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Geology of the northern Andes; An overview

By
J. E. Case
J. E. Case
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 989, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
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Reginald Shagam
Reginald Shagam
Rider College, P.O. Box 6400, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648
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Robert F. Giegengack
Robert F. Giegengack
Department of Geology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6316
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

The northern Andes in Colombia form three great ranges, the Cordilleras Oriental, Central, and Occidental (Fig. 1). Other ranges include the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Guajira Peninsular ranges, and physiographic extensions of the Cordillera Oriental northeast into Venezuela, including the Sierra de Perijá and the Cordillera de Mérida (Venezuelan Andes). The present physiographic expression is the result of Tertiary (Neogene) uplift. The Cordillera Occidental is underlain by deformed oceanic crust, perhaps allochthonous as judged from the low metamorphic grade of Mesozoic rocks in the north (see chapter by Escalante, this volume; Duque-Caro, 1990); most of the Cordillera Central, Cordillera Oriental, Sierra de Perijá, and Cordillera de Mérida are underlain by continental crust. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and ranges on the Guajira Peninsula are probably underlain by both types of crust, and oceanic segments on the north sides are probably allochthonous. In the following summary of the regional geology, the main mountain ranges will be described from east to west. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Guajira ranges, and sedimentary basins will be discussed last. Some of the generalized descriptions are modified from Case and others (1984). Geologic maps by Bellizzia and others (1976), Arango C. and others (1976), Mart×n F. (1978), Case and Holcombe (1980), Etayo-Serna and others (1983, 1986), and Case and others (1984) provide a regional framework for this summary. Bürgl (1961,1973), Irving (1975), Etayo-Serna and others (1983, 1986) and González and others (1988) provided very useful syntheses of the pre-1960 to 1970 literature for

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DNAG, Geology of North America

The Caribbean Region

Gabriel Dengo
Gabriel Dengo
Gabriel Dengo Centro de Estudios Geológicos de América Central Apartado 468 Guatemala City, Guatemala
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J.E. Case
J.E. Case
U.S. Geological Survey 345 Middlefield Road Menlo Park, California 94025
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Geological Society of America
Volume
H
ISBN electronic:
9780813754567
Publication date:
January 01, 1991

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