Emplacement of Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous radiolarites of the Nicoya Complex (Costa Rica)

P. DENYER, P. O. BAUMGARTNER

Abstract


We present a new model to explain the origin, emplacement and stratigraphy of the Nicoya Complex in the NW part of the Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica) based on twenty-five years of field work, accompanied with the evolution of geochemical, vulcanological, petrological, sedimentological and paleontological paradigms. The igneous-sedimentary relation, together with radiolarian biochronology of the NW-Nicoya Peninsula is re-examined. We interpret the Nicoya Complex as a cross-section of a fragment of the Late Cretaceous Caribbean Plateau, in which the deepest levels are exposed in the NW-Nicoya Peninsula. Over 50% of the igneous rocks are intrusive (gabbros and in less proportion plagiogranites) which have a single mantle source; the remainder are basalts with a similar geochemical signature. Ar39/Ar40 radioisotopic whole rock and plagioclase ages range throughout the area from 84 to 83 Ma (Santonian) for the intrusives, and from 139 to 88 Ma (Berriasian-Turonian) for the basalts. In contrast, Mn-radiolarites that crop out in the area are older in age, Bajocian (Middle Jurassic) to Albian (middle Cretaceous). These Mn-radiolaritic blocks are set in a “matrix” of multiple gabbros and diabases intrusions. Chilled margins of magmatites, and hydrothermal baking and leaching of the radiolarites confirm the Ar39/Ar40 dating of igneous rocks being consistently younger than most of the radiolarian cherts. No Jurassic magmatic basement has been identified on the Nicoya Peninsula. We interpret the Jurassic-Cretaceous chert sediment pile to have been disrupted and detached from its original basement by multiple magmatic events that occurred during the formation of the Caribbean Plateau. Coniacian-Santonian (Late Cretaceous), Fe-rich radiolarites are largely synchronous and associated with late phases of the Plateau.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1344/105.000000366

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Geoscience e-Journals

 

Previous

 

Random

 

Next

 

List

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Geologica Acta (ISSN-1695-6133)
Biblioteca de Geologia (UB-CSIC) | Facultat de Ciències de la Terra, Martí i Franquès s/n 08028 Barcelona | Spain
Phone: +34 93 403 19 89 | Fax: +34 93 402 14 21 | E-mail: geologica-acta@ictja.csic.es
RCUB revistesub@ub.edu Avís Legal RCUB Universitat de Barcelona