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Tandem in situ and isotope dilution U-Pb analysis of zircons from pyroclastic volcanic rocks and both glacial and non-glacial sedimentary strata of the Pocatello Formation (Idaho, northwestern USA) provides new age constraints on Cryogenian glaciation in the North American Cordillera. Two dacitic tuffs sampled within glacigenic strata of the lower diamictite interval of the Scout Mountain Member yield high-precision chemical abrasion isotope dilution U-Pb zircon eruption and depositional ages of 696.43 ± 0.21 and 695.17 ± 0.20 Ma. When supplemented by a new high-precision detrital zircon maximum depositional age of ≤ 670 Ma for shoreface and offshore sandstones unconformably overlying the lower diamictite, these data are consistent with correlation of the lower diamictite to the early Cryogenian (ca. 717–660 Ma) Sturtian glaciation. These 670–675 Ma zircons persist in beds above the upper diamictite and cap dolostone units, up to and including a purported “reworked fallout tuff,” which we instead conclude provides only a maximum depositional age of ≤ 673 Ma from epiclastic volcanic detritus. Rare detrital zircons as young as 658 Ma provide a maximum depositional age for the upper diamictite and overlying cap dolostone units. This new geochronological framework supports litho- and chemostratigraphic correlations of the lower and upper diamictite intervals of the Scout Mountain Member of the Pocatello Formation with the Sturtian (716–660 Ma) and Marinoan (≤ 650–635 Ma) low-latitude glaciations, respectively. The Pocatello Formation thus contains a more complete record of Cryogenian glaciations than previously postulated.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License