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Caribbean marine geology; Ridges and basins of the plate interior

By
Troy L. Holcombe
Troy L. Holcombe
Marine Geology and Geophysics Division, National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colorado 80303
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John W. Ladd
John W. Ladd
Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964
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Graham Westbrook
Graham Westbrook
School of Earth Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, England
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N. Terence Edgar
N. Terence Edgar
Office of Energy and Marine Geology, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia 22092
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Christopher L. Bowland
Christopher L. Bowland
Research and Technical Services, ARCO Oil and Gas Company, Piano, Texas 75075
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Published:
January 01, 1991

Abstract

of the interior of the Caribbean Plate as well as that of the Yucatán Basin. Proceeding from northwest to southeast, the basins and ridges of the Caribbean, exclusive of active plate margins, are the Yucatán Basin and the Cayman Ridge, part of the North American Plate; and the Nicaraguan Rise, Colombian Basin, Beata Ridge, Venezuelan Basin, Aves Ridge, and Grenada Basin, which make up part of the Caribbean Plate. Geologic history of the subject areas is limited to Mesozoic and Cenozoic time, with the possible exception of the Upper Nicaraguan Rise, which may be partly underlain by a core of pre-Mesozoic rocks. History of crustal formation, probably occurring in the Cretaceous or the Jurassic for most of the Caribbean sea floor, has not been well established because drillholes encountered a basaltic sill/flow sequence, which may postdate initial crustal formation, and because the Caribbean interior is isolated structurally by plate boundaries, relict and active. Identification of magnetic anomaly sequences has been speculative.

Time of formation and structural development of the Yucatán and Grenada Basins are as yet also speculative; the basins possibly formed in early Cenozoic time. Evolution of the Caribbean interior is largely that of accumulation of sediments through the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic, and structural response to stresses applied to existing crust and lithosphere. Some lithosphere was probably consumed along relict subduction zones (upper Nicaraguan Rise, Cayman Ridge, Beata Ridge?, and Aves Ridge) during Late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic time. Apparently, no major plate boundary has extended through the

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Contents

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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