Geological Research through Integrated Neoproterozoic Drilling: The Ediacaran-Cambrian Transition

Ediacaran-age Nama Group strata resting unconformably on Proterozoic basement, Namibia.

The Neoproterozoic Era (1000 - 541 Ma) is one of the most dramatic in Earth history: metazoans evolved, the supercontinent Rodinia formed and broke apart, the global carbon cycle underwent high-amplitude fluctuations, oxygen concentrations rose and climate experienced at least two episodes of worldwide glaciation. The specific targets are the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition (ECT; c. 560-530 Ma) strata of west Brazil (Corumb√° Group), south China (Doushantuo, Dengying and equivalent formations) and south Namibia (Nama Group). Our objective is to create a core network of correlative ECT strata that will enable constructing a highly resolved, temporally constrained geobiological, stratigraphic and geochemical database, as well as provide a legacy archive for future research. The goal is to understand the drivers of the Neoproterozoic Earth system revolution: it began with simple eukaryotes that populated Earth during the preceding billion years of the Mesoproterozoic, underwent multiple Snowball Earth events, and emerged with the oxygenated, diverse ecosystems of the Cambrian.

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