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Paleomagnetic study of some Cretaceous and tertiary rocks on Hispaniola

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Summary

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.

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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

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Key words

  • Paleomagnetism of Hispaniola