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Late Cretaceous arc development on the SW margin of the Caribbean Plate: insights from the Golfito, Costa Rica, and Azuero, Panama, complexes

Buchs, David, Arculus, Richard J., Baumgartner, Peter O., Baumgartner-Mora, Claudia and Ulianov, Alexey 2010. Late Cretaceous arc development on the SW margin of the Caribbean Plate: insights from the Golfito, Costa Rica, and Azuero, Panama, complexes. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 11 (7) , Q07S24. 10.1029/2009GC002901

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Abstract

The processes of arc initiation at the margin of an oceanic plateau are remarkably well preserved along the southern coastline of eastern Costa Rica and western Panama. We present new results of a combined tectonostratigraphic and petrologic study with which protoarc initiation (75–73 Ma) at the margin of an oceanic plateau (89–85 Ma) is documented. Dykes of protoarc igneous rocks within the plateau and occurrences of protoarc igneous rocks are widely distributed. These types of field observations, geochemical data, and paleontologic ages for Late Cretaceous to Eocene fore-arc rocks of the Golfito Complex and Azuero Marginal Complex (southern Costa Rica and western Panama) provide the first direct evidence that a Coniacian–early Santonian oceanic plateau forms the arc basement. Stratigraphic and geochemical constraints from Golfito and Azuero indicate subduction initiation in south Central America, associated with geochemically distinctive suprasubduction igneous rocks, occurred in the late Campanian along the margin of the newly defined Azuero Plateau. Overall, the Golfito Complex and Azuero Marginal Complex provide a significant opportunity for exploration of petrologic mechanisms linking some oceanic plateaus to the growth of continents. The Azuero Plateau may extend further toward the Colombian Basin and forms thickened Caribbean crust. It served as a nucleus for accretion of additional oceanic plateaus, seamounts, and oceanic islands of Pacific origins.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Uncontrolled Keywords: protoarc; oceanic plateau; arc initiation; volcanic arc; Caribbean; Central America
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1525-2027/ (accessed 20/02/2014).
Publisher: American Geophysical Union.
ISSN: 1525-2027
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:46
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/44364

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