Discovery:Geology: Paleomagnetism: Central Asia: Glaciations: Climate
Paleomagnetism of Neoproterozoic through to Lower Paleozoic rocks on microcontinents of Central Asia: implications for the Precambrian glacial Paradox and amalgamation of Eurasia
Tillite at the Base of the Tsagaan Oloom Fm (Gobi-Altai area)
Supported by the National Science Foundation EAR05-08597
The latest Neoproterozoic through
the Cambrian is one of the most
remarkable intervals in geologic time. It marks the onset
of biodiversity at the Vendian-Cambrian boundary, major transitions in
chemistry, major plate reorganization, the breakup of the Rodinia
and Gondwana assembly
and a possible change
severe climate with low-latitude glaciations to Phanerozoic circumpolar
Existing paleomagnetic data
suggest that at
least some of the
glaciogenic sediments were deposited at low paleolatitudes in sharp
their Pleistocene counterparts. Several competing models vie for
this unusual paleoclimatic record
(e.g. Snowball, Slushball and High Obliquity models).
The extant paleomagnetic database does not allow a clear
amongst these models.
Ural-Mongol fold belt, which separates the Baltica, Siberia, North
Tarim blocks, is the largest in Eurasia. Its central part comprises a
The University of Florida is
enhancing geologic education in the USA through the active recruitment
under-represented groups. We will also
in this research in order to train future generations of geologists and
requested funds to support undergraduate research projects within the
proposal. Our work also involves the
collaboration of Russian colleagues
and students. These
types of collaborative efforts allow the
Russian scientists access to western scientists and their laboratories
would like to emphasize the training that this grant will provide to
undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral scholars. Also, our
collaboration with scientists in Russia fosters integration of the
the international scientific community. Results
from this project will be shared via the published literature (i.e.
scientists); with undergraduate and graduate students (via formal and
departmental seminars) and with the general public.
Dr. Joseph G. Meert (Project Director and downright ugly)
Dr. Natasha Levashova (Co-Project Director)
Vimal Pradhan (Ph.D. student and Inspirational Leader)
Shawn Malone (M.S. student and field guide)
Laura Gregory (M.S. student and finder of lost souls)
Jessica Yff (undergraduate researcher and moral compass)
Major Findings: (Publications)
N., Kalugin, V., Gibsher,
A.S., Yff, J., Rybanin, A.B.,
Meert, J.G. and
Malone, S.J., 2010. The Origin
of the Baydaric
Microcontinent, Mongolia: Constraints from Paleomagnetism and
in press. pdf of
2. Gibsher, A.S., Meert, J.G., Levashova, N.M., Grice, W.C. and Kamenov, G.D., Ediacaran fossils predating the Snowball Earth episodes? New Evidence from the Lesser Karatau microcontinent, Kazakhstan, Geology, in review
N., Gibsher, A.S.,
Meert, J.G. and Grice, W.C., The
of the Central Asian orogenic belt
Microcontinents: Constraints from Paleomagnetism and Geochronology,
Precambrian Research, accepted
4. Meert, J.G,, Gibsher, A.S., Levashova, N.M., Grice, W.C. and Kamenov, G.D., 2009. Paleomagnetism, geochronology, glaciation and Ediacaran(?) fossils from the Lesser Karatau microcontinent, Kazakhstan, Geological Soc. Am. abstracts, 41:7.
V.R., Meert, J.G., Levashova, N.M. and Gibsher, A.S., 2009. Preliminary
paleomagnetic data on Late Cambrian to Ordovician carbonate beds of
Series from the Lesser Karatau microcontinent, South Kazakhstan,
Soc. Am. abstracts, 41:7.
N., Meert, J.G., Gibsher, A., Grice, W., Rybanin, A., 2007. Preliminary ages
and paleomagnetic data on the Neoproterozoic Kurgan Fm. From the lesser
range in south
L.C., Meert, J.G., Levashova, N., Grice, W.C., Gibsher, A., Rybanin,
2007. Paleomagnetic and geochronologic
L.C., Levashova, N., Meert, J.G. and Malone, S.J., 2006. Paleomagnetic
constraints from Neoproterozoic to early Cambrian rocks in
11. Levashova, N., Gibsher, A.S. and Meert, J.G., 2010. Precambrian microcontinents of the Ural-Mongol Belt: new paleomagnetic and geochronological data, Geotectonics, 44, in press (in Russian).
Shawn Malone (M.S. Student) and Munkh-Erdene (Mongolian Survey) orient limestone samples
from the Bayan Gol Formation along the Zavkhan river.
Mongolian Airways Super Luxury Liner (a Soviet Antonov-24 prop) that took us from Ulaan Bataar
to Gobi Altai in western Mongolia. The runway was dirt and the parking space was the only paved
section of the airport.
Field Crew in front of a ovoo. Front (relaxed) driver Uri (Novosibirsk), back (from right) Alexander Rybanin
(aka Sasha- Novosibirsk), Natasha Levashova (Moscow), Roman Shelepaev (Novosibirsk), Munkh-
Erdene (Mongolian Survey), Valery Kalugin (Novosibirsk) and Shawn Malone (Florida).
Shawn Malone standing in front of red and grey shales in the Bayan Gol formation.