Structure and age of the Lower Magdalena Valley basin basement, northern Colombia: New reflection-seismic and U-Pb-Hf insights into the termination of the central andes against the Caribbean basin

J. Alejandro Mora-Bohórquez, Mauricio Ibánez-Mejia, Onno Oncken, Mario de Freitas, Vickye Vélez, Andrés Mesa, Lina Serna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Detailed interpretations of reflection seismic data and new U-Pb and Hf isotope geochemistry in zircon, reveal that the basement of the Lower Magdalena Valley basin is the northward continuation of the basement terranes of the northern Central Cordillera, and thus that the Lower Magdalena experienced a similar pre-Cenozoic tectonic history as the latter. New U-Pb and Hf analyses of zircon from borehole basement samples retrieved in the basin show that the southeastern region consists of Permo-Triassic (232-300Ma) metasediments, which were intruded by Late Cretaceous (75–89 Ma) granitoids. In the northern Central Cordillera, west of the Palestina Fault System, similar Permo-Triassic terranes are also intruded by Late Cretaceous felsic plutons and display ESE-WNW-trending structures. Therefore, our new data and analyses prove not only the extension of the Permo-Triassic Tahamí-Panzenú terrane into the western Lower Magdalena, but also the along-strike continuity of the Upper Cretaceous magmatic arc of the northern Central Cordillera, which includes the Antioquia Batholith and related plutons. Hf isotopic analyses from the Upper Cretaceous Bonga pluton suggest that it intruded new crust with oceanic affinity, which we interpret as the northern continuation of a Lower Cretaceous oceanic terrane (Quebradagrande?) into the westernmost Lower Magdalena. Volcanic andesitic basement predominates in the northwestern Lower Magdalena while Cretaceous low-grade metamorphic rocks that correlate with similar terranes in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Guajira are dominant in the northeast, suggesting that the Tahamí-Panzenú terrane does not extend into the northern Lower Magdalena. Although the northeastern region of the Lower Magdalena has a similar NE-SW fabric as the San Lucas Ridge of the northeastern Central Cordillera and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, lithologic and geochronologic data suggest that the San Lucas terrane terminates to the north against the northeastern Lower Magdalena, as the Palestina Fault System bends to the NE. The NE-SW trend of basement faults in the northeastern Lower Magdalena is probably inherited from the Jurassic rifting event which is responsible for the conspicuous fabric of surrounding terranes outcropping to the east of the Palestina Fault System, while the ESE-WNW trend in the western Lower Magdalena is inherited from a Late Cretaceous to Eocene strike-slip and extension episode that is widely recognized in the western Andean forearc from Ecuador to Colombia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of South American Earth Sciences
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Basement
  • Caribbean
  • Lower Magdalena Valley
  • Reflection seismic
  • San Jacinto fold belt
  • U-Pb and Hf isotope geochronology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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