Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Paleomagnetic study of some Cretaceous and tertiary rocks on Hispaniola

  • 54 Accesses

  • 12 Citations


A reconnaissance paleomagnetic study of Hispaniola shows that three igneous units in the Dominican Republic possess meaningful directions of magnetism. A Late Cretaceous tonalite, an Eocene pyroxene diorite and a Miocene andesite porphyry have been investigated. The rock material studied is fresh, and has not been affected by secondary oxidation except in the case of the andesite which is occasionally weathered and reveals some hydrothermal alteration. Alternating field and thermal demagnetization result in removal of viscous remanence in some samples, while others reveal a good stability of NRM and little change in direction. The results disclose directions of magnetization substantially different from that of the present earth's field in Hispaniola and from those obtained from contemporaneous rocks of North America. They yield paleomagnetic poles at 23.1° N, 144.9° W for the Cretaceous tonalite and at 17.4° N, 138.0° W for the Eocene diorite, the positions of which are not significantly different from each other, suggesting no change of geomagnetic field direction during the two epochs. These poles have generally similar positions to those obtained from Late Cretaceous rocks on Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The Miocene data fall into two groups, one having a direction corresponding to a pole closely coinciding with the Miocene North American pole and the other giving a paleomagnetic pole at 68.3° N, 151.9° W coinciding with the Miocene pole for Jamaica. Paleotectonic interpretation of the results suggests that like other Greater Antilles, Hispaniola has been subject to large anticlockwise rotation since Late Cretaceous.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adf-Hall, J. M., Khan, M. A., Dagley, P. andWilson, R. L. (1968),A detailed opaque petrological and magnetic investigation of a single Tertiary lava flow from Skye, Scotland, I. Iron titanium oxide petrology, Geophys. J.16, 375–388.

  2. Ade-Hall, J. M., Palmer, H. C. andHubbard, T. P. (1971),The magnetic and petrological response of basalts to regional hydrothermal oxidation, Geophys. J.24, 137–174.

  3. Ballard, R. D. (1976),Window on earth's interior, Nat'l. Geogr.150, 228–249.

  4. Bowin, C. O. (1966),Geology of Central Dominican Republic (A case history of a part of an island arc) inCaribbean Geological Investigations, (ed. H. H. Hess), Geol. Soc. Amer. Memoir98, 11–84.

  5. Butterlin, J.,La constitution géologique et la structure des Antilles (Centre National de la Récherche Scientifique, Paris 1956), 453 pp.

  6. Dasgupta, S. N. andVincenz, S. A. (1975),Paleomagnetism of a Paleocene pluton on Jamaica, Earth Planet. Sci. Letters25, 49–56.

  7. De Jong, K. A., Manzoni, M., Stavenga, T., Van Duk, F., Van der Voo, R. andZuderveld, J. D. A. (1973),Palaeomagnetic evidence for rotation of Sardinia during the early Miocene, Nature243, 281–283.

  8. Fink, L. K. andHarrison, C. G. A. (1971),Paleomagnetic investigations of selected lava units on Puerto Rico, VIth Caribbean Geological Conference, Margarita, Venezuela, Abstracts (Late Arrivals), 5.

  9. Fisher, R. A. (1953).Dispersion on a sphere, Proc. R. Soc. Lond., Ser. A217, 295–305.

  10. Gose, W. A. andSwartz, D. K.,Paleomagnetic Studies of Cretaceous Rocks from Honduras: Tectonic Implications (Central American Geological Congress, Managua, Nicaragua, 1977).

  11. Guja, N. H. andVincenz, S. A. (1977),Palaeomagnetism of some Late Cretaceous and Miocene igneous rocks on Jamaica, Geophys. J.51, in press.

  12. Hargraves, R. B. andShagam, R. (1969),Paleomagnetic study of La Quinta formation, Venezuela, Bull. Amer. Assoc. Petr. Geol.53, 537–552.

  13. Hargraves, R. B. andSkerlec, G. M. (1976),Tectonic significance of paleomagnetic data from Northern Venezuela, EOS, Trans. Amer. Geophys. U.57, 239.

  14. Heitzler, J. R. (1976),Submersible studies of the Cayman Trough, Geodynamics Project, U.S. Geodynamics Report 1976. 12–17.

  15. Hicken, A., Irving, E., Law, L. K. andHastie, J., Catalogue of paleomagnetic directions and poles (Publications of the Earth Physics Branch, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa45, No. 1. 1972), 145.

  16. Holcolmbe, T. J., Vogt, P. R., Mathews, J. E. andMurchison, R. R. (1973),Evidence for sea-floor spreading in the Cayman Trough, Earth. Planet. Sci. Letters20, 357–371.

  17. Lewis, J. F. (1977), Private communication.

  18. MacDonald, W. D. andMelson, W. G. (1969),A later Cenozoic volcanic province in Hispaniola, Carib. J. Science9, 81–91.

  19. MacDonald, W. D. andOpdyke, N. D. (1972),Tectonic rotations suggested by paleomagnetic results from Northern Colombia, South America, J. Geophys. Res.77, 5720–5730.

  20. Molnar, P. andSykes, L. R. (1969),Tectonics of the Middle America and Caribbean regions from focal mechanisms and seismicity, Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull.80, 1639–1684.

  21. Palmer, H. C. (1972), Private communication.

  22. Soffel, H. (1972),Anticlockwise rotation of Italy between the Eocene and Miocene: paleomagnetic evidence from the Colli Euganei, Italy. Earth Planet. Sci. Letters17, 207–210.

  23. Steinhauser, P. andVincenz, S. A. (1973),Paleomagnetism of Lower Cretaceous lavas on Jamaica, Archiv. Met. Geophys. Biokl., Ser. A22, 325–336.

  24. Van den Berg, J., Klootwijk, C. T. andWonders, T.,Implications for the rotational movement of Italy from current paleomagnetic research in the Umbrian sequence, Northern Apennines (Progress in Geodynamics, Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, Amsterdam, 1975), pp. 165–175.

  25. Van der Voo, R. (1969),Paleomagnetic evidence for the rotation of the Iberian peninsula, Tectonophys.7, 5–56.

  26. Vincenz, S. A., Braught, G. J. andMeyers, III, A. C. (1965),Thermal demagnetization of some Precambrian igneous rocks of Missouri, J. Geomagn. Geoelectr.17, 337–355.

  27. Vincenz, S. A. Steinhauser, P. andDasgupta, S. N. (1973),Paleomagnetism of Upper Cretaceous ignimbrites on Jamaica, Z. Geophys.39, 727–737.

  28. Vincenz, S. A. andDasgupta, S. N. (1977),Further paleomagnetic results from Jamaica-Summary of the results to date, in preparation to be submitted to Pure appl. Geophys.

  29. Watson, G. S. (1956),Analysis of dispersion on a sphere, Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc. Geophys. Suppl.7, 153–159.

  30. Weyl, R.,Geologie der Antillen (Gerbrueder Borntraeger, 1966), 410 pp.

  31. Wilson, R. L. andWatkins, N. D. (1967),Correlation of petrology and natural magnetic polarity in Columbia Plateau basalts, Geophys. J.12, 405–424.

  32. Wilson, R. L., Haggerty, S. E. andWatkins, N. D. (1968),Variation of palaeomagnetic stability and other parameters in a vertical traverse of a single Icelandic lava, Geophys. J.16, 79–96.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Vincenz, S.A., Dasgupta, S.N. Paleomagnetic study of some Cretaceous and tertiary rocks on Hispaniola. PAGEOPH 116, 1200–1210 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00874680

Download citation

Key words

  • Paleomagnetism of Hispaniola