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Caribbean Basin Framework, 3: Southern Central America and Colombian Basin

KOLARSKY, RADIM A., and PAUL MANN, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

We recognize three basin-forming periods in southern Central America (Panama, Costa Rica, southern Nicaragua) that we attempt to correlate with events in the Colombian basin (Bowland, 1984): (1) Early-Late Cretaceous island arc formation and growth of the Central American island arc and Late Cretaceous formation of the Colombian basin oceanic plateau. During latest Cretaceous time, pelagic carbonate sediments blanketed the Central American island arc in Panama and Costa Rica and elevated blocks on the Colombian basin oceanic plateau; (2) middle Eocene-middle Miocene island arc uplift and erosion. During this interval, influx of distal terrigenous turbidites in most areas of Panama, Costa Rica, and the Colombian basin marks the uplift and erosion of the Central American island arc. In he Colombian basin, turbidites fill in basement relief and accumulate to thicknesses up to 2 km in the deepest part of the basin. In Costa Rica, sedimentation was concentrated in fore-arc (Terraba) and back-arc (El Limon) basins; (3) late Miocene-Recent accelerated uplift and erosion of segments of the Central American arc. Influx of proximal terrigenous turbidites and alluvial fans in most areas of Panama, Costa Rica, and the Colombian basin marks collision of the Panama arc with the South American continent (late Miocene-early

Pliocene) and collision of the Cocos Ridge with the Costa Rican arc (late Pleistocene). The Cocos Ridge collision inverted the Terraba and El Limon basins. The Panama arc collision produced northeast-striking left-lateral strike-slip faults and fault-related basins throughout Panama as Panama moved northwest over the Colombian basin.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)