The Hatillo Limestone, Pueblo Viejo district, Dominican Republic: Marginal reef or impermeable cap?

Carl E. Nelson, José Polanco, Arturo Macassi, Hugo Domínguez, Joaquín A. Proenza, Lisard Torró, David Rhys, Manuel Iturralde-Vinent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Hatillo Limestone and the underlying Los Ranchos Formation are exposed over an east-west distance of 100 km in the eastern Dominican Republic. The lowermost portion of the Hatillo Limestone in the Pueblo Viejo district contains a Late Lower Albian fossil assemblage including corals and rudist bivalves indicative of a near-shore reef environment. Diamond drilling in the Pueblo Viejo district and exposures in the open pits show that the Hatillo Limestone conformably overlies the Early Cretaceous Los Ranchos Formation. Volcanogenic massive sulfide beds, exposed in the Moore pit, provide evidence for an Early Cretaceous, syn-mineralization paleosurface. Altered and mineralized clasts in the epiclastic, sedimentary host-rock section at the Pueblo Viejo mine indicate that the ore deposits were open to erosion during hydrothermal alteration and mineralization. The Hatillo Limestone did not overlie the ore deposits during the mineralizing event and, consequently, could not have acted as an impermeable cap to ascending hydrothermal fluids. Intra-oceanic island arc volcanism (Los Ranchos Formation) overlapped at the Aptian–Albian boundary (112 Ma) with a marginal fringing reef (basal Hatillo Limestone). The marginal reef gradually gave way to deeper-water facies as Hatillo Limestone deposition progressed through the middle Albian. Low-angle reverse faulting, penetrative deformation, and metamorphic recrystallization affected the Hatillo Limestone as well as the Los Ranchos and Maimón formations during the Late Cretaceous. Deformation intensity and metamorphic grade progressed from incipient metamorphism in the Pueblo Viejo district to schists in the Maimón Formation to amphibolite near a faulted contact with the Loma Caribe peridotite.

Translated title of the contributionLa Caliza Hatillo, distrito de Pueblo Viejo, República Dominicana: ¿Un arrecife marginal o capa impermeable?
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA011119
JournalBoletin de la Sociedad Geologica Mexicana
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Caribbean tectonics
  • Cretaceous metamorphism
  • Early Cretaceous unconformity
  • Los Ranchos Formation
  • arc polarity reversal.


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