The Origin and Evolution of the Caribbean Plate
This book considers the geology between North and South America. It contributes to debate about the area's evolution, particularly that of the Caribbean. Prevailing understanding is that the Caribbean formed in the Pacific and was engulfed between the Americas as the latter drifted west. Accordingly, the Caribbean Plate comprises internal, Jurassic–Cretaceous oceanic rocks, thickened into a Cretaceous hotspot/plume plateau, with obducted ophiolites and Cretaceous–Palaeogene, subduction-related, intra-oceanic volcanic arc and metamorphosed arc/continental rocks exposed on its margins. An alternative interpretation is that the Caribbean evolved in place. It consists largely of continental crust, extended in the Triassic–Jurassic, which subsided below thick Jurassic–Cretaceous carbonate rocks and flood basalts, and Cenozoic carbonate and clastic rocks. After uplift of ‘oceanic’ and volcanic arc rocks onto (continental) margins, the interior foundered in the Middle Eocene. Papers range from regional overviews and discussions of Caribbean origins to aspects of local geology arranged in a circum-Caribbean tour and ending in the interior. They address tectonics, structure, geochronology, seismicity, igneous and metamorphic petrology, metamorphism, geochemistry, stratigraphy and palaeontology.
Is the Cretaceous primitive island arc series in the circum-Caribbean region geochemically analogous to the modern island arc tholeiite series?
Published:January 01, 2009
Alan R. Hastie, 2009. "Is the Cretaceous primitive island arc series in the circum-Caribbean region geochemically analogous to the modern island arc tholeiite series?", The Origin and Evolution of the Caribbean Plate, K. H. James, M. A. Lorente, J. L. Pindell
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The Early Cretaceous island arc lavas in the Caribbean region are frequently assigned to the primitive island arc (PIA) series and not to the island arc tholeiite (IAT) series. However, this review demonstrates that the Caribbean PIA rocks have immobile trace element abundances, trace element ratios and Nd–Hf isotope systematics which are indistinguishable from modern IAT lavas. Thus, it is proposed that the term PIA series be discarded and that the Early Cretaceous island arc rocks in the Caribbean be classified as IAT rocks.
Supplementary material: References for data sources used in figures can be found at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18362.