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Volcanic contribution to emergence of Central Panama in the Early Miocene

Buchs, David M., Irving, Derek, Coombs, Henry, Miranda, Roberto, Wang, Jian, Coronado, Maurylis, Arrocha, Rodrigo, Lacerda, Mauricio, Goff, Creed, Almengor, Eladio, Portugal, Enier, Franceschi, Pastora, Chichaco, Eric and Redwood, Stewart D. 2019. Volcanic contribution to emergence of Central Panama in the Early Miocene. Scientific Reports 9 (1) , -. 10.1038/s41598-018-37790-2

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Abstract

Formation of the Panama Isthmus, that had global oceanographic and biotic effects in the Neogene, is generally associated with tectonic uplift during collision of the Panama volcanic arc with South America. However, new field, geochemical and geochronological data from the Culebra Cut of the Panama Canal suggest that volcanism also contributed to the Isthmus emergence in the Early Miocene. This volcanism is recorded in a newly-recognised Central Panama volcanic field that includes several phases of development. Early activity of this field along the Panama Canal was associated with proximal effusive to explosive felsic products during formation of subaerial stratovolcanoes and possible domes ca. 21 Ma. This was followed by a period of marine transgression ca. 21–18 Ma, with more distal volcanism documented by tuffs that deposited in marine to terrestrial environments. Finally, proximal mafic volcanism formed tephra cones in a monogenetic field ca. 18(-?) Ma. This was associated with phreatomagmatic processes in a coastal environment, with remarkable kilometre-wide subvolcanic peperitic intrusions. We propose based on these observations that formation of the Central Panama volcanic field was critical in shaping regional topography, and that this could have actively contributed to obstruction and closure of an interoceanic strait in Central Panama.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 12 December 2018
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 23:14
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/119228

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