Review of Geochronologic and Geochemical Data of the Greater Antilles Volcanic Arc and Implications for the Evolution of Oceanic Arcs
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Hu, H. Y... [et al.] (2022). Review of geochronologic and geochemical data of the Greater Antilles volcanic arc and implications for the evolution of oceanic arcs. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 23, e2021GC010148. [https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GC010148]
SponsorshipFederal State Funding at Kiel University; German Research Foundation (DFG) RO4174/3-3; Agencia Estatal de Investigacion (AEI) grant MICINN
The Greater Antilles islands of Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Jamaica plus the Virgin Islands host fragments of the fossil convergent margin that records Cretaceous subduction (operated for about 90 m.y.) of the American plates beneath the Caribbean plate and ensuing arc-continent collision in Late Cretaceous-Eocene time. The “soft” collision between the Greater Antilles Arc (GAA) and the Bahamas platform (and the margin of the Maya Block in western Cuba) preserved much of the convergent margin. This fossil geosystem represents an excellent natural laboratory for studying the formation and evolution of an intraoceanic convergent margin. We compiled geochronologic (664 ages) and geochemical data (more than 1,500 analyses) for GAA igneous and metamorphic rocks. The data was classified with a simple fourfold subdivision: fore-arc mélange, fore-arc ophiolite, magmatic arc, and retro-arc to inspect the evolution of GAA through its entire lifespan. The onset of subduction recorded by fore-arc units, together with the oldest magmatic arc sequence shows that the GAA started in Early Cretaceous time and ceased in Paleogene time. The arc was locally affected (retro-arc region in Hispaniola) by the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) in Early Cretaceous and strongly in Late Cretaceous time. Despite multiple biases in the database presented here, this work is intended to help overcome some of the obstacles and motivate systematic study of the GAA. Our results encourage exploration of offshore regions, especially in the east where the forearc is submerged. Offshore explorations are also encouraged in the south, to investigate relations with the CLIP.