2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October –3 November 2010)
Paper No. 220-3
Presentation Time: 2:10 PM-2:25 PM

CONSTRAINING CENOZOIC UPLIFT/EXHUMATION OF THE PANAMA-CHOCO BLOCK BY APATITE AND ZIRCON LOW-TEMPERATURE THERMOCHRONOLOGY: INSIGHTS ON THE ONSET OF COLLISION AND THE MORPHOTECTONIC HISTORY OF THE REGION

RESTREPO-MORENO, Sergio Andres1, CARDONA, Agustin2, JARAMILLO, Carlos2, BAYONA, Germán3, MONTES, Camilo2, and FARRIS, David W.4, (1) Escuela de Ingeniería de Antioquia, Km 2 + 200 Vía Aeropuerto J.M. Córdova, Envigado, 00001, Colombia, sergiorm@ufl.edu, (2) Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Unit 0948, APO AA 34002, Balboa, Ancon, Panama, 0843-03092, Panama, (3) Corporación Geológica ARES, Calle 44A N. 53-96, Bogotá, Colombia, Colombia, (4) Geological Sciences, Florida State University, 909 Antarctic Way, Rm 108 CAR, Tallahassee, FL 32306

Analysis of low-temperature cooling patterns in mountainous settings of Panama and Western Colombia provide direct insight into critical morphotectonic processes, i.e., uplift-exhumation (U-E) that may be related to the collision of the Panama-Chocó Block (PCB) with northwestern South America. The PCB collision is one of the most significant geological events in the Americas during the Cenozoic with important tectonic, climatic, geographic, and biologic repercussions at the regional and global scales. Tectonically, the collision of the PCB has been regarded as the engine of the major phase of uplift and deformation in the Andes of Colombia in the Late Miocene-Pliocene. Although a cause-effect relationship between PCB collision and uplift of the Colombian Andes has been postulated, the chronology of the collision is still a matter of debate with ages ranging from ~ 27 to 4 Ma. During the last half-decade a significant amount of thermo-geochronological and stratigraphic data has been produced for the Central and Eastern Cordilleras of Colombia. This effort is now extended to include Western Colombia and Panama with the aim of using areas proximal to the colisional zone to unravel the timing of collision and the morphotectonic response of the PCB.

We present results of a low temperature thermochronology study (apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He and apatite fission-tracks) on ~40 samples collected along vertical profiles from Western Colombia and Panama. Significant UE phases (0.2-0.5 mm/yr) are found at ca. 47, 26, 14-11, and 5 Ma. Whereas the older Eocene event is probably a record of intra-oceanic tectonic stages in the PCB (seamount accretion or rebounding effects linked to crustal thickening by magmatic addition), the younger post-Oligocene events are consistent with Andean patterns and reflect the interaction with the South American margin and the final consolidation of the Isthmus. Special emphasis is given to the marked pulse of uplift and exhumation in the Colombian Andes and Panama at ~25 Ma. This event possesses synchronicity in the region and is related in space and time to a permanent shift in magmatic patterns in Panamanian arcs associated with extension during orocllinal development. We conclude that this strong pulse of uplift-exhumation marks the onset of collision of the PCB.

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October –3 November 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 220
Developing Chronologies for Tectonic Geomorphic Studies
Colorado Convention Center: Hall E
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 521

© Copyright 2010 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.