Mesozoic and Cenozoic Plate Evolution of the Caribbean Region

  • Thomas W. Donnelly
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 4)


The reconstruction of Caribbean plate history is an uncertain task, but a task that has intrigued generations of geologists. Each worker has turned to the task of historical interpretation influenced by a particular set of experiences or a special approach, and the results have been accordingly varied. A complete history of interpretations would form the subject of a fascinating chapter in the history of geological philosophy, but such is not the purpose of this chapter. Instead, I will dwell on a set of data that call for what I believe to be a relatively conservative view of Cretaceous and Tertiary plate history. My own interpretation is based heavily on my own or my students’ field experiences in the northeastern West Indies, Guatemala, Belize, and Venezuela, as well as extensive field excursions in Hispaniola, Jamaica, the Lesser Antilles, Central America, and the Dutch Antilles. I am further heavily influenced by the results of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), Leg 15, which produced information of fundamental interest in the Venezuelan and Colombian Basins, and by several dissertations of the Princeton University group in northern Venezuela.


Volcanic Rock Late Cretaceous Early Cretaceous Magnetic Anomaly Flood Basalt 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas W. Donnelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesState University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA

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