TECTONICS AND STRATIGRAPHY OF THE JURASSIC-CRETACEOUS CUBA-BAHAMAS SEDIMENTARY PROVINCE: A RECORD OF RIFTING, RESTRICTED EVAPORITE TO MARINE BASIN, CARBONATE PLATFORMS AND TECTONIC INVERSION
The Santaren Basin is a deep basin, likely >60,000 ft, made up of high-reflectivity horizons of ‘basinal’ Jurassic carbonate- evaporite marine strata, which in core are base-level deepening cycles sitting seaward of the reef margin. Reefs rimmed the basin and in places set-up on rift-shoulder fault blocks. Platform top and interior strata consist of base-level cycles of oolitic sands, restricted marine mud-supported sediments and subaqueous evaporites.
The reef-rimmed platform is best defined along the eastern margin of the Santaren Basin and along the Great Bahama Bank as a southward-facing margin fronting the evaporite-marine basin. A north-facing carbonate platform developed onshore Cuba and extended northward along the western margin of the basin onto Cay Sal Bank. The north-facing Cuban platform crops out in onshore Cuba. These opposing platform margins (Cuba and southern Bahamas) faced each other and were only separated by a restricted evaporitic-marine basin filled with alternating anhydrite, salt and carbonate strata.
The reef-rimming margins continued into the Late Cretaceous when eustatic sea-level rise resulted in margins drowning or migrating’ landward’ (backstepping). Late Cretaceous platforms aggraded and over-steepened. Along the southern Cuban platform, the platforms remained drowned prior to plate collision and overthrusting. Seismically defined scalloped margins indicated collapse and mass-wasting near the terminus of the Late Cretaceous and plate boundary collision (Late Paleocene).