The Ediacaran Schisto-Calcaire Group is a ∼1300 m-thick succession belonging to the West Congo Supergroup in Central Africa. In the Comba Basin, it consists of three carbonate-dominated units defined as formations (SCI to SCIII) that are unconformably overlain by clastic deposits (Mpioka Group) interpreted as a molassic formation associated with the Panafrican Orogen. The underlying Upper Tillite and Cap Carbonate (SCIa) units, considered as markers of the Snowball Earth event were studied in three sections. We investigated the carbonates of the Schisto-Calcaire Group by defining new microfacies (MF1-MF7) and we performed C and O isotopic analyses in order to constraint the depositional and diagenetic events directly after the Marinoan interval. Stratigraphic variations of the stable isotopes are important in the series with lighter δ18O values (>1.5‰) than those of the Neoproterozoic ocean in the SCIc unit. According to regional stratigraphy a temperature effect can be dismissed and a freshwater surface layer is the origin of such negative δ18O values in this unit. The negative δ13C anomaly (−3.5‰ on average) of the Cap Carbonate is similarly to the δ18O values (−6.4‰ on average) in the range of the marine domain during postglacial sea level rise. The sample suite as a whole (SCII and SCIII formations) displays heavier δ18O and δ13C than those of the lower part (SCI unit) of the Schisto-Calcaire Group. The comparison with the Lower Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Nyanga (Gabon) basins shows that the meteoric flushing in SCIc unit of the Schisto-Calcaire Group was regional and not local, and could be derived from a climatic evolution. Although an overall overprint is present, our isotopic relationships argue against overall diagenetic resetting of primary compositions and suggest that with careful examination combined with detailed petrographic analysis general depositional and diagenetic controls can be discerned in oxygen and carbon isotopic data in the Schisto-Calcaire Group.
- Microfacies analysis
- Schisto-Calcaire Group
- Isotope chemostratigraphy (δ O and δ C)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth-Surface Processes