The contact between the Silurian black phyllite and the Cambro–Ordovician underlying rocks has been investigated over different tectonic units, affected by green-schist facies metamorphism, in the inner nappe zone of the Sardinia Variscides. In spite of strain and metamorphism, the field work highlighted the occurrence of diamictic sediments. In the Canaglia Tectonic Unit the diamictite consists of dark, massive metamorphic claystone bearing chamositic ooliths, chamositic nodules and millimetre to centimetre sized clasts, dispersed, or gathered in clusters, within the muddy matrix. In the Argentiera Tectonic Unit the diamictite consists of angular clasts, ranging in size from few millimetres to several decimetres, scattered within a finely laminated black sericitic meta-argillite. Field data, textural and compositional analyses suggest a glacio-marine environment for the formation of the diamictites. The Canaglia diamictite deposited in a protected, glacial-influenced, shore. Compositionally it can be defined as ironstone; in the Upper part it hosts a horizon of clast-supported conglomeratic hard ironstone, mostly made of magnetite, which testifies for sub-aerial reworking. The source of the iron is to be related to local, glacio-eustatic driven, emergence of Upper Ordovician alkaline mafic volcanics. These are widespread in the uppermost Ordovician of the Canaglia Unit, possibly linked to the rifting stage that invested the north Gondwana margin, before the uppermost Ordovician–early Silurian sea level rise. The Argentiera diamictite deposited beyond the iron-rich diamictite in the outer euxinic shelf that was reached by rain out of rafted debris.
Diamictite and oolitic ironstones, a sedimentary association at Ordovician-Silurian transition in the north Gondwana margin: New evidence from the inner nappe of Sardinia Variscides (Italy) / Oggiano, Giacomo; Mameli, Paola. - In: GONDWANA RESEARCH. - ISSN 1342-937X. - 9:4(2006), pp. 500-511. [10.1016/j.gr.2005.11.009]