By K H James; Maria A Lorente; James L Pindell; Geological Society of London.; Origin of the Caribbean Plate Conference

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We interpret the primary Chortı´s-North America plate boundary to lie outboard of Tehuantepec Terrane (trajectory of dashed line, prior to Chiapas shortening). The kink in the trench in SW Gulf of Tehuantepec, associated with a break in the forearc basement, may result from Mid-Miocene shortening in Chiapas Massif/ Foldbelt, and movement along Tonala´ Fault. Numerous north–south grabens that reflect west –east stretching in the tail of Chortı´s may form a step allowing transfer of sinistral shear to the western (thrusted) flank of the Tehuantepec Terrane.

1988; Schaaf et al. 1995; Ferrari et al. 1999); (4) the migrating Caribbean foredeep along northern South America (Dewey & Pindell 1986; Pindell et al. 1991; Fig. 19); (5) the progressive collision and closure between the trailing edge of Caribbean lithosphere (Panama) and Colombia (Keigwin 1978; Pindell et al. 1998; Kennan & Pindell 2009); and (6) the transcurrent separation of northern Hispaniola from Cuba, and the transpressional assembly of the Hispaniolan terranes, along eastward strands of the Cayman Trough transform system (Pindell et al.

L. PINDELL & L. KENNAN Fig. 17. A 33 Ma reconstruction of the circum-Caribbean region, shown in the Indo-Atlantic hot spot reference frame. North America–Caribbean Plate boundary is taking on the form of today’s boundary system. South America– Caribbean motion is ESE-directed, resulting in overthrusting of Caribbean terranes onto central and eastern Venezuela. Southeast dipping subduction beneath the northern Andes at the western South Caribbean Foldbelt was propagating eastward to the north of Maracaibo Block.

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