated sandstones up to 60 m in thickness (distal through proximal delta mouth bar deposits) with occasional diamictite interbeds. These rocks are deformed by thrusts and > 50 m amplitude fault-propagation folds, the deformation locally sealed by a diamictite then overlain by conglomeratic lag during ultimate deglaciation. Integrating observations from both basin margins, a model of fluvial-dominated delta systems feeding a pulsed debrite and turbidite fan system in a shallow proglacial shelf is proposed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 09AREP;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Sedimentary Geology
Volume: 223
Page Range: pp. 100-125
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2009.11.002
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2010 22:41
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:56
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1338

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