A composite stratigraphy for the Neoproterozoic Huqf Supergroup of Oman: integrating new litho-, chemo- and chronostratigraphic data of the Mirbat area, southern Oman
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The Huqf Supergroup in Oman contains an exceptionally well-preserved and complete sedimentary record of the Middle to Late Neoproterozoic Era. Outcrops of the Huqf Supergroup in northern and central Oman are now well documented, but their correlation with a key succession in the Mirbat area of southern Oman, containing a sedimentary record of two Neoproterozoic glaciations, is poorly understood. Integration of lithostratigraphic, chemostratigraphic and new U–Pb detrital zircon data suggests that the Mirbat Group is best placed within the Cryogenian (c. 850–635 Ma) part of the Huqf Supergroup. The c. 1 km thick marine deposits of the Arkahawl and Marsham Formations of the Mirbat Group are thought to represent a stratigraphic interval between older Cryogenian and younger Cryogenian glaciations that is not preserved elsewhere in Oman. The bulk of detrital zircons in the Huqf Supergroup originate from Neoproterozoic parent rocks. However, older Mesoproterozoic, Palaeoproterozoic and even Archaean zircons can be recognized in the detrital population from the upper Mahara Group (Fiq Formation) and Nafun Group, suggesting the tapping of exotic sources, probably from the Arabian–Nubian Shield.