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Geology of central Dominican Republic


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The geology of approximately 5000 sq km in central Dominican Republic has been mapped and described. Metamorphosed, pre-Middle Albian(P), volcanic rocks of the greenschist facies crop out in a belt that trends northwest-southeast across the mapped area. The metamorphosed rocks occur as two distinct rock types: metamorphosed mafic volcanic rocks (Duarte Formation and unnamed rocks northeast of Jarabacoa); and a unit composed predominantly of metamorphosed quartz keratophyre (Maimon Formation). A fault zone containing a large elongate body of serpentinized peridotite separates the two metamorphosed units. At the east end of the Cordillera Central, the trend of the peridotite and of the schistosity in the metamorphic rocks is approximately N. 40° W., but near La Vega in the northwest corner of the area studied the trend changes to N. 70° W. Unconformably overlying the metamorphosed Duarte Formation are vitric basalts of the Siete Cabezas Formation, and unconformably overlying the Maimon Formation are pyroxene andesite and tuff of the Peravillo Formation. The Siete Cabezas and Peravillo Formations are pre-Tertiary and probably also pre-Middle Albian. The oldest dated rocks are Lower Cretaceous Middle Aptian-Middle Albian, and these occur at the base of the known Cretaceous section. The sequence began with the extrusion of various volcanic types that constitute the Los Ranchos Formation. Minor shallow-water sedimentary rocks and radiolarian tuff occur interlayered in the volcanic rocks. Deposition of the Hatillo Limestone of Early Cretaceous age followed the eruption of Los Ranchos rocks. Fine tuffs of the Las Lagunas Formation (Lower Cretaceous?) were deposited conformably upon the limestone. Cenomanian to Lower Maestrichtian deposits of coarse tuff, fine tuff, lapillituff, and quartz keratophyre comprise the Tireo Formation. Uplift and erosion seem to have taken place in Late Campanian to Early Maestrichtian; and middle to late Maestrichtian(?) limestone and clastic deposits of the Las Canas Limestone, Don Juan Formation, and other unnamed formations were deposited unconformably upon older rocks. Deposition of the Las Canas Limestone (latest Cretaceous) was followed conformably by Paleocene to middle Eocene wacke, tuff, and algal limestone of the Loma Caballero Formation. Early Eocene tuff, mudstone, limestone, and limestone pebble conglomerate of the Los Banitos Formation occur south of the Loma Caballero Formation. Deposits of shale, siltstone, sandstone, and limestone were also accumulating in early Eocene time in a basin to the west on the south side of the present Cordillera Central. Eocene volcanism and uplift near central Dominican Republic are in marked contrast to Eocene limestone deposition in the northern and southern parts of the country and in Haiti. Major faulting and northeastward thrusting occurred in late Eocene time. Oligocene and younger sections are dominated by clastic sedimentary rocks which fill deep basins north and south of the present Cordillera Central. An episode of deformation in late Oligocene time affected parts of the Dominican Republic. Plutons of tonalite (foliated), hornblendite, and augite norite intrude the Duarte Formation and are considered pre-Middle Albian(?). The serpentinized peridotite mass appears to have been emplaced after these intrusive rocks and is also considered to be pre-Middle Albian(?). Unfoliated tonalite plutons (some batholiths) of Maestrichtian-middle Eocene age intrude rocks as young as Campanian. Stocks and sills of pyroxene diorite and gabbro were intruded in the late Eocene.
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... Volumetrically significant on-land portions of ECCOP are exposed in the Greater (Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico; e.g. Bowin 1966;Donnelly et al. 1973;Sinton et al. 1998;Escuder-Viruete et al. 2007aJolly et al. 2007;Hastie et al., 2008a;Lidiak et al. 2011;Mitchell et al. 2022), Lesser (Trinidad, Tobago; e.g. Wadge and MacDonald 1985) and Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao; e.g. ...
... The 73-km-long by up to 9-km-wide Maimón-Amina belt, the main object of this study, is in steep fault contact with the Loma Caribe belt to the southwest and with the Los Ranchos and Río Hatillo Formations to the northeast (Bowin 1966). Along its southern segment, the Maimón Formation is separated from the Loma Caribe peridotites by the Peralvillo Sur Formation ( Figure 2B and C). ...
... and carbonate beds of the Albian Río Hatillo(Bonilla-Rodríguez, 2014;Bowin 1966;Myczynski and Iturralde-Vinent 2005;Bonilla- Rodríguez et al. 2014;Nelson et al. 2020) and Cenomanian Las Lagunas Formations (Figure 2B). South of the Hato Viejo fault zone, exposed rocks belong to Aptian-Albian back-arc basin basalts of the Río Verde Formation(Escuder-Viruete et al. 2010) and to units related to the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) of Aptian(Duarte Complex;Escuder-Viruete et al. 2007a) andCampanian-Maastrichtian (Pelona-Pico Duarte and Siete Cabezas Formations;Escuder-Viruete et al. 2008Sandoval et al. 2015) age. ...
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 northeastern half of the Median Belt. First 40 Ar/ 39 Ar 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. ARTICLE HISTORY
... The Hatillo Limestone is a massive, light-to medium-gray, biogenic limestone of late Aptian to middle Albian age. Bowin (1966) named the unit for exposures near the town of Hatillo ( Figure 2) and described "a shallow water marine deposit of Early Cretaceous age." Russell and Kesler (1991) described the Hatillo Limestone as composed of a basal conglomerate overlain by sandstone followed by calcareous sandstone and mudstone with abundant marine fossil fragments and, finally, by "typical massive reef limestone." ...
... The Hatillo Limestone is overlain by massive limestone of the Las Cañas Limestone. An unconformity reported by Bowin (1966) between these two lithologically similar limestones is now covered by the Hatillo Reservoir ( Figure 2). Iturralde-Vinent (1997) reported a late Albian age for the Las Cañas Limestone based on field examination and a fossil assemblage described by Koschmann and Gordon (1950). ...
... Nelson (2000) Bowin (1966) proposed an Aptian-Albian age for the Hatillo Limestone based on fossils from a single (unrecorded) location. Mycynski and Iturralde (2005) The age of the Hatillo Limestone as derived from fossil assemblages is in close agreement with the age derived from isotopic analysis. ...
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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 por- tion 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 envi- ronment. 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-min- eralization paleosurface. Altered and min- eralized 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 min- eralizing event and, consequently, could not have acted as an impermeable cap to ascend- ing 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.
... The source of their clay is associated with intermediate and mafic volcanic geology, which is not present in the Saman a Peninsula. Instead, candidate regions which exhibit appropriate igneous (intermediate to mafic composition) geology include central Hispaniola (e.g., Tireo complex), the province of El Seibo in eastern Hispaniola (Bowin 1966;Toloczyki and Ramirez 1991), and especially several regions of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Wilson, Orris, and Gray 2019). Volcanic rocks are documented in the eastern part of Hispaniola (Toloczyki and Ramirez 1991;Wilson, Orris, and Gray 2019) and are very common in Puerto Rico, including within the Sabana Grande formation in the southwest, the South Central Maravillas formation, and the Guynabo formation in the northeast. ...
... The deformation in northern Hispaniola is largely due to oblique arc-continent, intra-arc and retroarc collisions. Loma Caribe Peridotites form the core of the Mesozoic-age Median Belt in the Cordillera Central of the DR (Bowin, 1966;Lewis & Draper, 1990). Southern Hispaniola is characterized by Cretaceous-age flood basalts of the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (LIP) (Corbeau et al., 2017;Duncan & Hargraves, 1984;Mann et al., 1991;Maurrasse et al., 1979;Sen et al., 1988). ...
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The Caribbean Island of Hispaniola resulted from plate convergence that brought together distinct terranes and may include one or more active microplates. These processes may have brought seismically anisotropic materials to the island or created anisotropic structures through deformation. Our goal is to identify and model interfaces that bound seismically anisotropic media and/or dipping interfaces between isotropic layers beneath Hispaniola and assess the implications of our results for the region's tectonics. We perform harmonic decomposition of receiver function gathers for 17 broadband seismic stations deployed on the island. Our results reveal (a) a layer bounded by interfaces that produce opposite polarity on the transverse receiver functions at 25 and 41 km depth in the northern and eastern Dominican Republic that corresponds to the subducting North American oceanic lithosphere, (b) a layer at ∼8–17 km depth (also bounded by interfaces that produce opposite polarity) beneath the Cordillera Central in the central and eastern parts of the island that may indicate the crystalline, well-differentiated lower crust of this long-lived terrane, and (c) an interface that bounds anisotropic material at 22 km depth beneath southwestern Hispaniola. This last interface may correspond to the underthrusting Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP), in which case it would mark the CLIP's upper boundary and the lower boundary is too gradual a transition to produce conversions.
... The first interpretation of the SPB evolution was given in Ladd et al. (1981) based on the interpretation of seismic profiles acquired by the University of Texas in 1977. This work identified four main unconformities in the basin and correlated them with onshore geological mapping carried out by Bowin (1966). The basal unconformity, showing the top of the seismic basement, would correspond to the Duarte complex (interpreted as a lower Cretaceous oceanic plateau: Escuder-Viruete et al. 2009). ...
... En el área de Pueblo Viejo se ha minado una docena de skarns de Fe en el Distrito Maimón-Ha llo (Bowin, 1966). En parte la mineralización se presentaba in situ (Sabana Grande, Las Lagunas) y en parte como bloques de hasta 12 toneladas contenidos en arcillas laterí cas. ...
La Asociación de Servicios Geológicos y Mineros de Iberoamérica (ASGMI), bajo los auspicios de la Comisión de la Carta Geológica del Mundo (CCGM) preparó la primera versión del Mapa Metalogénico de América Central y el Caribe. La coordinación general estuvo a cargo del Servicio Geológico Minero Argentino (SEGEMAR), con tres coordinaciones regionales: América Central a cargo del Servicio Geológico Mexicano (SGM), las islas del Caribe a cargo del Servicio Geológico Nacional de la República Dominicana y el norte de América del Sur a cargo del Servicio Geológico Colombiano. Participaron además los Servicios Geológicos, Direcciones de Minería u organismos equivalentes de los países involucrados, que designaron Coordinadores Nacionales. El proyecto fue presentado y aprobado en ocasión de la Asamblea de ASGMI realizada en La Habana (Cuba) en 2017. Posteriormente fue presentado ante la Comisión de la Carta Geológica del Mundo (CCGM) en París en 2018. Los objetivos, criterios metodológicos y cronograma de trabajo fueron así establecidos. En los años 2018 y 2019 se realizaron dos reuniones de los participantes, una en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, y otra en Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Los avances del mapa fueron presentados durante la Reunión Santo Domingo de 2018 y en ocasión del XV Simposio IAGOD, celebrado en Salta (Argentina) ese mismo año. El mapa fue generado digitalmente a partir del Mapa Estructural del Caribe (Bouysse et al., 2020), provisto por la Comisión de la Carta Geológica del Mundo, realizándose una actualización de la información geológica, a partir de la bibliografía citada en el texto. Los polígonos fueron reclasifi cados y reagrupados en orden a definir unidades tectonoestratigráficas y mejor reflejar la metalogénesis de la región.
... The first interpretation of the SPB evolution was given in Ladd et al. (1981) based on the interpretation of seismic profiles acquired by the University of Texas in 1977. This work identified four main unconformities in the basin and correlated them with onshore geological mapping carried out by Bowin (1966). The basal unconformity, showing the top of the seismic basement, would correspond to the Duarte complex (interpreted as a lower Cretaceous oceanic plateau: Escuder-Viruete et al. 2009). ...
The San Pedro basin (SPB) is located at the south-eastern margin of Hispaniola Island (Dominican Republic and Haiti). It is the largest offshore basin of the Dominican Republic with an extension of 6000 km2. The basin has a maximum water depth of 1600 m and is positioned to the rear of the Muertos Thrust Belt (MTB). The SPB bounds to the West by The Azua basin which has a proven petroleum system and small oil production has been recovered from the Maleno and Higuerito fields. While in the scientific literature the SPB and the Azua basins have been considered as disconnected sedimentary systems, our current study suggests both are shared a common tectonic evolution and therefore the presence of an untested petroleum system in the SPB can be expected. We have carried out a detailed review and synthesis of the onshore systematic geological mapping (SYSMIN I & II Programs) together with the integration of a large volume of sub-surface geophysical data. This includes analysis of 60 exploration wells provided by Banco Nacional de Datos de Hidrocarburos (BNDH) of the Dominican Republic, processing of new 2D multi-channel seismic data from the Spanish Research Project NORCARIBE, re-processing of legacy seismic profiles and interpretation of gravity and magnetic data. Our results led us to propose a new evolution model for the SPB. Basement of both basins consists of Cretaceous sedimentary and volcanic rocks of intra- and back-arc settings. A change in the stress regime in the Campanian led to partial inversion of the basement units favouring the deposition of two main sequences of Campanian to Maastrichtian and Palaeocene? -Eocene age in a submarine foreland setting. Due to collision between the Carbonate Bahamas Province and Hispaniola in middle Eocene, compressional stresses were transferred to the south where Cretaceous and Paleogene sediments were deformed forming the current configuration of MTB and generating a new accommodation space where SPB was developed since Upper Eocene / Oligocene until Present. While the Azua basin was finally exhumed after Miocene/Pliocene, most of SPB continued as an actively subsiding basin. This new model has allowed identification of the main elements of the petroleum system in the SPB basin: a mature Upper Cretaceous source rock and Oligocene to Miocene carbonate and clastic reservoirs interbedded with sealing shales and marls. Main traps (structural and stratigraphic) are of Oligocene to Miocene age and their formation seems to be synchronous to oil generation. While main elements of the petroleum system seem to be present in the basin, timing is a key issue that must be addressed and assessed in any future exploration in the basin.
... Entre los trabajos más específicos, los más numerosos se centran en los materiales neógenos y cuaternarios de la Llanura Costera del Caribe y la región de Los Haitises, destacando los de Barrett (1962), Brouwer y Brouwer (1982), Geister (1982), Schubert y Cowart (1982) e Iturralde-Vinent (2001). En la Cordillera Oriental destacan las tesis doctorales de Bourdon (1985) y Bowin (1960), aunque ésta afecta sólo parcialmente a la cordillera. ...
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The geological record of Hispaniola documents a continuous increase in island surface since the Early Pleistocene due to the emergence of marine deposits. In eastern Hispaniola, the Llanura Costera del Caribe and the Los Haitises regions formed by the emergence in the Early-Middle Pleistocene of limestone of the Los Haitises Formation, and marls and marly limestone of the Yanigua Formation (Pliocene-Early Pleistocene). These formations were both deposited on the platforms surrounding the precursor relief of the Cordillera Oriental. In the Coastal Belt of the Llanura Costera del Caribe, continued uplift and Pleistocene global sealevel changes are reflected by two main stepped depositional terraces comprising reef limestone of the La Isabela Formation. Radiometric dating indicates the lowest terrace of the La Isabela Formation (Lower Surface of the Llanura Costera del Caribe) formed during MIS 5e in the Late Pleistocene. The age of the Upper Surface of the Llanura Costera del Caribe estimated by extrapolation of uplift rates deduced from the age of the lowest terrace is consistent with the available biostratigraphic age (Early Pleistocene) for the last deposition phases of the Los Haitises Formation. Correlation of the Upper Surface with erosional surfaces in the Cordillera Oriental and the Los Haitises region allows a reconstruction of the palaeogeographic changes in eastern Hispaniola during the Quaternary. © 2017, Instituto Geologico y Minero de Espana. All rights reserved.
... Maimón como las propias calizas de la Fm. Hatillo fueron intruidas por dioritas de aparente edad Paleocena (Bowin, 1966;Martín y Draper, 1999). ...
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The recently discovered Romero deposit, located in the Tres Palmas district, Cordillera Central of the Dominican Republic, has probable reserves of 840,000 oz gold, 980,000 oz silver and 136 Mlb copper. Mineralization is hosted by intermediate volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of the lower stratigraphic sequence of the Cretaceous Tireo formation. The andesitic host rocks yield a U-Pb zircon concordia age of 116 ± 10 Ma. Au-Ag-Cu(-Zn) mineralization is divided into: (1) an upper domain with stacked massive sulfide lenses and sulfide dissemination within a 20-m-thick level of massive anhydrite-gypsum nodules, and (2) a lower domain with a high-grade stockwork mineralization in the form of cm-scale veins with open space fillings of fibrous silica and chalcopyrite, sphalerite, pyrite (+electrum ± Au-Ag tellurides). The δ34S values of sulfides from the upper (−7.6 and +0.9‰) and lower (−2.4 and +5.6‰) domains are consistent with a heterogeneous sourcing of S, probably combining inorganically and organically induced reduction of Albian-Aptian seawater sulfate. Despite this, a magmatic source for sulfur cannot be discarded. The δ34S (+19.2 and +20.0‰) and δ18O (+12.5 and +14.2‰) values of anhydrite-gypsum nodules are also consistent with a seawater sulfate source and suggest crystallization in equilibrium with aqueous sulfides at temperatures higher than 250ºC. These data point to a classification of Romero as a volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposit formed in an axial position of the Greater Antilles paleo-arc in connection with island arc tholeiitic magmatism during a steady-state subduction regime. Circulation of hydrothermal fluids could have been promoted by a local extensional tectonic regime expressed in the Tres Palmas district as a graben structure.
This paper is an introduction to the three articles that follow it. It outlines a broad plan of continuing research on the Caribbean region aimed at the problem of origin of island arcs and their development into alpine mountain systems. The present phase of the investigation is concerned largely with the structure and the determination of the exact sequence of events in the history of the eastern portion of the Caribbean so that the geophysical data already in hand may be interpreted. Major results of the last few years are summarized.
MacLachlan mapped the La Victoria area in the period 1949 to 1951, accepting R. J. Smith's (1953) stratigraphic subdivisions. Shagam later demonstrated that the Paracotos formation of Smith contained within it a major unconformity and consigned the lower part of it to a new formation, the Tucutunemo, reserving the designation Paracotos formation for the upper portion characteristic of the type locality near the town of Paracotos. The Tucutunemo formation lies conformably above the Las Mercedes formation of the Caracas group and hence is assigned as the uppermost formation in that group. Within this formation the Los Naranjos member, consisting in large part of flow breccias and tuffs, represents the beginning of volcanic activity accompanying the earliest stages of mountain building. The Villa de Cura group consisting largely of volcanic rocks is thought to lie above the Caracas group, but no contact between the two has been found. They are separated by a fault trough containing younger (Maestrichtian) Paracotos formation rocks. The Tiara formation lavas postdate the main episode of metamorphism which has affected the Caracas and Villa de Cura groups but predate the Paracotos formation which contains Tiara pebbles. Paleocene rocks lie unconformably upon the folded and slightly metamorphosed Paracotos formation. Hornblende-quartz diorite and sodic granite intrude Caracas group rocks and are metamorphosed with them. Serpentinized peridotites occur along the Paracotos fault trough and are at least in part emplaced as solid intrusions. Gabbro intrusions also are found along this trough. The structure is complicated in detail but comparatively simple in broad aspect.
Thesis--Princeton University. Bibliography: leaves 167-170. Microfilm.
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