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, 62:9 | Cite as

An upper Paleogene shallowing-upward sequence in the southern Sandino Forearc Basin (NW Costa Rica): response to tectonic uplift

  • Goran Andjić
  • Claudia Baumgartner-Mora
  • Peter O. Baumgartner
Original Article

Abstract

The Sandino Forearc Basin of western Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica (Central America) provides a Campanian to Pliocene sedimentary record. The study of the onshore part of the basin in northwestern Costa Rica reveals for the first time the occurrence of upper Paleogene shallow-marine siliciclastic and carbonate sequences. These sequences have remained undescribed so far and are grouped herein into two new lithostratigraphic units—the upper Eocene Junquillal Formation (Fm.) and the upper Oligocene Juanilla Fm. The upper Eocene Junquillal Fm. is characterized by storm-related, arenitic to conglomeratic deposits comprised in metric, massive amalgamated beds. The shallow shelfal environment of deposition is attested by the presence of hummocky and swaley cross-stratifications. The lithologies of the Junquillal Fm. were previously considered to be part of the underlying, deep-water turbiditic deposits of the Eocene Descartes Fm. The deposition of the Junquillal Fm. is indicative of tectonic uplift that forced regression, which affected the southeastern part of the Sandino Forearc Basin during the late Eocene. The upper Oligocene Juanilla Fm. unconformably overlies the Junquillal Fm. and occurs as a 25-m-thick, 700-m-wide outcrop on Isla Juanilla. It is composed essentially of nodular, coral framestones exhibiting massive, closely packed corals in growth position that are associated with coralline red algae and Larger Benthic Foraminifera (LBF). A late Oligocene age of the reef is attested by LBF assemblages occurring in two different facies. The Juanilla Fm. coral reef is a unique exposure, characterized by extensive constructed coral framework, and which has no equivalent in the Oligocene geological record of Central America. The reef grew on a short-lived, siliciclastic-poor tectonic high, which developed in relation to a lower Oligocene, basin-scale folding event in the Sandino Forearc Basin.

Keywords

Coral reef Larger Benthic Foraminifera Tectonic uplift Eocene Oligocene Sandino Basin N-Costa Rica 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are thankful to Thomas A. Stemann (University of West Indies, Jamaica) and Jörn Geister (Natural History Museum of Bern, Switzerland) for the determination of some coral taxa. We thank Katica Drobne (Ivan Rakovec Paleontological Institute, Slovenia) for her help with some LBF. We are grateful to Simonetta Monechi (University of Florence), who determined some nannofossils. Many thanks go to Roger Blanco and Maria Marta Chavarria of the Santa Rosa National Park administration (Costa Rica) for logistic support and for providing us the documentation for sample export. We are thankful to Anibal and Minor Lara for safe boat trips and to David Laurent for the help in the field. Comments of Antonino Briguglio were very useful. We thank one anonymous reviewer and the editor Axel Munnecke for their constructive comments and suggestions that helped to improve the manuscript. This research was supported by funds of the Swiss National Science Foundation project no. 200021-134873 and 200020-143894, and the Herbette Foundation at the University of Lausanne, granted to P.O. Baumgartner.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Goran Andjić
    • 1
  • Claudia Baumgartner-Mora
    • 1
  • Peter O. Baumgartner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Université de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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