Earth’s first major glacial epochs

The global glaciations of the Neoproterozoic that reached low latitudes – the so-called ‘Snowball Earth’ events have dominated accounts of ancient glaciations since the start of the 21st century. Yet they are not the oldest examples of large-scale effects of continental ice sheets. Distinctive tillites or diamictites that contain large clasts of diverse, exotic rocks occur in sedimentary sequences of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic age.

Diamictite from the Palaoproterozoic Gowganda Formation in Ontario Canada (credit: Candian Sedimentology Research Group)
Diamictite from the Palaeoproterozoic Gowganda Formation in Ontario Canada (credit: Canadian Sedimentology Research Group)

This item can be read in full at Earth-logs in the Palaeoclimatology archive for 2013