Timeframe: 1,000–541 Ma, Neoproterozoic
Rodinia breaks up, perhaps triggering two of the most severe ice ages in earth’s history (Sturtian & Marinoan – names from the Flinders Ranges) leading to the name ‘Snowball Earth’. Australia becomes part of a new supercontinent – Gondwana, and large, complex, multicellular life forms appear after the glaciations.
Rocks to celebrate: Australia’s role in identifying these key global events, examples of Neoproterozoic glacial sediments, the post glacial fossiliferous Ediacaran sediments, and pre-glacial units.
- 1,300–700 Ma Assembly to breakup of supercontinent Rodina (Blewett et al, 2012)
- 700 Ma breakup of supercontinent Rodina & Gondwana starts to assemble (Blewett et al, 2012)
- 720–700 Ma Sturtian Ice Age – global glaciation, ‘snowball earth’
- 660–635 Ma Marinoan Ice Age
- 635–542 Ma Ediacaran – evidence of complex life in the Flinders Ranges
- ~580 Ma Acraman Impact Event, a large bolide impacted the Gawler Craton, South Australia
- 542 Ma Mass extinction of Ediacaran biota
Rocks included in this theme
- Mintaro Slate
- Bitter Springs Group