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Bulletin Volcanologique

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 601–607 | Cite as

Late tertiary volcanic stratigraphy of northern central America

  • J. H. Reynolds
Article

Abstract

Correlations of Late Tertiary volcanic stratigraphic columns in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras indicate that a common lithostratigraphic sequence is present throughout northern Central America. The Late Tertiary volcanic sequences are divided into three lithostratigraphic formations that roughly parallel the Pacific coastline. The Chalatenango Formation, composed of rhyolitic tuffs and lavas, is of Middle to Upper Miocene age. It occurs in the northern and central portions of the Tertiary volcanic belt. The Bálsamo Formation consists of andesitic lavas, tuffs, and lahars and is Upper Miocene to Pliocene in age. It is only found on the Pacific coastal side of the Tertiary volcanic belt. The Cuscatlán Formation is made up of rhyolitic tuffs and volcanic sediments overlain by rhyolitic and basaltic lavas that were erupted during the Pliocene. In eastern and central El Salvador the Cuscatlán Formation overlies the Bálsamo Formation on the coastal side of the belt, but in western El Salvador and southeastern Guatemala it overlies the Chalatenango Formation on the northern side of the Tertiary volcanic belt. The apparent offset of the Cuscatlán Formation in western El Salvador may indicate that the underthrusting Cocos Plate was broken into segments in Pliocene time.

Keywords

Miocene Pliocene Volcanic Belt Northern Side Basaltic Lava 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Intern. Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. Reynolds
    • 1
  1. 1.Earth Science Dept.Dartmouth CollegeHanover

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