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Caribbean Basin Framework, 2: Northern Central America

TYBURSKI, STACEY A., MARK B. GORDON, and PAUL MANN, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

There are four Jurassic to Recent basin-forming periods in northern Central America (Honduras, Honduran Borderlands, Belize, Guatemala, northern Nicaragua): (1) Middle Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting and subsidence along normal faults in Honduras and Guatemala; rifts are suggested but are not well defined in Honduras by the distribution of clastic sediments and associated volcanic rocks. Rifting is attributed to the separation of Central America from the southern margin of the North American plate; (2) Cretaceous subsidence recorded by the development of a Cretaceous carbonate platform in Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize; subsidence is attributed to thermal subsidence of the rifted margins of the various blocks; (3) Late Cretaceous-Recent development of a volcanic arc along the weste n margin of Middle America and the northern margin of Honduras; (4) Late Cretaceous large-scale folding in Honduras, ophiolite obduction, and formation of a foredeep basin in Guatemala (Sepur trough); deformation is attributed to the collision between a north-facing arc in northern Honduras and the Nicaraguan Rise and the passive margin of Guatemala and Belize; and (5) Eocene to Recent strike-slip faulting along the present-day North American-Caribbean plate boundary in Guatemala, northern Honduras, and Belize. Strike-slip faults and basins form a California-type borderlands characterized by elongate basins that appear as half-grabens in profile. Counterclockwise rotation of the central Honduras plateau, a thicker and topographically higher-than-average block within the plate boundary zo e, is accommodated by rifting or strike-slip faults at its edges.


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