Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Mesozoic Caribbean Plate Reconstructions Based from a Revised Fit of Precambrian and Paleozoic Terranes in Northwestern South America and Central America

Norton, Ian 1; Escalona, Alejandro 2; Mann, Paul 1; Lawver, Lawrence 1
1 Univ. Texas, Austin, TX.
2 University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.

A fundamental problem in the Pangea reconstruction of North and South America is an overlap between Precambrian and Paleozoic continental fragments in Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America. This overlap, as much as 400 km in some reconstructions, reflects either post-rifting (Cretaceous and younger) plate motions that have shifted crustal blocks towards the Caribbean and/or syn- or post-rift extension (late Jurassic and younger) of these older blocks that needs to be restored. A problem is that the crust of many of the overlapping areas is now covered by either water or younger rocks (Trans Mexican Volcanic Belt, Yucatan Peninsula, E. Honduras and Nicaragua, Nicaraguan Rise, areas of northern South America). Recent work in southern Mexico has begun to decipher the Mesozoic accretion history of this area and there is more data on crustal thicknesses and hence extension magnitudes in Jurassic rift basins in northern South America. In addition to Mesozoic extension, the shape of South America has been changed by large strike slip faults such as the Bocono Fault and faults bounding the Santa Marta Massif. We use displacement constraints on these faults and also constraints from deformation within the Andean foldbelts to generate improved Mesozoic plate reconstructions.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009