Turonian-coniacian definition of the Caribbean plate: tectonic and metamorphic record in the Median Belt, Dominican Republic

Lisard Torró, Joaquín A. Proenza, Júlia Farré-de-Pablo, Manuel Jesús Román-Alpiste, Manuel Jesús Román-Alpiste, Antonio Garcia-Casco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Uplift and unroofing of Jurassic-Cretaceous, mantle and crust, arc- and plume-related rock units in the Median Belt of the Dominican Republic exposed basement rocks with a protracted record of tectono-thermal events delineating the evolution of the northern edge of the Caribbean plate. In this article we focus on crustal rock units in the north-eastern half of the Median Belt. First 40Ar/39Ar dating of metamorphic ferri-winchite (86.4 ± 2.5 Ma; crystallization date) and albite (82.3 ± 5.8 and 79.8 ± 1.6 Ma; cooling dates) in metabasites of boninitic photolith from the Aptian-Albian Maimón Formation in the Ozama shear zone points to a tectono-metamorphic event in the Upper Cretaceous. Beltwide, this event caused syn-metamorphic N- to NNE-directed, simple-shear dominated, mylonitic and phyllonitic deformation of the Maimón Formation at peak metamorphic conditions of 8.2 kbar and 380°C. Such conditions are consistent with subduction of a coherent portion of forearc (represented by the Maimón Formation) to depths of ~25-29 km. The tectono-metamorphic event dated here overlaps with the inception of Turonian-Coniacian SW-dipping subduction and metamorphic sole formation in a back-arc position recorded in the Moa-Baracoa ophiolite complex in neighboring Eastern Cuba. Contemporaneity between the subduction inception of forearc and back-arc portions of the Caribbean arc and the main pulse of plume activity recorded in the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) suggests that plume activity promoted general plate instability leading to a regional-scale plate reorganization. This mantle-plume-induced plate margin reorganization was coeval with the inception of the NE-dipping subduction of the Farallón plate beneath Central America leading to the definition of the Caribbean Plate by double-verging subduction zones along its northern and southwestern margins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-253
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Geology Review
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Great Arc of the Caribbean
  • Hispaniola
  • forearc
  • metamorphic age
  • subduction

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