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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract



Volume: 65 (1981)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 466

Last Page: 489

Title: Cenozoic Tectonics of Central Hispaniola and Adjacent Caribbean Sea

Author(s): John W. Ladd (2), Tai-Chang Shih (3), C. James Tsai (4)

Abstract:

Seismic reflection profiles across the island margin south of the Dominican Republic indicate the presence of geologic structures similar to structures in the forearc regions seaward of Pacific island arcs. The thick, mildly deformed Tertiary section in San Pedro Basin south of Santo Domingo is separated from the highly deformed sediments of the north slope of the Muertos Trench by an anticlinal ridge. San Pedro Basin is homologous to numerous forearc basins bounded seaward by structurally high trench-slope breaks. The transition landward from subsiding San Pedro Basin to rising Llanos Costeros del Seibo is homologous to the upper-slope discontinuity present in many Pacific arcs. Structures within the sediment wedge beneath the north slope of the Muertos Trench that have omologs in Pacific trench inner slopes include trench-floor turbidite fill, landward-tilted ponded terraces, landward-dipping internal reflections, and a landward continuation of ocean crust beneath the sediment wedge.

The northwest-southeast trending basins and ridges parallel with the Cordillera Central in central Hispaniola may be caused by compression between the Beata Ridge and the Bahama platform. These compressional basin-and-ridge structures die out eastward in Hispaniola where thinner ocean crust apparently under-thrusts Hispaniola from the south. Right-lateral offset along the northeast-trending Beata Ridge lineament may explain the pattern of central Hispaniola mountain ridges terminating eastward against subsiding basins, and vertical offset along the same lineament may explain the topographic and structural rise from the Venezuela Basin westward up to the east flank of the Beata Ridge.

The basin-and-ridge structure of Hispaniola has probably developed in a manner similar to the basin-and-ridge province of southern California which has formed as a consequence of shear along the San Andreas fault.

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