South China's Yangtze Platform is one of the forerunners among popular and promising regions to investigate the events leading up to and including the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary because its strata are thick, only moderately deformed, cover an extensive area, span a variety of facies and lithologies, and are mostly readily accessible.
China consists of three major cratons (the Yangtze Platform, the Tarim Platform and the North China Platform) and a number of smaller proterozoic massifs. Both the Yangtze Platform in South China and the Tarim Platform in the Northwest cover the critical stratigraphic interval for the early metazoan evolution: the Ediacaran to Middle Cambrian (635 Ma - ca. 520 Ma).
Research activities of FOR 736 during the first funding period concentrated on the Yangtze Platform which largely was a stable shallow-marine platform during the Ediacaran and the Cambrian. A growing number of geochemical, sedimentary and stratigraphic studies, however, indicate that many of the shallow-water environments, in particular near the classical Three-Gorges region, represent partially restricted, possibly "shelf-lagoonal" settings so that geochemical profiles may not all (and not entirely) reflect mean global seawater composition.
In order to validate our data from South China, FG teams have begun to also work in the Karatau Mountains of southern Kazakhstan. These apparently also had a low-latitude but (in contrast to parts of the Yangtze Platform) apparently open-marine position during the Ediacaran and Cambrian. We are currently (2012) evaluating our data; watch this site for forthcoming publications !