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The Geological Evolution of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico—Some Critical Problems and Areas

  • Thomas W. Donnelly

Abstract

The fascinating and complex area of Middle America—roughly the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and adjacent land areas—has always attracted the attention of geologists. Geographically and politically fragmented, this dominantly oceanic area displays a rich panoply of geologic phenomena: earthquakes, volcanoes, defoimed and metamorphosed sedimentary rocks of various ages, and a wide spectrum of igneous rock types. Because of the wide variety of phenomena displayed and because of the limited area of outcropping rock, geological interpretations of this region have largely been framed to fit prevailing contemporary geological fancies and to reflect one side or another of a geological debate centering around more distant areas. Thus, the Caribbean has figured prominently in debates such as “where do the Appalachians go?”. In some cases the disputants have not been Caribbean geologists ; in fact, the earliest summarizer of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico—the estimable C. Schuchert (1935)—did not even visit the area and based his conclusions solely on his admirable summary of the existing literature.

Keywords

Late Cretaceous Oceanic Crust Early Cretaceous Flood Basalt Geological Evolution 
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

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Donnelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesState University of New YorkBinghamtonUSA

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